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Show HN: My 2 evening project - Twitter Playback
29 points by nopal 1611 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite
This weekend a well-known comedian was live-tweeting sardonic commentary for a new Lifetime movie. It got me thinking that it would be cool to be able to replay his tweets later so that someone who missed the live show would be able to sync them up with the movie.

That, along with the fact that I've had lots of fun on Twitter during big events (like the elections), made me think that it'd be a fun hack to put together a Twitter playback site.

So last night and tonight I threw together http://www.twitterplayback.com. Check it out an let me know what you think!

Clickable: http://www.twitterplayback.com

Replay of movie commentary: http://www.twitterplayback.com/?q=from%3Aaimeemann+OR+from%3...

Tonight's TV: http://www.twitterplayback.com/?q=dancing%20stars

Social media contest: http://www.twitterplayback.com/?q=%23GOU100

Sports: http://www.twitterplayback.com/?q=%23iubb

The page is (hastily) written using JavaScript, so feel free to take a peek. There's a lot more that can be added to this -- most notably, date ranges, but I think it's pretty fun right now. Oh, and the maximum number of results Twitter will let me have per query is 1500, so keep that in mind.

Awesome concept and execution!


• I expected there to be a rollback option, perhaps via the '-' button. (Didn't expect to have sticky varying faster-than-realtime rates instead.)

• A slider/timeline-scrubber would probably be ideal, with indicator ticks everywhere there's an upcoming tweet. Then you can either 'play' real-time, and drag-'seek' to any interesting point forward or back, and fairly easily re-sync to an approximate minute after out-of-band DVR ops. (Also, 'next'/'prev' buttons would be more natural accelerated navigation to me, rather than the steppable-FF-rate.)

• Would benefit from explicit 'permalink'/sharing-of-well-crafted-range-query support. Such permalinks could be decorated with more contextual metadata (eg: name of program).

• Does Hulu work in a frame? (Or more generally: permalink metadata mentioned above could include recommended links to legitimate playback sources.)

• You might let people layer in their own lagged tweets by assisting them in using a hashtag offset convention. For example, "#lizanddick #11-25t0h8m blah blah blah".

There were a few startups attempting to enable synchronous group TV-event watching in past years... but I suspect they all suffered from the rise of DVRs among exactly their online-immersed target audience. Leveraging Twitter and allowing a blend of synchrony or asynchrony might work better.

Good luck!

I like the idea very much. In fact this could be extremely useful if you tweak it a little bit.

How about instead of waiting and controlling the time speed etc. the app itself keeps playing the tweets along with its duration from the last tweet: "after 2 hours", "after 4 days", "after few mins" etc.

That ways I am never waiting for something to appear instead am constantly engaged.

I definitely see the value in what you're saying, particularly for exploratory searches, although it doesn't fit my original use case (Dark Side + Wizard of Oz).

Maybe two modes would be useful?

Feel free to fork: https://github.com/bretwalker/twitterplayback

I like the idea too. I also agree with shail's suggestion but I don't think it should be either/or. Both options should be available. Good luck man.

I'm a bit concerned about the name of your project...

Here is an excerpt from Twitter's branding guidelines:

    * Use Twitter in the name of your website, application or product.
    * Register a domain containing twitter, misspellings, transliterations or similar variations thereof.

Hmm.. good point. Just registered TweetPlayback.com. I'll start redirecting tomorrow after DNS has propagated. Thanks for the head's up!

Those are guidelines, not rules. They can't do anything, unless they want to cut off his API access.

They can also sue. Together with disabling the app, that's plenty of 'anything' to enforce their guidelines.

Which they're very aggressive about doing...

You should checkout the jQuery timeline plugin. I could see that being a very effective with the horizontal scrollbar to control playback at a macro level.

Cool project. The sample you have makes it easy to see the uses. It would be cool if people could submit "fun" or good examples of great timelines. I think that would bring the social aspect into the project. Most people won't have the time to put together the criteria to produce the "query" so having a set of samples would be helpful in gaining traction

I know I'll probably get down-voted - but I have to ask: when will people stop building apps/stuff around twitter and facebook...? It's useless (yes, I know - my opinion).

I can understand that it was fun for you to build, no offence - but I don't see the value in things that piggyback on those two services. There are so many real challenges out there...

There, I had to say it (not impressed).

I get your point.

As you said, this is for fun. It's certainly not a business or something I'm going to take much further, so the long-tem viability of Twitter's platform doesn't matter that much to me.

That said, it is where the people are, and I haven't found anything that let's me feel the pulse of the global online community as well. As I said, I think Twitter's a blast during a big live event, and that's why I built this.

"it is where the people are"

I agree. Sorry to sound "negative" - it's probably because I'm one of the people that "don't get" twitter/facebook in the first place.

*Update: I was looking at submissions about Certician, your tool for monitoring your SSL certificates. As comparison, I find that so much more useful, even if the website it's no longer live.

I've been trying to "get used to" Twitter over the past year or so ever since I started working somewhere where a lot of my coworkers use Twitter a lot.

It's interesting, and I've gotten into a few amusing discussions, but in the end I still "don't get" it. People talk about Twitter being this exciting place where they have all these discussions with all sorts of people, but I just don't see how.

I'm probably a lost cause for doing anything more than consuming and making the occasional quip, but I'm curious: Is there some common point that everyone hits where suddenly they're fully engaged and Twitter stops feeling disjointed? Is it just that I check Twitter like once or twice a day, and I need to try harder?

It'd be nice to know what they're watching so you could your actual DVR with the twitter dvr

Cool idea! Can be useful sometimes!

That's fun!

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