A Better Twitter Chat Client

I saw a tweet that bummed me out today. Here was the exchange that ensued:

I remember Chris attending #LeadershipChat and it made me feel bad that he felt it is too overwhelming. And, the fact is, the full firehose of tweets during a popular chat is daunting. I have used Tweetchat (which has been very slow the last few weeks – unusable) and I try to keep up on TweetDeck, but once you get a good-sized group of people on a chat, it’s a problem.

So, here’s the idea – someone please steal the concept and make it! A chat client that allows the user to create a filtered stream with a subset of attendees, so that more quality conversations can occur. Conceptually, the interface could be roughly like this (click to biggify):

Who wants to make it? A whole bunch of people doing chats on Twitter would send you flowers and kisses!

UPDATE: My friend @JoeCascio came up with a modified concept of panes for People I Follow, People I Don’t Follow, and Mentions. Good idea!

UPDATE: Shannon Whitley and I have designed the solution. Check out ChatTagged!!


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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

4 Responses to A Better Twitter Chat Client

  1. Bret Simmons says:

    Steve, I was so excited when you and Lisa started #leaderchat but I share Chris’ lament. It was like drinking from a firehose. Your proposal has merit, but I also have concerns. As you know, there are “star-gazers” and people that think they are stars in SM. I’ve noticed that people seem to want to talk to folks they think are stars, and the stars seem to only want to talk to other stars. If there were someway to distribute the stars between your sub-groups, I think that would be great. So if you lead a conversation, Lisa led another, and someone else the third, with people almost randomly assigned between the three, I think that would be cool. Just my 2 cents. Bret

    • Because of the nature of what Twitter is, everything we do to “fix” such issues is a band-aid or a jerry-rigged system – but that’s the price we pay for cool technology, I guess!

  2. Chris Bailey says:

    Hi Steve, don’t feel bad…it’s tough to make something like this work smoothly for everyone when there’s sooo many participants. Problem is Twitter doesn’t scale well for open dialogue in a fixed timeframe for an audience of – say – more than 20 people. In a larger #chat like #leadershipchat, tweets get caught easily in the flotsam and jetsam of the stream. Plus, it’s hard to hold up the stream to fully digest and explore side issues that arise. Using your model above, it would be great if you could easily open side conversations using a hashtag like #leadershipchat+[issue].

    I fully realize this could just be me, though (and maybe Bret, too). I’m always attracted to the intimate dinner parties over the larger shindigs where it’s tough to have conversations due to the noise around me.

    Good dialogue here. Hopefully with all the smart folks in social media, we can find an answer.

    • Scale is definitely a problem with Twitter. In any large gathering (including LeadershipChat), there are ALWAYS sub-groups and side discussions – I think a smart client design could help us accomplish that. Trying to stay on top of everything is impossible beyond a certain size (I TRY, but it’s a mad scramble each week!)

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