A matching of Twits
Three popular applications for the social-networking site Twitter have Tulsa roots.
Here’s something to Twitter your friends:
FYI 3 Twitter apps r based in Tulsa. U can track city vibe/update soc netwrk sites/ share photos frm ur mobile.
Translation: Tulsa is the home of three technology companies that let users around the world quickly post information and share photos online.
Want to know what is going in Tulsa right now? Visit StreetMavens.com. The site allows users to track what is happening in their city in real time.
Based in Tulsa, but available around the globe, the free service works by allowing users to search posts based on location and key words. Information, which is collected from Twitter updates and from posts made directly on StreetMavens.com, is sorted based on the geographic location users report in their profile.
Twitter is a social-networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send and receive updates of up to 140 characters. People use Twitter to connect, share information and report tidbits from their daily life.
Twenty-two-year-old Matt Swezey launched StreetMavens.com March 9 and continues to add features to the service. Users also can post photos and text updates directly to Twitter and access StreetMavens.com with a mobile device such as a smart phone or Apple iPhone.
Swezey, a Jenks High School graduate and self-taught computer programmer, says he developed StreetMavens.com to help people find city-specific information on Twitter. He says people around the world are using the site and the number of StreetMavens.com users continues to grow.
“All the information is out there and StreetMavens.com just makes it easier to find out what is popular in your city,” Swezey says.
StreetMavens.com is one of many projects Swezey coordinates as president of MDS Media Group, a full-service marketing and advertising agency he founded.
Another Tulsa startup, Ping.fm, began in March 2008 when Tulsa native Sean McCullough, founder and chief executive officer, wanted to create a program to solve one of his problems.
“I was part of a lot of online networks and was tired of updating all of them,” he says.
So McCullough created a way for users to update many social-networking sites at once, including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Ping.fm also recently added StreetMavens.com to its platform.
McCullough, 27, says his number of users increased as various blogs and Web sites, including Mashable.com, wrote positively about the free service. He eventually partnered with another local, Adam Duffy, who now serves as Ping.fm chief technical officer.
McCullough says he enjoys running a business in Tulsa because the cost of living is reasonable and it is an easy city to live in.
Noah Everett, 24, founded TwitPic in Tulsa in February 2008 because he wanted to share photos on Twitter, and thought some other people might want to, too.
Over the course of a weekend, Everett created the Web-based application and TwitPic was born. Today, more than 500,000 users share photos using his free site and more than 1 million photos are added to the site every month.
“The success of TwitPic has completely blown my expectations,” Everett says.
TwitPic allows users to share photos from their mobile phones on Twitter.
TwitPic made headlines in January when one of the first photos of the U.S. Airways plane that crashed in the Hudson River was posted on Twitter using the TwitPic service. More than 7,000 people attempted to view the photo, overloading the site and forcing it offline.
Not every photo on TwitPic is about breaking news; most are images from everyday life — photos of mouth-watering meals, pictures of pretty pedicures and laugh-out-loud T-shirts.
Everett’s current goals include adding video functionality to TwitPic and one day writing a book.
Everett, who moved to South Carolina in April, has received offers from several companies wanting to buy TwitPic, but for now he plans to run the company himself.
Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter Inc., says he is not surprised that multiple Twitter applications have been started in Tulsa.
“Twitter attracts smart developers who recognize an opportunity to build something interesting — it’s not unusual for (multiple) Twitter applications to be based in Tulsa,” Stone says. “I’m wondering why there aren’t more.”
Online programs such as Twitter and Facebook allow developers to create programs to enhance the sites’ functionality or change the way users interact with the sites.
Bill Handy, a visiting professor at Oklahoma State University, who is teaching a course about social media, says technology companies no longer have to be in Silicon Valley.
The availability and affordability of computers and network equipment make it much easier for people with the right skills to create programs such as Street Mavens.com, Ping.fm. and TwitPic,
“Geography just doesn’t play into it anymore,” Handy says. “The world really is becoming flat with the technology we have. What matters is that you have a good product, not where it comes from.”