The idea of creating a social networking application requires first an idea of some kind of functionality. We spent quite some time trying to think of what kind of functionality would both benefit the interests of the Bananas!* film and also offer enough incentive value to end users in order to gain widespread adoption. Example functionalities include things such as polls, aggregated data, data visualizations, and customized avatars. We feel that it would be most appropriate for the context that this application is being developed in to use either aggregated data or a data visualization. The reason is that these two don’t require preexisting base of users to achieve cohesive adoption. The only caveat with aggregated data and data visualization is a preexisting data source that is growing at a high enough frequency to justify a dynamic application over static animation or image. After searching around the internet we found that most sources of data related to the content of the film does not update at a high enough frequency to justify realtime processing (most data sets found were updated annually or biannually). The one data source that we found to be most usable was keyword searches from micro-blogging sites such as Twitter. These sites are publishing data from a massive demographic spectrum and at a frequency of less than 1 minute per post for most relevant keyword searches.
In response to the idea of a “social networking application” in promotion of the Bananas!* documentary we propose to create an embeddable widget that aggregates streaming search results from a set of key words chosen to maximize relevance and interest.
This idea is directly inspired by the excellent Twistori which does exactly the same thing except with more interesting keywords: