I like new tools and always have fun trying them out. Actually sometimes I don’t! This tool though is one that I did find fun, useful and clean. Graffiter was created by Ian Li from Carnegie Mellon University. He is the 2009 winner of Carnegie Mellon University’s Yahoo sponsored Smiley Award. To get one you have to be deemed the most innovative, fun, social Carnegie Mellon student created tech app. That’s quite a cool award because it encourages creativity as well, which is sometimes lacking in computing.
What is Graffiter?
It allows you to collect information about yourself through updates on Twitter and it also works with IM, blogger and Del.icio.us bookmarks. For Twitter you embed Graffiter meta-data in your tweet and extends the Twitter hashtag:
#mood(happy) Just had ice cream.
It’s pretty simple, no? That’s one of the most important things about it actually. If it wasn’t most people wouldn’t bother trying it even. There’s a whole page to help you get started with the format and it helps you get a feel for it too.
What’s it for?
“Grafitter is only as useful as you make it. If there is something about your life that you are curious about, start recording it and study your graphs.” – that’s true of any tool. Twitter itself is only as useful as you make it.
I think it might be useful for tagging up the news I share to see how interesting I find it and I can also divide it up into topics this way. I’ll let you know how I get on.
It does of course open up a whole new world because it eans that you can use Twitter in a completely different way. You could Tweet things purely for the benefit of your Graffiter graphs like your weight, your run times, amount of work you’ve done on a particular topic…These tweets aren’t for people are they? I mean I’m sure we’re all very interesting people but not many of us care how much the other weighs or what someone’s cat’s body temperature was today for example.
How can it benefit business?
I’m not sure this is really a business thing to be honest. You could of course tag up pretty much anything you wanted to. I guess tagging responses to followers based on their location or product of interest for example could be useful. Let me know if you use it in an inovative way for business and I’ll cover it.
For now, I’ll try it out for my personal endeavours and see where I get.
Read the About page
Read the CMU coverage