Creating Twitter Lists with TweepML

TweepML is like OPML for Twitter. Like the way OPML simplifies grouping RSS feeds, TweepML attempts to simplify groups of Twitter feeds. The process is cut and dry. A user creates a name for a feed, enters a list of Twitter usernames and hits create. This produces a public page with a list of Twitter feeds. Visitors can quickly follow the entire list or select only specific feeds from the list via check boxes.


Twitter has announced its own forthcoming lists feature, but the TweepML blog offers worthwhile differences between the two. Twitter’s lists feature (at least in this iteration) may not be as customizable (e.g. The list follower cannot choose feeds a la carte from a list) and may lock the list follower into the whims of the list creator (e.g. If the list creator adds or removes feeds, these are automatically added and removed for the list follower). I’m sure Twitter’s lists will develop quickly, but I can see value in multiple approaches to how lists are done.

Lists showing up on TweepML so far tend to be groupings based on industries and interests. However, I see potential in creating lists that would be useful for temporary situations. For example, one could create a list of local fire, police, government and news feeds that could be useful in an emergency situation. Community blogs could keep a link to this list in their sidebar and raise its prominence when the need arises.

WP Touch Plugin for WordPress

If you’re interested in enhancing the smartphone experience on your WordPress blog, the WP-Touch plugin by Brave New Code is worth checking out.

WP Touch_Before_AfterThe instant change that occurs upon activating WP Touch is impressive. WP Touch applies a mobile theme for those browsing via smartphone and gives a WordPress site an RSS reader feel. Blog entries are given center stage and site pages are accessed via dropdown navigation. As well, a switch is added to the bottom of the page, lettting the visitor switch between the WP-Touch theme and the original site.

The administration page added to the WordPress dashboard is also nice. Settings are clearly organized and explained well. One can adjust theme colors, decide which pages show up as options for visitors, set up AdSense and even set up push notification via Prowl.

I’ll be looking into other smartphone plugins for WordPress, but we’re very happy with this one at the moment. If you visit Mediactive via smartphone, please let us know what you think.

Anonymous Blogging Resources

by mag3737

Though anonymous speech demands skepticism, it is extremely important for whistleblowers and people in countries unfriendly to free speech. Anonymous blogging has become a useful tool in these situations, but staying anonymous isn’t as simple as just leaving your real name off of your blog. The following resources lay out some tools and techniques for blogging anonymously:

1. Global Voices Online hosts Ethan Zuckerman’s Anonymous Blogging with WordPress and Tor, a thorough step-by-step guide to using the tools in it’s namesake.

2. At BlogSafer, one can find country-specific anonymous blogging guides (Malaysia, Zimbabwe, etc.) in both wiki and doc format.

3. The EFF has a 2005 article on safe blogging that is still quite good. This offers more in terms of what you should think about when blogging and when you may want to consider anonymity.

4. In 2005, Reporters Without Borders produced the Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents. The link on the official RSF page no longer directs to the handbook, but I was able to find the pdf here. The technical information in the handbook is quite dated, but the personal accounts and directions for good, honorable blogging are worth the read.

Reuters Financial Glossary

The Reuters Financial Glossary is a useful tool when sorting through terms used in the financial world. It’s also a community-driven project:

The Reuters Financial Glossary has been developed to give you quick and easy access to definitions of terms and concepts related to the financial markets. It is a community-created collaborative project, based upon a published book written and edited by Reuters Editorial staff. Now anyone can edit, build upon and add entries to the glossary to create a helpful source of information.

Google Maps = DIY Microfiche

Stas Kulesh MapGoogle Maps can be used for much more than geography. Google Maps Mania shows off how designers have used the application to create easy-to-browse portfolios. This is done by replacing the map tiles with one’s own image tiles. (The post suggests CASA’s Image Cutter or Automatic Tile Cutter for creating tiles).

Google Maps Mania gives a nice nod to the gaming community for paving ground here by replacing tilesets with maps of the online worlds in which they spend their time (synthetic community journalism?). Designers are now figuring this out and it’d be nice to see what journalists can do with it. With newspaper archival in mind this week, an obvious crossover is a microfiche-style conversion of the day’s paper. However, far more creative uses seem possible.