Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 8:23 AM

The story of Happy Friends

Here's the story of how Happy Friends came to be.

  1. I was thinking about mailbox-style readers. I want to do one for River4.

  2. Then I realized: Twitter is a river too.

  3. Wouldn't it be nice to have a mailbox-type reader for Twitter?

  4. It would! It turns out. Screen shot.

  5. Opens up a new way of using Twitter.

  6. For example, I want to follow @pmarca, but I often miss his tweets in the gushing river that is Twitter.

  7. So I made a box for him. I created it by choosing Add Friend from the Friends menu. I entered pmarca and clicked OK. His name, Marc Andreessen appears in my list of people I'm watching.

  8. When he posts something new, his mailbox headline goes bold. I expand it to reveal the new items. If it was already expanded, I collapse and re-expand. This avoids the (I feel) ugly effect of the thing I'm reading scrolling off the screen because something new had been posted.

  9. I get all his tweetstorms. I'm happy.

  10. I also added @FisolaNYDN, a sports reporter for the NY Daily News. He doesn't tweet that often but when he does, it's often news. He has sources inside the Knicks and he probably talks directly to Carmelo Anthony's agent. So Isola is a guy I want to keep tabs on.

  11. I added @karaswisher, a great tech reporter who doesn't post that often to Twitter. But when she does I want to see it. She's the perfect kind of person to put into your Happy Friends list.

  12. I know you're probably thinking this is like lists, and it is, a little -- but Happy Friends are not rivers, they're mailboxes. It's a fully-editable outliner. I can see the tweets as Twitter intended them, which is super nice because you get the pictures, and movies, and all the good shit. You get to see that by clicking on the headline. The Twitter display automatically refreshes. Plus I think there's a chance the Twitter management will love this because it makes Twitter fresh and new, yet respects the tried and true.

  13. Because it's an outliner, you can put the people anywhere you like. You can copy tweets and create new outlines out of them. Think of it as having an outliner to do what Storify does. It's the outliner from Fargo. So it's a pretty good one.

Last built: Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 4:40 PM

By Dave Winer, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 8:23 AM. We don't need no stinkin rock stars.