Take 14 minutes out of your day today or tomorrow and watch this video:

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

Is it sad that this excites me?

I love Tim Berners-Lee’s last statement:

“If we end up building all the things I can imagine, we’ve failed.”

This coming from the “father of the World Wide Web”.

The video really talks about now that we have all this information on the web how do we organize it and make it work for us?

In the past week I’ve radically shifted the way I use Twitter, that more closely aligns with this new semantic web approach. It’s been an eye opening experience for me and once again I’m excited about the possibilities that are twitter.

It’s very much about connections, and Twitter is a connection between people. I follow people who I believe will lead me to good content. But how do you know what that good content is in a stream that is over 3,000 people? That is where using semantic web tools such as Twittertim.es comes in. If you haven’t yet given this site a go….I strongly recommend it.

We’ve said for a while now that the “cream raises to the top” and now with a semantic tools like Twittertim.es we have that.

Basically what Twittertim.es does is make since of your twitter stream by collecting all the links that are being shared by those that you follow and gives weight to them based on the amount of times a link appears. Those links with the most tweets and retweets create your Twittertim.es style newspaper.

I no longer follow a stream of people, I use the people to lead me to the best content out there. Today I opened my twittertim.es page and the top 10 stories were all interesting to me. There isn’t another newspaper out there that could do that. This is completely tailored to my specifications based on the people I follow and the news they are reading and retweeting.

Using this same idea, over the weekend I completely redid the decks in Tweetdeck on my computer. I deleted all the lists of people I was following and recreated decks around content. I’m now mining Twitter for the content that is relevant to me. At first I thought that I’d miss my lists of people, but honestly I’m checking Twitter even more, I’ve added one list back, that of the people at my school to help encourage them to continue to use Twitter. I retweet things they post, and respond to them. Now here’s what my Tweetdeck looks like:

Direction Messages
isbangkok list
New Followers

Because I follow mostly educators and Web 2.0 people in Twittertim.es I no longer need those lists in twitter. I let Twittertim.es find the most relevant information from all the people I follow and deliver it to me in an ever changing, up to date way that I could never keep up with.

Because Tweetdeck allows me to add a “New Followers” deck I can easily follow new educators that are following me, just adding to my network and making my results in Twittertim.es that much more relevant.

Tweetdeck has now become a place of content, not a place of people. The lastest news about the Mariners, or the Redshirt protesters in downtown Bangkok. I’m mining Twitter for the content that I want. I add and delete hashtags with what I’m interested in that day. As WordPress 3.0 is coming out soon, I’ll be adding the #wordpress to the deck and when the protest is finally over in downtown Bangkok I’ll delete that deck.

The content is constantly changing depending on my needs. Part of my responsibility then is to share what I find interesting back into the content stream and allow it to be tossed around by the community. It people believe my resource is valuable they retweet it. Just how much content is out there? Only four things I’ve ever shared have shown up in my twittertim.es. Two of my own blog posts (which was an honor) and two things that I shared. Everything else was content I did not know about or was not aware of.

Just another way to find the content you want among a stream of chaotic information.

Yes, I have once again changed my Twitter Desktop App…and yes I’ll probably change again in the future. That’s part of why Twitter is so much fun. You get to explore, try new ways of looking at your data, your searches, your stream of information.

Twitter is a playground to me. It has been since I started using it in 2007 (man that seems so long ago!). It’s been fun to watch it grow over the past couple of years and hit the mainstream in the past couple of months. I’m excited to see where it goes, but in the mean time let’s keep playing!

I downloaded the Seesmic Desktop Application a couple weeks ago and had a play with it. I enjoyed my time with TweetDeck and still haven’t uninstalled it, but after Kim had me try Nambu which is a Mac specific Twitter Desktop App, it sent me on a search for a new one.

Many people don’t get Twitter. Even after signing up for an account people still have a hard time understanding how it works, or why you’d want to use it. I think using a desktop app is the only way to truly understand Twitter and use it successfully.

Because Twitter has gone mainstream it makes it a nice news feed, friend feed, and information silo. Using a desktop app like Seesmic allows you to create groups of users, follow search terms, and keep track of a lot of different content easily. Seesmic has a great set of videos to get you started.

For example I have a column that follows any mentions of the Mariners (it is baseball season after all!). I have a couple different columns of users. People often ask me how I keep up with so many followers. My answer is simple….I don’t. I quit trying to keep up with them a long time ago and instead I’ve taken a data mining approach to Twitter and I’ve created groups that work for me.

I have a group called “My PLN” if you’ve in education and you’ve shared a link that I’ve enjoyed or happened across you get put into this group (2 clicks and 2 seconds). I have a group called “My Peeps” these are my close friends and colleages I work with. It allows me to keep a close eye on say Dennis Harter my colleague and what he’s tweeting about.

The other nice feature of Seesmic and most Twitter Destop Apps is that it allows me to easily unfollow or block spammers, making it easy to manage my profile from within the Twitter App itself.

Then there is the added bounce of being able to update your Facebook status within the same application, now if only they could add FriendFeed updates…they’d have the trifecta!

On my Mac I run Seesmic in a Space. It gets a space all to itself and simple runs in the background. I go to it when I need something, have a second to catch up on a conversation or need information on something happening in real time. I go there when I have something to share, when I feel like I can add to the value of others stream of information or when I simple want people to know what I’m doing….after all that was its original use.

TwitterCamp still has the most potential

TwitterCamp was the first AIR app that I installed and today I still think it has the most potential for use in schools, conferences, etc. I was glad to see that it was updated last November to work with the new and improved Twitter. I love that they have now released the code to the open-source community to help improve on. There is no other app that displays Tweets the way TwitterCamp does and it engages people when put on a big screen. Now that it seems to be working again (still testing it as I type) we could have some fun with this at NECC09. Now….were do we get one of those flat screen TVs? 😉

(Thanks to Brian Smith who captured this picture of Mark Wagner taking a picture of TwitterCamp running at NECC07. The first bloggers cafe and we hijacked the flat screen. Who’s idea was that anyway?)