January 4, 2012

Flipstatus Born!

Today I pushed out the project I worked on over my holiday break: v1.0 of flipstatus.com. It's a user-friendly, web-based version of the split-flap display project I've been working on periodically over the last few months, showing a realtime feed of social content. It's got a configuration screen so you don't have to edit any code or run it locally, and I've provided configurations for a few popular monitor resolutions (but the best way to see it is to plug it into your HTDV at 1080i over an HDMI cable).

The idea started when I went to work on a Twitter plugin for the split-flap project and realized that a general-purpose realtime social display would be a cool tool for more than just developers. What if a restaurant owner could hang a display on his office wall which would show realtime tweets, foursquare checkins, yelp reviews, etc? Or how about a project manager seeing Trac commits on a status board?

At the moment, I've only hooked it up to Twitter's search API, but since it uses the same plugin architecture as the split-flap project it should be relatively straightforward to write plugins for other APIs. One issue with those oAuth based APIs is that requests are normally rate-limited by the application key, which means that if a bunch of people hit the app at the same time you're going to get cut off. Not sure how to handle that.

The next step will probably be to write an RSS plugin, since just about everything has an RSS feed. After that I'll need to build the oAuth flow handler to hook up Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, etc. Eventually I'd like to build plugins for Twilio (SMS) and email handling, but that will require some backend architecture changes.

For now, hook it up to your TV, put in some twitter usernames, hashtags and/or search terms, and watch it crank away.

The app is at flipstatus.com, and as usual, this is an open-source project. Feel free to grab the code, play with it and contribute here:


[edit - changed github repo]