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Twitter – Conversation in the Machine

It’s another of those life-changing technologies which will not only improve the way you interact your fellow humans across the planet, but also shape and change the web as we know it for a brighter future beyond our current limited borders.

No it’s not.

It’s a micro-blogging tool which performs about the same function as your Facebook status, with a bit more history and more conversation potential than real speaking. It also falls into the category of “shiny web things” that the magpie’s of the Internet world run bounding towards with wings flapping, declaring their undying allegiance and overwhelming excitement about the grand new era of technology, society and communication.

I am said magpie. I just haven’t had much use for it, so whilst most people are bounding towards Pownce with their wings wide open, I’m still trying to find an excuse.

My Twitter feed is decidedly empty, having originally opened it as a way only of updating my Facebook status before I realised that was syndication for the sake of it (See integrations with BrightKite, Loopt, and Flickr integration for reference). But I do get a kick out of things like the Tower Bridge Tweets. The wonderful thing about this Web 2.0 stuff is that you don’t have to use any of it for what it was intended for (which is usually so vague and fluffy, it only really starts to take shape after the rules have been broken).

So I grabbed a copy of the Net::Twitter module for Perl and before you know it, my script that monitors if the Wifi connection on the Blakepics server had gone down was happily tweeting away with only three more lines of (my) code.

use Net::Twitter;
my $twit = Net::Twitter->new(username=>"username", password=>"password", source => "DowntimeMonitor" );
$twit->update("Internet connection ".($state ? "is now up" : "has been restarted"));