Enter Chirp Guide, a new platform still in beta, founded by Rob Schutz. Chirp Guide is community-based resource that organizes Twitter events lets people have a ‘TV Guide’ overview of what’s happening and when. You can follow the programmed streams (news, politics, sports, TV), customize feeds and find, add or rate the quality of live tweeted events.
I like the concept and had a chance to ask Rob a few questions about the site.
How would you describe Chirp Guide?
Chirp Guide is meant to be a community-based platform that allows the crowd to find, register and rate the quality of live-tweeted events. There are tens of thousands of people live-tweeting TV shows, sporting events, politics fundraisers, etc each day – Chirp Guide is the central resource meant to tie all of these events together.
The idea was sparked last year when my wife was watching Andy Borowitz live-tweet a debate. I was fascinated that there was no central resource of information available to find out who else was live tweeting that event. Several months of research later, I decided it made sense to build this ‘TV Guide for Live-Tweeting’ as a way to help user curate the Twitter firehose.
Right now our audience is a good mix of social media evangelists and early adopters and die hard TV and sports consumers. We have a lot of interest also coming from TV networks and news stations as they start to post their events on Chirp Guide. These are the type of people we want as the Chirp Guide audience – a mix of content producers, engaged customers and those that can help spread the word.
Initially, we wanted to rely solely on the community to register events but we ran into a bit of chicken or egg issue. We needed good content on the website to get visitors to check us out and also needed visitors on the site in order to prompt people to register live-tweeting. So as of right now, we register big ticket events like sports, debates and TV shows to help draw people to the site.Users can curate their own streams for any given event, adding or removing users from the stream to suit their preferences. The recommended streams section is our latest feature which was heavily requested – people would rather have a starting point of 5-10 live-tweeters and then can add/remove people from a stream if they like their live-tweets
One question we get a lot is ‘How are you guys different than just using a hashtag?’ It’s important to clarify that hastags are simply a way to find people who mention a certain topic. There is no concept of quality. Chirp Guide also provides a great value-add for those who are live-tweeting. Right now, if someone is going to live-tweet, they’ll send a message to their followers asking them to RT and help spread the word. Chirp Guide helps these live-tweeters reach a new audience and build their follower count.