Tweet Whitby - A Social Community Noticeboard for Whitby
A few weeks ago I had an idea. Using Twitter, I wanted to give Whitby's small businesses a larger voice, and also provide a channel for Whitby's many thousands of visitors to get accurate, real-time information about our town direct from those in the know (i.e. local businesses, residents, media etc).
Tweet Whitby is the result of a couple of weeks thinking, planning and programming. Comprising a Twitter feed (@tweetwhitby), a website (http://tweetwhitby.co.uk) and a Facebook page.
The concept is simple: (somehow) attract a large number of followers for @tweetwhitby and the Facebook page, which Whitby's small businesses (myself included) can then use to widen our reach on the social network.
And that's not all, Tweet Whitby will also enable people to:
- ask questions about Whitby and area and obtain answers from a much larger group of people than would otherwise be available
- enable businesses to share time-critical information easily, such as special offers, altered closing times etc.
- allow local people to keep track of news and events in real-time without having to follow hundreds of individual accounts
- provide a space for people to post items for sale
- probably loads of other stuff I havn't thought of...
So, how does it work?
In order to get a tweet posted by @tweetwhitby, twitterers must mention @tweetwhitby and include the hashtag #tw. Provided they do this and they don't exceed the limit (of 1 tweet per user per hour) their tweet will be logged on the website and scheduled for sending out at the next available slot (tweets are sent in 5 minute intervals). So, your tweet might look something like this:
People of Whitby, @tweetwhitby is a free, social noticeboard for our town - you should follow it and use it :) #tw— Jack Barber (@jackbarber) July 4, 2012
Simple as that.
When the tweet is sent on by @tweetwhitby, the user who sent the message is referenced, so others can contact them directly regarding their message if required. Also, a link is added which, if clicked, will direct people back to the Tweet Whitby website where they can comment on the tweet, flag as innapropritate etc. Currently, the website is fairly basic, but I am putting together a roadmap of development to make the site far more interactive and useful over the coming weeks and months.
First things first. The project is in its infancy. Once I'm certain it's working OK, I'll start adding more functionality.
However, there's a potentially exciting development just around the corner, local graphic designer @jesshogarth will be working with me to create a new design for the site. I'll post an update when there's something to see.
In the meantime, if you're interested, feel free to 'Like' the Facebook page and/or follow @tweetwhitby.