Tweet walls are creative applications to display your tweets in a more visual and effective way for audiences. They work well for conferences or large scale events which are themed around a particular topic or where a hashtag has been provided for guests to participate in conversation and generate content.
I have been experimenting with a few different platforms to see which one provides the most visually appealing and efficient content stream. What exactly am I looking for? You want to be able to allow your tweets to be updated in real time or close to. There is nothing worse than telling your clients that they will be able to watch their feed through the monitor and have them tentatively perched on the edge of their seat in anticipation (well we like to believe they are) while the same tweet stares back at them. Through your program you are also looking for features such as a visually appealing transition between tweets, interchangeable colour schemes and the ability for photos to be shared.
Here is an overview of a few tweet wall platforms.
Visible Tweets: http://visibletweets.com/
The layout is pretty simple. The main interface asks you…what tweets do you want to visualize? And it is all basics from there. Feed in your topic (whether it is in the form of a hashtag or separate words) and you will be provided with a constant stream of tweets containing the terms. The background automatically changes colour and can be a little distracting but from a creative perspective…it is quite appealing considering sometimes you are reading dry content. The tweet transition is probably the best part of Visible Tweets as it randomizes the feed with letters individually dropping into a sentence, fade-ins and outs and screen wipes. You have the option to animate the feed ‘letter by letter,’ by ‘rotation’ or through a ‘tag cloud.’ The tag cloud particularly is interesting as it gives you a quick snapshot of the key words which are being used in the post. Each post is time stamped and has an icon of the person who posted which personalizes the content more. Overall Visible Tweets is a clear and engaging form of displaying topical content, particularly for audience interaction purposes.
Slightly more interactive than Visible Tweets; Tweetwally allows you to input your hashtag, username or desired keywords and receive a related content stream or to uniquely customize a shareable page which feeds in specified content.
How does it work? By connecting with a Twitter account you are able to choose what content you would like to stream, select a themed background (which can be customized to particular colour choices – beneficial if you want to change it to the client colours.), and allows pictures to be fed through the stream (which can be engaging if people are twitpic-ng). You can also create a name for your tweetwall and a provide a description. Once saved, Tweetwally generates a unique URL which you can put into any browser and receive real time posts as per the specifications in your settings. Why is this good? If you don’t want to log into an account when offsite – pre defining the settings allows you to know exactly what will come through on your feed and it will be available to share to clients via the click of a link. As a lot of the content is editable, you can find yourself creating some pretty horrific colour schemes – so it takes work to get it right. You can optimize the display for multiple platforms including television, ipad and iphone. If you create a new tweetwall with the same account – your old tweetwall will be overridden. Currently Tweetwally only supports one per account. Overall Tweetwally is a better application for content that needs to be refined or shared to clients at different locations at the same time.
Here is an example of a Tweetwally I have created that links in my Twitter handle. You can actually visit it here: http://melanievaz.tweetwally.com/
Twitterwall is a more content rich platform that allows you to create a personalised wall feeding your desired Twitter content and customise the design to your specifications. The interface is simple – you can choose your hashtag or keywords and link a background image that gets tiled across your page. As another option, you can insert a video link from different network choices including Livestream, Vimeo and YouTube. The benefits of this design framework is that if you have video content that you want people to view and talk about they can do so in real time on the page you have created. It feels more personalized and visually appealing. Disadvantages are that the tweet streams in a basic motion which can get quite boring, so after a while you would be inclined to stray away from the page. Twitterwall would be best applied if you were sharing a video or for example if an artist wanted to promote their video through Twitter and start a real time discussion. Technically the creator could respond to tweets in realtime also making the application more interactive and user friendly.
Here is an example of a Twitterwall I have created about Jason Mraz, pulling in an image and youtube clip and using the hashtag #jasonmraz.
It is not really a question of which platform is the best, but how best your content can be streamed to your audience. When you have the ability to share your videos, personalise your tweets and let people engage in real time – why would you not use a tweet wall if it suited the occasion. Creativity in social media is underrated: our audiences don’t always know how to socially engage, so making it as simple and visually appealing as possible will cater for all capabilities.