Syndication, serendipity, spying? Custom Twitter Feeds

As part of a continuing research project that supports a workshop at MW2009, I’m looking into how people navigate online contexts, platforms and social spaces, and how content is syndicated to those places.

One place I want to explore is Twitter, a constantly changing, evolving and (perhaps, sometimes) contextually obscure platform. We mostly imagine that our tweets (Twitter messages) are between just us and our friends – but in fact they’re out there in the [data] cloud, and searchable by tag, keyword, phrase or whatever.

Yesterday, I looked at what people were saying about the UK government’s Digital Britain ideas, and I posted a feed that captures the buzz from Twitter about these new strategy directions. To do this, I simply did a Twitter search from the site homepage and then saved an RSS output of the search, pasting it into my WordPress RSS widget. If you want to try it, one moment of warning; you’ll find it really slows down your WordPress editing client.

Today, since it’s the end of the week, I’m posting a new feed to suit the mood: I’m looking at what people are saying about that familiar Friday feeling.

I’m not leaving any of these rather voyueristic syndications up for very long: I think there are very real concerns about copyright, publishing context, privacy and so on. In addition to that, if anyone objects to this exposure, I’ll take the respective feed down immediately.

Please email me if that is the case: jonnypratty(at)



About Jon Pratty

Human - for now
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