Twitter As A Command Line Tool

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Twitter is a command line tool. I've always thought of twitter as a command line tool that fell short, however. Here's my idea to fix it.

When Chris Messina created the hash tag concept in August of 2007, he stumbled on to something that makes Twitter more exciting to use. It's like how TripIT works. If you have not used TripIT before, you can forward airline, hotel, dinner, rental car email confirmations and TripIT reads all the different formats and makes sense of the data. Maureen Evans wrote a cookbook called Eat Tweet which is made entirely from tweets. Each recipe has cryptic language, but once you learn the language, making the the shortened recipes is a snap. Here's a sample. Prime Rib Roast: Tie ribroast if boneless. At roomtemp slit,tuck+slicdgarlc; s+p/buttr. 15m@425F; +15m/lb@350F (turn1x) to desired doneness. The most commonly used of all Twitter commands, the @ sign, allows twitter users to speak directly to certain users. This is not the complete list of Twitter commands, but these commands above hit on a concept that processing disparate information is real and twitter in itself has the potential to become a more-powerful command line tool.

Twitter could be so much more if I could send a tweet like this: @hair_salon -function:appt -date:2011/12/22 -time:any -note:"is susan available". What does all this mean? Just like a command line I have included the necessary parameters to execute the appointment function just like someone executing the DEL (Delete) command would. I need a hair appointment on 12/22/2011 anytime during the day, and I've specifically asked for Susan. Why is this significant? Making an appointment has now been simplified to a tweet. All of the options could be loaded into your favorite Twitter client, so when you are ready to tweet, a simple right-click to see which "functions" are available or recently used is visible. I select Appointment, and fill in the details, then a tweet is formulated on my behalf and promptly tweeted. I could have also included @hair_salon_north and @hair_salon_uptown so they all can compete for my business. I'm sure you can begin to see there could be so many more Twitter command line functions, but let's continue with the appointment example.

The stylists are busy at the salon and cannot take the time to answer the phone, respond to email, let alone read Twitter, so that's where Twitter as a command line tool comes in. When new tweets arrive, a plug-in to your favorite Twitter application checks for appointments and processes the request. Of course, this will require the Hair Stylist business owner to configure the settings by providing the location to the schedule, and CRM data. The system parses the tweet into a command, and executes the steps necessary to complete the request. If further information is needed, then a Direct Message will be sent back to the original requester asking for more information. If not, an appointment is made and a Direct Message from @hair_salon is sent with all the details that confirms a reservation is made.