New Tool: Twitter Trends Analysis

hightweets-2 Featured

Ian Lurie Jun 1 2009

I’m a hypocrite. Yes, a year ago I heaped scorn on the idea of me writing about Twitter.
Now, I’ve not only written about it, but I just spent 3 days building a tool that analyzes trending topics.
Check it out at HighTweets.com.

How HighTweets works

Every 5 minutes, HighTweets grabs the latest trending topics from the Twitter Search API and stores the result in a database.

Twitter’s ‘trending topics’ list shows you the hottest topics on the service. Since there are umpteen bazillion people using Twitter now, it’s not a bad measure of what’s going on in the online world.

Then HighTweets pulls all of the data together and shows:

  • Mass: Topics ranked by the number of times they’ve repeated on the trending topics list. Mass tells you which topics have staying power.
  • Velocity: The number of times per 5 minute period that a topic has shown up on the trending topics list. Velocity tells you which topics are on the rise.

The results look like this:
hightweets-1.gif
hightweets-2.gif

It’s free, no registration required, etc.

Unless Guy Kawasaki shows up and offers me a million dollars (OK, I’d take $10,000 and an autograph) this tool will remain free and open to the world. Enjoy.

Caveats

The domain just propagated. If you get the nasty Network Solutions parking page, wait a few hours and you should see the site.
I built this over the weekend. THE WEEKEND. I am a geek. But that may mean I finished one line of code, went for a bike ride, then wrote another one. If the site explodes when you visit it, please let me know so I can fix it.
I’ll be adding date range selection later.
Same goes for graphs of activity around a topic.
If hitting Twitter’s search API every 5 minutes doesn’t get me in trouble or kill our database server, I’ll likely speed up to every minute. But for now, I’m staying at 5.
Yes, I know that the site’s title shows up as “Twitter Trends Anal…” in Firefox tabbed browsing. You’re not the only sicko here. It was an accident. I’m not changing it.
No, I will not start referring to Twitter users as “Tweeple”. I can’t do it. I’m sorry.
Have a look, enjoy, and let me know what you think:
[ HighTweets.com: Twitter Trends Analysis ]

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6 Comments

  1. DK

    By velocity? That is pretty nerdy! I like it.

  2. Hi Ian,
    Looks like a useful page. Thanks for putting it together.
    Its always good to find Trends pages. Its what people are looking for. I like it.
    I must look at adding Twitter trends into my Hot Keyword Software. I think its good to know things that matter to people at the time they matter.
    Chris

  3. diane

    As someone who spent an inordinate amount of time this past weekend reading #Britain’s Got Talent tweets…I say, “Bravo!” ;)

  4. Really interesting stuff. I also like how this is organized as compared to some of the busier options for this kind of research that I have seen. Thanks!

  5. Ian,
    This is really great. Thanks for building this over a weekend! It’s a great way to stay on top of the latest news, and it didn’t cause my computer to explode!
    Thanks again,
    Mike
    @michael_nelson

  6. Nice tool and believe me.. databases are often a problem for (Twitter) Mashups. Really annoying. ;)

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