What Twitter Really Looks Like

"What’s maybe most striking about Tweetping is its presentation of data in pulses and punctuations: boomboomboomboom-PAUSE. That’s largely an accident of interface, but it also suggests something profound about Twitter and the social web: This stuff has a beat. It has rhythms and rushes and respites. It’s its own kind of organism, with its own kind of pulses — its own kind of heartbeat.”

At first, the Tweetping world map is nearly empty. A combination of javascript libraries begin parsing a real time stream of data from the Twitter API though, and the map quickly begins to populate. Within a few minutes, the map becomes a somewhat accurate representation of the world’s Twitter activity. Although Tweetping has been the recipient of some criticism since coming to widespread attention this past weekend, it is nevertheless one of the best Twitter activity visualizations on the internet. This morning, over breakfast, I used it to watch the West Coast wake up.