July 09, 2010

Kosmix Extends Real-Time Tweets to All Web Pages

As Twitter usage has essentially become pervasive, from the digerati to celebrities and politicians, the site has moved to bring Twitter content and functionality downstream, bringing the world of @replies and 140 characters to new Web sites and clients. One of the major introductions from the company was a tool called @Anywhere, which when used, lets you follow people from third party sites, all with a few lines of JavaScript code. Now, Kosmix, the lesser-known, but innovative, Mountain View search company, has taken this functionality a step further by automatically detecting names and IDs of Twitter users around the Web, and displaying their recent updates from Twitter, with no work needed on behalf of the Web site owner.

The way Kosmix makes this happen is through a lightweight Web browser plugin called Tweetbeat Firsthand, available for both Mozilla FireFox and Google's Chrome browser. Upon installation, you will start to see small blue Twitter icons next to names as you surf the Web. Hovering over the blue icons shows their Tweet stream, and encourages you to learn more about the person from Kosmix's rich topic summaries.

Kosmix FirstHand At Work On My Posts

For example, a standard Yahoo! Sports article on Lance Armstrong's Tour de France effort also contains an update from actor Ben Stiller. The blue Twitter icon next to Stiller gives his real-time updates on the Tour, and links out to his Kosmix page, here: http://www.kosmix.com/topic/Ben%20Stiller.

Surfing the Web with the "Tweetbeat Firsthand" extension adds a new layer of real-time to all pages. If you install the plugin and visit my blog, for instance, you can see names like Paul Buchheit and Jason Shellen sporting the blue T's, while brands similarly are highlighted, including Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook.

The Tweetbeat Firsthand extension follows on to Kosmix's highly visible World Cup efforts during the last month, which also carries the Tweetbeat name. You can grab the extension here: http://www.kosmix.com/labs/firsthand/.

Disclosure: Kosmix.com has previously done business as a client of Paladin Advisors Group.