What would happen if you put Pinterest and Twitter in a blender?
The result might look something like SeeSaw, the new visual content discovery and curation tool developed by New York-based Internet Media Labs. Participants of Saturday’s #IdeaChat Twitter chat saw a preview of SeeSaw, which is currently in a “live alpha” release, according to co-founder Robert Moore.
“See” Your Stream, Share What You “Saw”
#IdeaChat founder Angela Dunn summed up one of the key potential benefits in a tweet: “Visualizing Twitter through horizontal board of simultaneous images is great 4 quickly accessing “trends” + patterns.”
SeeSaw lets you follow a Twitter hashtag, search term or user name, and will then display a realtime stream of tweets in multiple columns across your screen. If the tweet includes a picture or link, SeeSaw will fetch the image associated with the link and display that on the screen. The result — especially for a fast-moving stream that includes many links or images — is a visually appealing, dynamic gallery of information that’s easy to scan, and where the eye is drawn to specific posts based on the images.
You save Tweets that you like to different Saw boards (as in ‘I Saw this’). And of course both your See’s (the streams you’re following) and your Saw’s (the boards you’ve curated) can be shared and socialized. For instance, here’s a Saw board of #infographic tweets curated by Internet Media Labs founder Peter Bordes.
An “Entirely New Perspective on Twitter”?
The result is, as Angela says, an “entirely new perspective on Twitter.” You may see content that you would have missed in a traditional, more text-based news feed, get an immediate sense of trends and patterns. It’s what Twitter’s Discover tab could be, if it was more visual, and if the user had control over the content stream. It’s a fun way to follow a stream during a Twitter chat, or a busy topic around a news or entertainment event.
The real potential game changer, however, is the ability to easily collect and share Twitter content around different topics, which adds another interesting layer to the discovery process. And, this feature will make SeeSaw a tool that’s not only entertaining, but has the potential to increase Twitter participation from the less-geeky crowd because … well, it’s as easy as pinning something to a board.
You can interact with individual tweets, and send tweets from within SeeSaw (although the platform does not (yet) allow for old-style re-tweets). You can highlight tweets containing specific keywords. For example, here’s SeeSaw showing tweets from me (@tonia_ries). Click “highlight” at the top and enter a keyword such as “#RLTM” to easily see the tweets that I’ve tagged with our #RLTM hashtag. You can also watch videos from inside the stream and, if you’re following a busy stream, you can toggle auto-scroll on or off to make it easier to navigate.
SeeSaw and Twitter Chats
Saturday’s #IdeaChat was focused on the topic of Twitter chats, and participants listed a number of ways in which SeeSaw could improve chats, along with other potential applications: “We are experiencing a visual revolution. About time we invite chats to the movement!” tweeted Tim McDonald, and “SeeSaw ould be awesome for political chats & debates and for politicians to follow the conversation abt themselves,” suggested Abby Ziff.
In general, participants loved the added visual interest–“visuals increase a little connectivity for me – humanizes the interaction a bit more – remember more impt info. So many pros!” (Anne Reuss) and suggested uses ranging from visually highlighting moderator and guest posts, connecting Answers and Questions in Twitter chats, along with other trend or pattern identification.
You can see more of the #IdeaChat discussion around SeeSaw and Twitter chats on this SeeSaw board that I curated during the discussion: http://tonia_ries.sees.aw/_hash_ideachats.
Interested in checking it out? You can request an invite here–beta invitations will be issued tomorrow–or follow this link to start playing with it now: http://sees.aw/index_wook — you can enter your own search terms in the top right to change the stream, and, if you interact with the content it will prompt you to login via your Twitter account so you can start creating your own boards.
What do you think? Is there a need for a more visual way of discovering and sharing information? Will you be checking SeeSaw out?