A few days ago, the eminent type designer and all-round good guy Eric Spiekermann retweeted something that at first glance seemed innocuous.
It appeared to be an Amercan gushing about something a-may-zing that would turn out to be less so. But it’s not bad. It’s not bad at all.
In essence, twittfont.de makes it easy to build an extremely effective Flash movie of recent tweets, either from a username or a search. It’s built with a few clicks – selecting a source, choosing a typeface, setting the size – and is a simple embed into any webpage. Colours can be changed but this takes a little bit more web design knowledge.
As an example here are my latest tweets:
It’s not perfect – it’s too slow and not hugely useful and it doesn’t update automatically – but it is beautiful and shows what can be done with webfonts, Flash (something I usually despise) and a bit of lateral thinking and imagination. Hopefully we’ll see more of this kind of online innovation, with web designers focusing on making dynamic movies and widgets instead of the horrible Flash-only websites I’ve come to hate.
So what’s this got to do with news then?
Mashups like this one will become more and more common. The idea of taking an data source and displaying the information in a different and eye-catching way is, in essence what the media is. It’s just information packaged in different forms
The quality of the package is almost as important as the information itself.