Twitter Live on Channel 4 News

We’ve just put our new Twitter application on the Noon programme, getting reaction and questions after the death of Michael Jackson. I’m really excited to have web technology and television graphics working together, it’s something I think we’ll be seeing much more of. Now our presenters in the studio search on Twitter, select the tweets they like, and immediately put them on air from the studio laptop, no outside involvemement necessary. Emails and web texts appear on the app in the same way too. Collaboration is also possible, a producer in the newsroom can filter the Tweets to make the presenter’s job easier. Profanity and url filtering is built in, as well as removal of some of the Twitter tags to make it more presentable on the telly.

I’ve been writing this app for about a month now (ever since Krishnan did ‘Surgery Live‘ – watching the programme and the Twitter feed together felt like a totally new way of doing tv), and it’s finally reached a mature enough stage that we can put it live on air. There’s a slight issue with recovery after loss of network connection that will be fixed in the next day or so – in the meantime the time honoured IT Crowd fix of turning it off and on again works well enough!

I learned a lot about regular expressions during this project, Grant Skinner’s excellent RegExr was invaluable for debugging AS3 regular expressions.

Stay tuned, we’re working on a few other exciting web ideas that will be on the programme soon, Tweet @krishgm (our presenter Krishnan), @martincollett (me), @channel4news or @c4news (the studio)

One Response to “Twitter live on Television”
  1. Simon says:

    Great work! Look forward to seeing how this changes the game.

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