Online Information 2009 – A Twitter Timeline

It was disappointing to miss Online Information this year, so I have been trying to catch up via the Twitter stream. Fortunately the #online09 tweets have been archived to Twapper Keeper (via @briankelly). This is great, as the site makes them downloadable.

To see them in the context of the conference programme, I converted the tweets and the event schedule to XML suitable for display in a Simile Timeline. Click the screenshot below to access the resulting timeline mashup (nb tweets take a few seconds to load).


What would have made this exercise easier, and the conference tweets easier to track:

  • If the conference programme had been published in a more mashable format eg iCal / XML
  • If there was a way to identify a particular conference track (a sub hashtag? – or is that overkill?)
  • A way to distinguish critical comments, reportage, and general flim-flam. Though perhaps that is part of the fun!

4 thoughts on “Online Information 2009 – A Twitter Timeline

  1. Chris Wallace

    Very nice Paul! I wonder if you could optionally filter out the RTs What did you use to convert from the tweet stream to Timeline events?

  2. Paul Matthews Post author

    Thanks! Good idea on the RTs. To make the XML I used this python script on the TSV downloaded from Twapper Keeper:

    # Script to convert a twapper TSV to an xml timeline file
    import csv
    import xml.dom.minidom as dom
    twapFile = "../online09.csv"
    tlFile = "../online09.xml"
    twapReader = csv.reader(open(twapFile), delimiter='\t')
    tlTree = dom.getDOMImplementation().createDocument(None, "data", None)
    tlRoot = tlTree.documentElement
    for row in twapReader:
    tlEvent = tlTree.createElement("event")
    tlEventText = tlTree.createTextNode(row[1])
    tlEvent.setAttribute("start", row[9])
    tlEvent.setAttribute("image", row[8])
    tlEvent.setAttribute("icon", "")
    tlEvent.setAttribute("link", "" + row[3])
    tlEvent.setAttribute("isDuration", "false")
    tlEvent.setAttribute("title", row[3])
    tlOut = open(tlFile, "w")
    tlTree.writexml(tlOut, "\t", "\t", "\n", "UTF-8")

  3. Marydee

    Some of the tweets from marydeeo in TwapperKeeper will link you to the posts about #online09.

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