This article appeared in the print only edition of the Belfast Telegraph 28 July 2009
Two Web developers in Northern Ireland have each just launched Twitter based websites and applications; TweetNI.com and RTweeter.com. TweetNI aggregates the latest messages from Northern Ireland members who have tagged their Twitter posts “#tweetni”. It also automatically RT’s (re-tweets) the Belfast Telegraph’s news feed.
TweetNI, developed by Lee Munroe (@leemunroe), bills itself as “An easier way to find and follow Twitter users in Northern Ireland.”
One of the early members was Grace Smith (@gracesmith). Grace is at the top of the list of members with the most Twitter followers – almost 8,000. She is a freelance web designer working in north Antrim but has customers around the world. These are some of her recent posts:
David Airey (@davidairey), a graphic designer, has just short of 6,000 followers and also shares information useful to him, his followers, anyone who reads his Twitter feed:
- 10 top notch typography websites — http://tr.im/t2fs — via @DesignerDepot
- Reading through the design process of @MaggieMacnab — excellent.
- Recession advice for designers — http://tr.im/rzmO
Sharing information and letting everyone know about interesting websites and blog posts is part of the community ethos, even if that means tipping off competitors about what might be useful to them. Sharing is a good way to help develop a following. Every Friday there is a rush of “#followfriday” posts. Most people use the site as a business communication tool as well as for fun and will recommend people they follow.
On the day Stuart Manning (@stuartmanning) launched RTweeter.com website and desktop application, his Friday recommendations were:
- #followfriday @RTweeter @antonmannering @markjfinlay @helentreacy @johngirvin @Straandlooper @belfastbiker @davymac @Jaoibh @maehara
Stuart explains that RTweeter started as a way for him to manage information on Twitter and put it into a more meaningful context. He calls it a “Swiss Army knife of sorts” for users and developers. “Twitter is a phenomenon and while it has been around for a while I think it’s in its infancy. RTweeter and its tools and services are used on more than 200 sites to help track, measure and share links across a multitude of social networks. That’s pretty good going for a service that didn’t exist two weeks ago.”