Experiments in writing, by Marjolein Hoekstra @OneNoteC

Archive for the ‘Twitter Tools’ Category

Twitter FreshLinks Bookmarklet

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Twitter FreshLinks Bookmarklet

FreshLinks is a simple browser bookmarklet I created that you can use to get a quick understanding if a Twitter user has recently been sharing any useful links.

To install, drag or save this link to your browser bookmarks toolbar: FreshLinks

A text button labeled ‘FreshLinks’ should appear on your bookmarks toolbar. Now, first open someone’s Twitter user page, mine for example: @CleverClogs. To filter my updates and display just links that I’m sharing, click on the FreshLinks bookmarklet button.

This is a before-and-after sketch of the effect of using the bookmarklet:

As a bonus, the script excludes retweets and won’t show updates fed into the Twitter stream through TwitterFeed.

I’m obviously curious for your constructive feedback, please tweet it to the attention of @CleverClogs.

Last modified July 18th, 2009, 4:22 PM GMT +2

Written by CleverClogs

July 18th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

The Original Idea behind TweetMeme

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In Meet Nick Halstead the Founder of Tweetmeme from July 14th, Loic Le Meur publishes a five-minute video interview with TweetMeme founder Nick Halstead. One particular fragment of the interview strikes me with disbelief. My post here explains why I am less than amused.

At just after 4 minutes, Loic asks Nick:

Where did you get the idea, for the first time?”

Nick responds:

We, err, we just looked at Twitter, we, the, err , a year ago we actually had a first pass of the website, and we kind of let it languish, and then we saw how big Twitter was getting in January and we took all the technology from the bit built in the company for the year before, and we just took all that and rebuilt it, really, you know, really quickly.

Now, in contrast to the video, look at this compilation of several tweets from the very early days of TweetMeme’s inception, starting January 5th, 2008:

  1. Marjolein Hoekstra
    CleverClogs I sincerely hope @gaberivera won’t come up with the idea to create @tweetmeme, Then again someone else might.Account name still available…
  2. Nick Halstead
    nickhalstead @cleverclogs now registered – what shall we do with it? 🙂
  3. Marjolein Hoekstra
    CleverClogs @nickhalstead that’s the general problem I have with guys: you tell them NOT to do something, next thing you know they’re in head over heels
  4. Marjolein Hoekstra
    CleverClogs @nickhalstead I think I need to ask my lawyers to send you my ToS in triplicate 😉 At least I can cry “FIRST!”
  5. Marjolein Hoekstra
    CleverClogs Going over @tweetmeme specs with @nickhalstead on Skype chat right now.
  6. Nick Halstead
    nickhalstead and big thanks to @CleverClogs for help with it
  7. Mike Butcher
    mikebutcher @CleverClogs Do you want a credit on Tweetmeme story? Happy to add your role 🙂
  8. Marjolein Hoekstra
    CleverClogs @NickHalstead You may need to speak with @Noelleee about getting @TweetMeme featured on @Alltop. She’s Content Manager, if I’m not mistaken.
  9. Marjolein Hoekstra
    CleverClogs @noelleee Nick Halstead started last year after a tweet from me. It has become very successful and gets quoted a lot.

this quote was brought to you by quoteurl

Many people know that the original idea for TweetMeme came from me. Almost immediately after I hinted at the creation of a TweetMeme service in January 2008, Nick Halstead picked up the idea, and contacted me over Twitter DM. He was enthused and kindly asked my permission to go ahead with the idea. Nick would register the domain name and would also claim the @TweetMeme account on Twitter. That evening, we had an intense Skype call and several subsequent chats about the direction of TweetMeme. We also discussed my future remuneration once the service would gain funding, though at that time it didn’t seem likely at all that this type of service would become highly popular. Nick kept me posted continually during the first development phase.

The TweetMeme Launch blog post from Jan 28, 2008 is unambiguous:

“This project has only possible because of help from a number of very talented people. So let me first thank Marjolein Hoekstra who first twittered about the concept and since then has been a constant sounding board for the project.”

Nick is correct. On just about every new feature launched since the day that TweetMeme started, I posted several tweets in a row, contacted A-list bloggers to see if they were interested, and over-all made sure people knew something very powerful was being built on top of the Twitter API. I provided Nick with very detailed and constructive feedback on how to improve TweetMeme.

In March of this year I helped Nick get Alltop founder Guy Kawasaki’s attention so that he would incorporate the TweetMeme blog feed on his Alltop Twitter category page.

