Thinkup started life as a personal project of Gina Trapani – many of you will already be familiar with her work on Lifehacker. It is a great free, open source web application that captures your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
At it’s core, ThinkUp is a conversation analysis engine, which allows you to receive Feedback in realtime about the content you share on Twitter, and how well it is doing on that particular network. Think of it like a survey tool for your social media activity, with useful insight and analytics being captured as you work. You can get answers to questions such as “Who are my most popular followers?” or “Whom do I follow that is influential”, and the visualisation of that information shows it in an easily digestible way. Though both the platform, and the community of open source contributors is still growing and evolving, I’m guessing it could well be a contender in the social media monitoring space as it grows and receives developer support. I’ve had a quick look at the code behind the scenes (written in PHP) which seems well structured, and a good foundation for future development.
ThinkUp really comes into its own when trying to find information that you have shared on Twitter or Facebook that gets lost in the ether, and works particularly well at storing the micro updates that you share yourself, and retrieving historical information. As soon as it’s installed on your server, Thinkup starts to archive your information, and makes it completely searchable. It’s incredibly useful at turning up old information that Twitter search has since forgotten about. With a WordPress plugin, you can also start displaying information from ThinkUp directly in your blog, and an API which hangs off the application makes it easy to retrieve the information in other third party systems that you may want to integrate with. A really interesting and exciting project, that shows great promise. If you want to contribute either by developing code, designing or simply writing documentation- you can get in touch with the team over at the mailing list.