We know that there are Twitter users world-wide. At any given moment, they are tweeting about what they had for breakfast, checking in at various locations, sharing interesting internet links, talking about their lives, and commenting upon the local situation.
From all of this activity, typically you cull the messages to those of the people who you follow. After all, it’s the wisdom of this small group that inspired you to use Twitter in the first place. Periodically, there will be a call from one of your friends to send back a message so that they can show the power of Twitter during a demonstration or presentation. That typically reaches an even smaller subset of the big picture.
How can you truly get a sense of the big picture?
Well, you could tap into the whole of the public stream of information. Certainly, that will present you with an overwhelming sense of the messages and communications that is happening at the moment that you do it. And yet, it’s still limited to what your eye is able to read from the screen at the time.
To see the big picture, the truly big picture, you need to be able to somehow visualize it in a way more powerful than simply reading message after message.
I would urge you to take a look at Twitterdots.com. Each day, a keyword is chosen. On the day that I captured this image, the keyword was “Libya”. As Tweets with that word are captured (the author likens it to being at the bottom of a waterfall with a bucket), the messages are geo-coded where possible and placed on a world map.
Mouse over the dots and watch the world communicate based on the keyword. As I sit here doing this, I’m in awe at humanity as it discusses the topic. I’m humbled to be peeking in on this conversation as it happens.
I’ve yet to see a more powerful representation of all that Twitter has to offer.
The supporting blog to Twitterdots is good reading as well. Dig into the mind of the developer, and also watch playback of earlier topics. You can’t help but be in awe watching the world communicate.
Powered by Qumana