Inspired by the very popular web trends inforgraphic which circulated many graphic and art websites including reaching even techcrunch, WebTrendMap is a new service currently in private beta that allows you to create you own maps of your twitter followers and monitor their updates, links and developing “trends”.
We got a beta invite and had a little play. Whilst understanding WebTrends as an infographic excercise is one thing, building a webapp is totally different. WebTrendMap app is aÂ product of collaboration between Oliver ReichensteinÂ iA Inc. (@iA) (original creator) andÂ Craig Mod (@craigmod) in Tokyo. The team have done a terrific job and whilst still in beta and even just playing with the front page you can understand the potential. Here is how it works:
When you first sign up you are asked for your twitter details also. This is so the app can scan your friends to make the mapping as easy as possible. You can create your own lists using a number of different layouts whether these by geographical or cartographic. By clicking anywhere on your newly created map you can add a friend by typing their name. The app will scan through your latest 300 friends and maybe find the person your are looking for. If the result is not shown, you can type the full name and the app will find the person. Once you have saved the map you can rollover each user and see the links they posted or for example video’s they faved or flickr pictures they uploaded. In your sidebar, trending topics will appear. If a link repeats amongst the user it will rate high up your list.
All the maps you create are public. You can share them with your friends or just use them as a way of reading latest tweets from your favourite friends. Some maps get featured, others remain private. Currently featured include “All Things Typographical“, “New York Designers” and few more mainstream others.
I had a play and created “Creative Code“, listing few people I could remember working with Processing/Flash and openFrameworks where you can see things they post or topics they discuss. I have also started working on “iPhone Developers”, ie people we admire and love stuff they create. Of course, note this is CAN’s maps and they may not include people YOU follow. I have few more ideas for maps including art/tech/game “Press” and others.
It will be interesting to see whether you could copy other people’s maps and modify them. For not this feature is not included so if you wish to create a similar map you will need to start from scratch. Adding users can take a very long time especially when you follow many. I had to load my Twitter “following” list in another window and go through pages trying to remember all. Not a fun task at all but once you have loaded a few and over time add few more you should end up with a comprehensive topic related map.
For me, WebTrendMap is definitely evolving into a very powerful tool. Being able to quickly jump from map to map and see what everyone is up to is a great way to navigate twitter quickly. Considering I regularly scan through people’s past tweets to see if I have by any chance missed anything, WebTrendMap should make this process a lot more enjoyable. Laid out using a beautiful almost pixel art retro interface, dragging and dropping users around the map is a lot of fun.
For now, no word when the app will be made public but soon I hope. I can already see many maps created and shared on Twitter discussing various topics. Wonderful stuff indeed.
First round of accounts (86 left) is available for $49. Alternatively, if you purchase the amazing A0 poster you will receive the account free.
Features with the account:
First Round supporters keep your account for the life of the site
Create and publish your own, custom maps
Access to drag and drop map editor
Archive of your visited links
List views of latest links posted on your maps:
Current trending links from your maps
Latest links from your maps
Verified user listing on your link overview page
For more information seeÂ WebTrendMap
Posted on: 02/09/2009
Posted in: WebApp