Ceci n’est pas une pipe

Posted in personal, programming, projects, technology by johnsnavely on April 15, 2009

As part of my hiring package at Microsoft, I got a very modest stock award. Those of you who know me also know that I have never owned any stocks in my life and also usually don’t have any savings.

However, these are tough economic times and I’d at least like to keep track of how the stock I have (it’s not much and it’s all in one company) is doing. I’d also like to keep track of it with a daily reminder, a daily notice that fits in with my other daily activities. For me this means twitter.

What I want is something pretty simple. A twitter account that I can follow that will update me on Microsoft’s stock price daily. Now there are a number of twitter stockbots out there. Generally, however, you have to ask them for a stock quote. (Which defeats the whole push model of twitter to begin with) After searching for 5 minutes on the internet and not finding a solution, I decided to build my own.

I took an rss feed from and then used to tweet it to a new Twitter account. I think it’s all working, and it literally took about 10 minutes from start to finish. The only annoying part was having to create a new twitter account; this seems really dumb.

In the same way that I can build and manage my RSS feeds, I’d really really like be able to create virtual twitter accounts. Twitter isn’t just about looking at other news sources or information outside of myself. Twitter should be able to deliver stuff that I can curate.

I need a Yahoo Pipes for Twitter.


6 Responses

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  1. johnsnavely said, on April 16, 2009 at 3:32 am

    So chl tweeted the great idea of using twitter to augment delicious’ awkward social networking interface.

    It made me wonder how I would rectify other delicious/twitter cross overs.

    For example, persistent search. With Delicious there’s two ways to search. One is the traditional text input box which returns a page of links. The whole page can be saved as an RSS feed. The other way to “search” is by tags. You can pivot on any number of tags, like this, and then again, save it out as rss.

    Twitter lets you search on a keyword and then get that search as list of tweets (or an rss feed). In order to get the same functionality people have started faking the tagging mechanism by using “#”.

    So if these a delicious tag and “#” mean the same thing. Why can’t they be inter-changable? (I mean, beyond just being able to be converted to RSS)

  2. Old Man said, on April 16, 2009 at 5:24 am

    “I reserve for Twitter one of the greatest, purest hatreds: not one borne out of anger or emotion, but one borne out of philosophy.”

    Why is he wrong? Should I twitter?

  3. johnsnavely said, on April 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Probably not. It’s become so popular these days that I’d like to go someplace else.

    Btw, Old Man doesn’t know how to use twitter. He thinks of twittering as a way to broadcast banality. When in fact, it’s a great way to have mini conversations. Then again, what in his argument has not already been said about blogs (when they first arrived)?

    The fact is, twitter has replaced email for the majority of my day to day communications. (Except those at work… but they’ll eventually switch over too.)

  4. renner said, on April 18, 2009 at 10:24 pm

  5. johnsnavely said, on April 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm


  6. Old Man said, on April 22, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Ok then, I’ll see you on neurotwitter:

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