Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Instant messenger and the power of command line interface

April 29, 2008

The Instant Messenger is one of the most underrated applications of the internet.

IMs over time have become more powerful with more and more features like  Voice communication and File transfer. But one of the most recent applications of IM is Twitter which is fast becoming a new way to communicate.

What makes the IM very powerful?

1. It is textual — no fancy images or UI garbage

2. It is both Push *and* Pull — Push makes it ideal for receiving event updates like the way Twitter does

3. It is non intrusive

All these combined with a command line like interface make IM a very good way to access applications via an IRC bot.

For e.g. to send a direct message on twitter to a person, you send the following to Twitter

“d <name> <message>”

I cannot help but think that this is going to give way to much more powerful applications of an IM bot:

1. Search the web and get answers for stock quotes, news events, dictionary, weather etc.

2. Event aggregation for sites like FriendFeed, Facebook, Remember the milk etc. I found a service called  IMified which seems to be doing this already.

3. Access file systems on  a remote machine. Using DOS/Unix like commands, a  user should be able to access a file system and download files using File Transfer on IM.  With Microsoft announcing Mesh framework, this feature doesn’t seem too far from the future

4. Custom apps: A user might be able to define a custom app to ping her the names of friends from her social network who are celebrating their birthdays on this day. Or maybe an alert on the IM if a stock falls or rises beyond a point. Business applications like etc can obviously add this to their service portfolio.

I am sure that a whole host of web services can be brought to the IM, but the question is how are you going to make money on the Instant Messenger?

Such a service can gather a LOT of information about the user over time and this makes way for targeted ads. And if it proves to be very useful, it can always be a paid service.


Get scores of Indian cricket matches on twitter

March 29, 2008

I wrote a script to fetch the scores from CricInfo‘s Live RSS feed and post messages to Twitter everytime the score changes.

You can get scores by following indiablues on Twitter.

The code is available here .

UPDATE: Inspired by baggygreen and meninblue, I wrote another script to scrape the comments of off CricInfo’s famous ball-by-ball commentary using BeautifulSoup and post it to Twitter using their API. The only difference is that, I post only the comments mentioning boundaries or Sixes or Outs. Getting all commentary is boring. Anyways, the code is available here.

Twittering away

January 18, 2008

I failed to see the light in the beginning. Twitter which was basically introduced as a micro-blogging idea on the question of ‘What are you doing now?’ seemed pretty lame and not-very-useful to me.

But over time people have come up with finding the right applications of Twitter.

1. Twitter as a broadcast service. For emergency updates like California fires etc. Twitter is probably the fastest medium of information exchange.

2. Live News, stock quotes, sports scores. has been my way to know the latest scores the recent India v/s Australia test series

3. Apps like Buxfer, Remember the milk etc are using Twitter’s direct message functionality for simulating a command line interface to access the apps.

4. This blog details out how famous blogger Robert Scoble used Twitter to bring a press conference right in front of his audience. Journalism taken to a whole new level.

5. Ask for help. Have a problem with your PC or any app? Twitter away to get instant help.


1. I wish I could group people using tags/labels and send messages to a specific group say family, friends, etc..

2. Google should be on twitter too. I would then be able to query latest stock quotes/scores. But I guess they won’t do this since you can’t show Ads on a 140 char limit tweet 🙂