Like a connoisseur regarding the tender morsels on his plate and allowing the fruitful aromas to rise to his nose before taking the first bite, so have I tenderly breathed in (through my ears!) the chatter surrounding Twitter.
And like that connoisseur, I’ve built up a sort of expectation around what I expect from Twitter, before I’ve even tweeted my first.
I’ve decided that it’s best to follow as many people as possible; people you want to become closer to, or friends you want to keep up with. It cannot be a constant stream (a la MSN Messenger), especially with a couple thousand people tweeting all at once, but it should auto-update at some rate. I’ve likened it, recently, to standing in a room with all those you’re following surrounding you. They all have their own circles, and you might catch the odd half-conversation, but it’s not completely engaging. You can do as you wish, and then tune in later. You’ll end up dropping into the middle of conversations, and it really doesn’t matter what was said before.
In this way, Twitter is (or would be, assuming my view is absolute) fundamentally different from every other social media.
I don’t know where I’m going with this.
Long story short, I realized my twitter page had a minimum width and no way to change the styles, beyond changing the background colours and image. So I decided to try my hand at an ajax application.
For some reason, it seems I need to submit my username and password to access my feed. I managed to get everything working with jQuery, but I was getting parsererrors when I tried getting the document from the site (worked fine on a local copy). Some other guy in some forum somewhere had a similar problem, but it seems he had narrowed it down to domain somethings, couldn’t find a way around it, and went off to something else.
I gave up on that one and looked on the great wide web for some help. Someone had made a jQuery plugin that basically just created a bit of a presentation skeleton, grabbed a couple files from Twitter, and inserted those into the skeleton to display your twitter feed on your blog. I deleted pretty much everything and managed to find that some sort of ‘blogger.js’ file is what did the magic (it took the raw stream and grabbed only the text and time of your own posts). I changed the source URL a bit to make it my friends’ feeds, and then I altered the HTML in the blogger.js to add in images and some floats. Then I made an application shortcut with Google Gears, so I get a great little 100px-wide strip with everyone’s icon, name, and message, along with a ‘xx seconds/minutes/hours ago’.
I need to learn regexps.