Live text streams for the National Care Service

We were approached by the Department of Health to further enhance their WordPress based website for the launch of the National Care Service. The launch was to have a live web video stream and The Department of Health wanted live text updates to accompany the video. The text updates would allow late comers to catch up, mean the launch team could provide annotations, links and accompanying materials as the launch progressed, and would provide a text record of the event afterwards. The projected maximum audience for this event reached well into the thousands, so the solution we provided would have to scale appropriately, while not consuming so many resources that the webserver could not fulfil it’s other duties (like serving other pages and so forth).

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Following hashtags with a Fluid app for Summize, errr, I mean Twitter Search

Just put together a quick Fluid app for Twitter Search. (Fluid is a Mac specific browser designed to be used with just one app, and together with it’s user scripts, think Grease Monkey, you can mimic basic application functionality.

I’ve just put one together which tracks the Twitter conversations around one Hashtag using the new Twitter search, and a Javascript which refreshes the window periodically.

To do this you will need to:

  1. Download Fluid
  2. Download the Twitter auto-reload script
  3. Download my lovely Hash Tag icon
  4. Open your Fluid app
  5. Enter the URL for your Twitter hashtag search, I’m at WordCamp UK so I entered: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23wordcampuk as the URL (you can obviously change the Hashtag in the search as appropriate).
  6. Give the Fluid app a memorable name
  7. Pick an icon (the one linked above is quite pretty)
  8. Click “Create”
  9. Select the curly script icon from the menubar (to the right of the “Window” menu) and choose “Open Userscripts Folder”
  10. Drop the Twitter auto-reload script into the folder (then close it)
  11. Go back to the script menu, and choose “Manage Userscripts”
  12. Check the box to enable”Auto reload”
  13. Ensure that Include has only one entry of “*” and Exclude is empty then close the dialog
  14. Refresh the window to kick off the new script (Apple+R)
Enjoy.