Looking for a Twitter app…


In order to improve my productivity, I am looking for a Twitter application with the following automation features:

1. Tweet a quote from some famous person every 5 minutes. I have a book of over 2800 quotes and it would be ideal if it could be scanned into a database and direct the contents into my Twitter stream. It will take about 23 days to cycle through all the quotes at that rate. After it’s over, I want it to loop continuously for the benefit of my new followers and in case someone missed one of the quotes.

2. Check the local weather and send a message to all my peeps about what it looks like outside my window, at least 5 or 6 times a day. It should also tell people when it’s getting dark in my neighborhood.

3. Connect to a pillow sensor so that when I’m hitting the hay, everyone will know, as I’m sure they are curious. It should issue a random yet clever statement with the word ‘pillow’ somewhere in it.

4. Each morning when I arise, it must proclaim that momentous event and simply send the phrase, “Mornin’ Peeps!!!”

5. Whenever Guy Kawasaki tweets anything, which happens about 300-400 times a day, the app should be the first to Re-Tweet it, ideally within 30 milliseconds so I can get my mug to appear in the Tweet stream before his next posting, if possible. For an extra bonus, remove any gratuitous references to alltop.com.

6. It should monitor for any DMs sent to me and forward them to my spam bucket, because, frankly, I just don’t have the time to check my Twitter DMs.

7. It should search through Google’s newsfeed and tweet the top headlines as they change every 3 minutes. It should insert ambiguous and random catch phrases that go something like “This is cool!”, or “Can you believe this?!” in front of the tinyurl link.

8. Harvest the entire Twitter member database and follow everyone.

9. Auto-follow anyone who somehow manages to follow me before I can follow them. It must then send them a Tweet, an email, and a phone text telling them how much I appreciate their follow and how I intend to hang on their every word.

10. If anyone should ever stop following me, notify me about it immediately, so I can launch a marketing campaign to get them back, ASAP, unless it’s someone who doesn’t Tweet every hour, because I really could care less about those kinds of people.

11. Send out some blip.fm song link every 10 minutes that will make my followers think I have very sophisticated musical taste.

Have I left any out? Feel free to add your own ‘must have’ Twitter automation features in the comments…


UPDATE 2009-03-21: Just in case the satire didn’t shine through, I think that automation in social networking is a slippery slope that eventually ruins the experience. People who engage in the techniques above make me want to ‘unfollow’ them on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “Looking for a Twitter app…

  1. Hi Bill,

    Twitterfeed looks like a good start. 🙂

    In case anyone missed the satire in my posting, I think that automation can completely ruin social networking. Once it becomes possible to automate updates, it won’t be long before the experience of following someone on Twitter is destroyed. In fact, I think that the reason that social networks have become popular is that they have a modicum of control over spammers who otherwise try to co-opt the websites for their own selfish purposes. Not that these sites can stop them completely, since I get a lot of follows from accounts that get shut down due to being fakes or spammers.

    Another trend I’ve noticed on Twitter is ‘over Tweeting’. If you have some trivial piece of information to share, like what you just ate, that you just woke up, or that you are going to sleep, most normal people do not find it that interesting…. I certainly don’t.

    And if all I wanted to see was a continuous gusher of news headlines, I would subscribe to an RSS feed from a news site or some other site that monitors breaking news.

  2. The beauty of Twitter is the selective nature of it. If I don’t like my stream, I start unfollowing rapidly. At first it feels a little merciless, but that’s how learning happens. Unfortunately, this has happened with some highly credible twitterers (although automated), like cancer news. In the end, I feel I’m providing a valuable customer feedback service when I unfollow. The twittershpere is adaptive in nature, so I try to help it along. A good rule I think is that 10% of personal stuff is OK, but more than that is disrespectful. Hopefully I stick to it myself!

    Haven’t tried TweetDeck yet, but I’ve heard great things.

    If you’re not unfollowing, it’s a bit like watching commercials on a DVR device.

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