A Flock of Twitter Wikis

Bookmark and Share Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TwitterAs an avid Twitter user, I’ve been happy to see the community (estimated to be 3-5 million strong) embracing wikis for collecting useful data about, within and around the micro-blogging service. Given the fleeting nature of Twitter content, wikis are being used like glue to help collect and collaborate on the constantly shifting mass of data.

I’ve always been fascinated with the visual created by the Twitter firehose - the incredibly fat stream of updates from all users requiring so much bandwidth that Twitter has had to be choosy when providing access to it. That data comes and goes so fast that it’s difficult to imagine making sense of it. Until all the smart kids get their hands on the firehose, Twitter users are gathering their collective knowledge and making sense of it with wikis.

The following five wikis are relatively well known within the Twitter community. I’ve collected them here to show trends in Twitter wiki use and to make them available in one place for new Twitter users. If you know of additional well-worn Twitter wikis, let me know in a comment and I’ll update this list.


TwitterPacks are groups of Twitter users associated with a particular topic, interest, location, company or event. For example, I found lots of good Boston-based Twitter users on the site. Being a wiki, it lets people who are interested in a topic/location/etc. add their fine-tuned collection of related follows to the site, and people can easily add themselves to appropriate packs.

This site uses the wiki format much more deftly than some of the others. You can see some good gardening going on here, with large lists getting broken out into new pages, and a hierarchy deepening and growing organically as the content grows. There’s enough content here to support decent sized packs for topics like Veganism and Christmas.

Twitter Apps

Twitter Apps lists Twitter desktop applications, web-based services and Firefox extensions. Definitely not complete, but already a valuable resource. Like a few others in this list, the wiki is made up of just a few pages containing big tables of information - the site begs for a wiki that supports structured content (look for a future post on this topic). Follow @twitterapps to keep updated on new apps.

Twitter Fan Wiki

The Twitter Fan Wiki aims to be a central repository of information about Twitter, and is doing a great job of it so far. The Recent Changes show a fairly impressive number of daily edits from a broad range of contributors. This is a good healthy wiki, and is rapidly becoming the go-to source for Twitter information. But perhaps Twitter itself has the most to learn from this site. As Twitter has doggedly maintained its simplicity, there is a huge amount of “wouldn’t it be cool if” surrounding it, and many of the best ideas are documented on this site.


Twitter users love to create new Twitter related terms by adding “tw” to just about any word. Twictionary is a big list of these words and a few other terms that have become part of the Twitter lexicon. Like Twitter Apps, this is just a huge table in one page. Scalable? No. Easy to edit? Enough. As this grows, hopefully the admin will move it to a wiki that supports structured content.

Twitter API Wiki

Twitter is famous for its API. Though many users may not realize it, Twitter owes much of its success to the hundreds of applications and services that use its API to provide additional services and features not found at twitter.com. It’s also what has enabled Twitter to stay lean and not add every feature in the kitchen sink. They’ve been a model for the benefits of providing an open API to any web product.

To make the API seem even more open, it’s documented on a wiki. This wiki is actually maintained by the Twitter API team, and provides an excellent reference point for developing applications that talk to Twitter.

Have I missed any?

Stay Connected with EditMe

Subscribe via Email

Your Email:

Delivered by FeedBurner