detriot.org

Benjamin Chodoroff's blog

A bit about my recent work:

As the web dev for the <a title=”Allied Media Conference” href=”http://alliedmedia.org”>Allied Media Conference</a>, I’ve been tasked with creating a system for participants to liveblog about all the sessions at this year’s conference.  I decided on setting up a three-part system: a tweet searcher+archiver, a JSON server, and the existing <a title=”Discuss the 2010 Allied Media Conference and US Social Forum” href=”http://talk.alliedmedia.org”>2010 AMC and USSF discussion message board</a> software.

This may seem like a complicated system.  Why not just draw tweets using clientside javascript during pageload?  Why use bespoke node.js servers instead of doing a Drupal implementation or buying cloud services?  Respectively, temporariness and efficiency.  With our setup, the twitter conversation isn’t temporary anymore:  we can archive the conversation and guarantee that it lasts for future viewers (no need to rely on twitter to keep on serving tweets).  It’s also more efficient: for one thing, it’s only one stream request from twitter (maybe two if i want to do redundancy) instead of a bunch of in-browser requests, and the streaming API seems to be more timely and reliable.  Node.js lends itself very well to this type of system.

While the current implementation is definitely off-the-cuff hackish, I’m going to work on generalizing the code and will release it on github afterwards.  If anyone is interested in collaboration, please comment!


Thanks for reading. Email me at ben at falafelcopter dot com.