Rabu, 07 Oktober 2009

Collaborative Twitter

I wonder what it would be like if Twitter support multiple authors in one account. That way more than one user could update the status of one user. Wait! That last sentence isn't right. What good will it brings to have multiple users update the status of a single user?

In terms of status, the idea would be hilarious; or even absurd. Status updates should reflect the status of the user itself instead of the status coming from an infinite number of users. Celebs on Twitter might need this, but why the additional functionality? They can simply hand their credentials to someone they trusted (read: hired) to update their Twitter status on their behalf. It's that simple. No need for additional feature in Twitter.

However, users on Twitter are obviously not limited to people. Twitter users might as well be something that someone wants to enroll in Twitter so that the whole world -wide web- knows the status of that something. Twitter users could be anything from people, companies, organizations, traffic reports, weather reports, situations in a conflicted area, or anything. Yes, anything.

With multiple users updating a single Twitter account, we can have the updates coming from multiple sources into a single stream. Let's say there is exist a Twitter account named @jakartadamned. Through that account, Twitter users from Jakarta could collaborate just by sending updates on the traffics in each location. Others could easily follow that account to get updates on Jakarta's latest traffic. So at this point, I simply want to point out that with one Twitter account and multiple users, we can extend the use of Twitter.

Some might say, "why not simply follow every users with updates on Jakarta traffic?" The point of having this kind of feature is to have a Twitter account dedicated on a single topic with as many source as possible. Instead of following a bunch of Twitter users, we only have to follow one. Instead having the updates come from a single user or a limited number of users, we can have the updates coming from as many users as possible.

Of course there is a small change of updating and following habit from this ...
to this ...
I'm sure nobody will notice the difference.

I've managed to make a simple web application where I enable more than one user to update a single Twitter account. The process flow should be something like this:
  1. Twitter user @acbs -this is a sample- enrolls his/her account so that other Twitter users can send updates to this account.
  2. Other Twitter users sign-up. In this phase, these Twitter users will acquire a key to enable authentication when they perform updates.
  3. @acbs validates and give permissions.
  4. Validated Twitter users can update @acbs.
Easy! Will be easier if supported natively by Twitter. :)

There's all there is to it. Unfortunately I can't publish my experiment. I'm lacking the fund, the time, and any other required resources to test it in public. That being said, I'm really looking forward to see how people would respond to this.

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