FlickrTwitterThinker: Flickr + Twitter = Thinking Other People’s Thoughts

About a month ago, I came across Twistori, and was really taken by how much rich data there was to be had from Twitter. I’m in love with projects that utilize APIs to such great effect, and things like Twistori and We Feel Fine are right up my alley.

I’ve since signed up to Twitter, and started digging around a bit at the various APIs available. In particular, I started looking into Summize, the API that powers Twistori.

For many of my prior projects, I looked to sets of existing data – a set list of images or text. With Flickr-based projects, I was able to hook into an ever-changing collection of images and information.

With this newest project, FlickrTwitterThinker, I was more interested in user interaction and participation. I wanted a more direct sense of users actively contributing to the project, altering it and shaping it. I wanted to make the barrier to entry super low, and to allow folks to actually have a way to add their own content into this projcet.

So here’s how it works in a nutshell: 100 recent Twitter comments are returned, depending on the keyword search. The first one is randomized, but after that the user can make up his or her keywords/phrases.

On the photo side, user can partiipate in the project by uploading a photo of themselves to Flickr. In the photo, they have to be standing to the left or right of the frame, and can take on any pose they want. A traditional pensive, thinking pose works… but it gets more interesting when users start to get creative: angry faces, surprised looks, etc.

To let the project know how to find these images (and to help out with where it should position the thought bubble), users are asked to add a tag to each photo. If they’re on the left, they need to add the FlickrTwitterThinkerLeft tag; if they’re on the right, they add the FlickrTwitterThinkerRight tag.

As more users participate, the pool of possible images grows. And the instant gratification part is there, as you should be able to see your Flickr photo just as soon as Flickr updates your account/info.

I had a lot of fun working on this project, and still the thing cracks me up almost every time I try out a search. I don’t know that there’s any great purpose overall to this, other than combining sets of data to see what emerges.

Designed more as a timesink, I hope you’re able to while away an idle moment or two here. If this has gotten you to laugh at least once, then hey – mission accomplished. Since we’re always stuck with our own thoughts most of the time… this project is a nice way for us to take a moment, and to think someone else’s thoughts for a change.

PS: Going to also takes you to the right place. Might be an easier URL to remember.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hey,Great app you’ve made. I’m definitely gonna have a look at my photos and see if some could qualify.One thing I came across that might be good to change to improve. I tried searching for my home country Finland and noticed that most of the tweets came from one source: which appears to be a module on the ISS. Problem is that it tweets it’s current earth location every half an hour or so. Tweets like: “Chandra is 6 km from Haapaj?§rvi in Finland, at an altitude of 124,598 km”. So, just thought it might be a good idea to exclude those. Of course the problem then is that not that many tweets contain “Finland” in them. I’ll try to change that…Anyhow, great work! I love seeing all these twitter mashups.k

    kristian Reply

  2. I agree, great app. Too bad twitter’s capacity isn’t that great and it tends to get overloaded quite often.You’re SUPER!

    ben Reply

  3. Thanks for the kind words, guys. It only now occurs to me that, instead of people taking a whole new photograph… they could just as easily add in the specific tag to an existing photo on Flickr.Time to go edit the instructions!

    avoision Reply

  4. Very awesome! Something that might make the pulled tweets better would be if you could strip out any URLs…but I’m a total backseat driver!

    Mellzah Reply

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