Map-mash: frustrating in its potential

Now that Twitter search has really taken off, trend topics are really coming into their own. What’s interesting is that across the world people have been talking about many of the same things; this week Jay-Z has been a trend topic across so many different countries.

The people at Map Mash had the great idea of showing tweets on this week’s trends over a google map.

mapmash

Looks great but it’s actually quite hard to use; when I tried to use the search bar nothing happened and if you try to load regional tweets it takes too long to hold my attention. There’s also no text to explain the link between the trend topics on the sidebar and the points marked on the map.

Much better is Happin.in, a site that tells you the top trending topics by city. Tonight the top trending topic in London is ‘unon chapel’ a tiny gig venue that happens to be hosting the Cinematic Orchestra. To me Happin.in seems to have far more relevance; it really shows what people are doing and talking about in your city. Fromlooking at Happn.in’s standard format I caught what people were saying about the gig whilst they were there:

happn.in london

From a marketing perspective this could be a great buzz monitoring tool – if you reach the top spot on Happin.in after a big promotional event or if people tweet about your event whillst it’s going on then you know you’ve made it. It also has applications for those interested in citizen journalism – what news is more accurate than that people are talkinf about? As always there is the problem that it is only a proportion of the population who are on Twitter but it feels as if there’s so much potential here. They just need to work out a way to explain their concept and how it works – if I was told what everything on the page meant then I feel like the user-experience would be far more satisfying. At the moment it just feels as if there is a lot of potential on the page that I can’t quite get to work. Once they’ve sorted this out Happn.in just need to work out how to integrate all the great ideas they’ve got into one package. If they can manage that then this is definitely a tool to watch.

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