Chris, the CIO/CTO of my day job brought his blog in-house. He is active on Twitter and wanted to provide a resource for other CIOs to find each other on Twitter. So, the concept for the CIO Twitter Dashboard was hatched. The idea is to consolidate on one page as many CIOs using Twitter as possible.
We decided to leverage TwitStamp to create a grid of CIOs. TwitStamp offers a selection of badges as PNG graphics by feeding it a Twitter username. The badge includes the profile picture, the Twitter ID, and the latest Tweet for each user. Once Chris had identified the initial list of CIOs, we tackled the layout challenge for presenting a big pile of badges.
After he’d added a few more, it became clear that a way to track updates was called for. So, another PHP script was created to generate an RSS feed of the CIO Tweeps database. Upon subscription, the user would receive an update each time a new item in the feed pointing back to the dashboard. The link on the feed filters to the industry of the new CIO and any CIO added recently was tagged with a “NEW!” badge.
Then, just to bring it full circle, we decided to find a way to Tweet the updates. After looking at PHP scripts to generate a Tweet each time a CIO was added, it made more sense to find a way to use the RSS as the trigger for the Tweet. That’s when I found TwitterFeed. After creating a Twitter ID (ciotweetboard) to send the Tweets, I configured TwitterFeed to look at the RSS once an hour and Tweet up to 2 updates an hour. After some RSS date formatting hiccups, the Tweets began going out. Now, CIOs can find CIOs to follow on the dashboard, and get updates via Twitter from the CIO Tweet Board stream alerting them to new CIOs to follow.
I’m intrigued by the idea of growing a community of connections between professionals (or any other group) this way. Think of it as TwittedIn.