Last April, ReadWriteWeb published Tweetmeme Live: See What’s Big on Twitter Right Now after RWW editors noticed a tweet from me about the new TweetMeme Live feature. The original credit footnote to the story was this:

When Nick Halstead urged me to have that credit footnote changed, I obliged immediately because I was made to believe he was going to get into serious trouble with his investors if they’d find out I was involved and might stake an IP claim. I was totally wiped out for days.

Let me summarize how I look at the situation: Nick and his team have pulled off a remarkable job building TweetMeme into a very solid, thriving company and though for obvious reasons I don’t tweet about TweetMeme much anymore, I still value and respect their work highly. However, in the video interview with Loic it seems Nick is denying my original inspiration and subsequent involvement in the development of TweetMeme completely.

My goal with this post is two-fold: to set the record straight about my exact role in the product and also to encourage Nick Halstead to openly come to terms about this. I propose we settle adequately and appropriately and then move on—as decent professionals would. Appropriate actions would comprise of a proper credit  statement on the TweetMeme About page describing  my role, and adequate recognition of my initiating role in public company statements. If a check arrives in the mail, I’ll happily cash it.

Do you think I’m being unreasonable here?


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Written by CleverClogs

July 17th, 2009 at 10:29 am

Posted in Tech start-ups,Twitter Tools

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Supercharging Summize Searches in Firefox and Flock

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There are several ways you can integrate the superior Twitter search engine Summize into Firefox or Flock, turning your browser into a very efficient Twitter research tool. In this post I discuss these three:

  • adding the Summize search plug-in
  • creating a Summize quick search command
  • using the SmartSearch add-on to perform in-context queries

Summize Search Plug-in

Add Summize to your Firefox search bar by clicking on the “Install Search Plugin” link on the Summize home page:

Summize Search Plugin

The search plugin is available for use immediately after installing. To enter a Summize query, put cursor focus on the search bar with your mouse or press the Ctrl-K keyboard shortcut. Then type your query as usual and press Enter.

Summize Quick Searches
Besides performing searches from the search bar, Firefox also offers the browser address bar to execute search commands. It comes in handy if for some reason you’d rather not change search engines from your search bar. The functionality to search from the browser address bar is generally called Quick Search. In our case you would type in something like “s Obama”, press Enter and then, because of a keyword shortcut command that points to Summize, a query is run automatically to find tweets about Obama. The Quick Search command you can create by following the step-by-step instructions is also useful for in-context searching, which I describe in the section Summize Smart Searches.

Selecting the Add Keyword Search command

The Summize Quick Search command is universal and only needs to be created once. Luckily, Firefox makes this creation process a piece of cake: right-click with your mouse in the Summize search input box on any Summize web page and select “Add a Keyword for this Search…” from the context menu.

Now you may try your newly created Quick Search command by carrying out a query from the address bar: Type “s [keywords]” without the double quotes and press Enter.

Summize Smart Searches
With a few simple steps you can perform a Summize search for any word on any web page displayed in Firefox. The steps to create the Summize Quick Search command that I described in the previous section are required to make this Smart Searching functionality work. First, install the SmartSearch Firefox add-on.

Note that the default, version 3.10, is meant to be used with Firefox 3 beta. Users of older versions of Firefox should install version 3.7, which you can find here: SmartSearch add-on for Firefox 2.

Restart your browser.

Next, open the SmartSearch Settings dialog box and put a check mark in the option Show “Search Web for …” item

Next right-click or select any word(s) that you want to search for on Summize, and select Search for [keyword] on…“, then select @Summize. The following screenshot shows a fun recursive search right from my WordPress editor window, looking for tweets about Summize:

This nifty SmartSearch in-context search functionality works immediately by right-clicking individual words, without the need to select a word with your mouse first. Alternatively select multiple consecutive words, right-click on the selection, and follow the same steps.

My compliments to Ben Goodger and Chris Povlrk for providing the excellent SmartSearch add-on, and of course to the Summize folks (@abdur, @gregpass, @ericcj, @jayvirdy), who in my opinion really created even more than the Google of Twitter. Chapeau bas!

Written by CleverClogs

May 10th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Twitter to Skype Mood Message using Twype

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“Twype allows you to grab tweets from *any* Twitter account (there’s no
authentication) and lets you publish that stream as Skype mood
messages. Twype only works from Skype for Windows PCs.”


A new Skype add-on named Twype was just released by its developer Julian Bond. I’m very excited about it because it offers tremendous opportunities and because it fulfills a desire I’ve felt for years ever since I started using Skype. Let me explain what Twype does with a mix of screenshots and text:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by CleverClogs

October 13th, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Posted in Skype,Twitter Tools