This site is a little bit too good as it identified the type of music I like and kept me entertained for hours when I should have been writing. SpotiBot works together with Twitter and the music site Spotify to help you find music you’ll enjoy based on your favourite musicians. To use it you go to the SpotiBot site, or direct to your Twitter account, and type in ‘@spotibot similar to’ followed by the name of a musician or band you like. Spotibot will reply to you with suggestions for other musicians you’d enjoy.
I tried it with quite an eclectic range of music and the suggestions were similar in taste and introduced me to musicians I hadn’t heard of, including well established and new ones. SpotiBot gives you the suggestions together with links to the albums on Spotify, so you also need a Spotify account, otherwise you could look up the bands elsewhere. I right-clicked on the tracks on Spotify, copied the URL and pasted it on webotify.com, a website I reviewed here a while ago. On Webotify the Spotify track is played with a video, so the whole experience has been very pleasurable.
SpotiBot also compiles playlists for you, and although it’s independent of Spotify it works together with Spotify and also using Audioscrobbler.net. Audioscrobbler is a site that tracks and analyses listening habits. This clever, entertaining and incredibly useful way to find music you’ll like but wouldn’t otherwise hear about, is put together by Andy Smith who can also found on Twitter as @asmitter and @spotibot. Set aside a few hours when you try this one out.
NewsTwit aggregates and filters news flashes from all over Twitter to present them in an organised way so you can keep up-to-date with the news as it happens. It’s a US site, although some sections such as technology have a more international appeal, but it’s clear to see how this idea could do well in various countries. An international version would also be interesting.
Each news flash appears as a tweet with a link to the full story, and the tweets are organised by menu choice. These are National News (US), Sports, Tech, Science, Iran and Other, and the two main categories next to National News on the menu are The Left and The Right. I took a look at the stories in these final two sections and was quite intrigued as to the reasons they were grouped. I can’t quite imagine UK news being grouped that way.
National curiosity aside, I found it very hard to resist clicking on the links to go to the news stories, and I think this is a very productive use of Twitter. Social networks like Twitter allow breaking news to appear immediately. The ability to aggregate that and filter out and arrange the best stories so quickly makes Twitter a great way to read the news. How website organisers decide to filter and arrange those stories will be of interest to readers and traditional publishers.
The days when you needed to be an expert to understand the mysteries of the stock market are over. Websites are available to let anybody have a go, and one of the latest is TopStockTweets which uses realtime updates from Twitter to help you get informed and involved. At a quick glance this type of site can also look confusing as it takes all Tweets relevant to the stock market to gather them on one website and sort them into usable information. It’s worth persevering as it does soon all make sense.
The home page shows all relevant Tweets appearing realtime, while a second list shows the day’s most tweeted stock symbols. You can also search for specific stock to get information, or go to pages to see the top traders and all of their tweets. There are also pages that show the main tags being used to identify important stock and trends, and another page lists the main URLs being tweeted.
This kind of use of Twitter can be very successful. Using hashtags to draw attention to the keywords in your tweets, and the @ symbol to communicate with others on TopStockTweets soon creates a community working together and passing information quickly and efficiently. Retweeting information from others in the TopStockTweets community adds to this system, and I’ve used similar Twitter related websites so I know how well this can all work. Well worth a go if you’re interested in the stock market either as an expert or as somebody who wants to get involved and learn from others.
If you’re still wondering what to do with your Twitter account, or whether you should even have one, then consider the many communities with shared interests this social network gathers together. WineTwits is such a community, bringing together people interested in wine to share their knowledge and enthusiasm. WineTwits has a website and you can also follow them on Twitter to interact with the other wine-lovers in this group.
WineTwit members discuss wine, events and special events in the microblogs they post on Twitter, and this website brings them all together so you can click on a menu option to see what everybody is saying in each category. You can add your own comments on types of wine, events and seminars and TwitFace brings it all together for others to find easily.
By rating wines you take part in a survey so Twitface can give overall ratings. Wine retailers and other suppliers can make special offers to the WineTwits community. This approach to Twitter lets the organisers bring members together in a way that lets you have an ongoing conversation – something that isn’t easy on Twitter unless you’re in a shared interest group.
The main menu choices take you to comments by members who have posted an entry on that subject, and they are: Wine Talk, Wine Events, Wine Directory, and Specials (promotions). Twitter really is enjoyable and useful with this kind of application to bring people with something in common together.
This Twitter-based competition gives you a new word every day which you have to try to fit into your Tweets. Then if you post it and people like it they can say so or retweet your message. If you get a positive response you’ll be rewarded with points and could get your message on the front page. The aim of the game is to gather kudos by winning points and being among the favourites for each day, but the added benefit is that it can also draw attention to your messages and encourage others to retweet them.
The word for each day is on the main page with a definition, so it’s a handy game to increase vocabulary too. The ways people have found to fit each word into a tweet are quite comical, and you can follow Artwiculate on Twitter to have the daily word challenge sent to you. Winners for the previous day are posted, and those with the highest total score appear in their own prestigious list on the main page. A lot of fun to take part in especially if you challenge your friends to fit the unusual word into their tweets of the day.