Osprey was first mentioned by Mashable at the article posted by Sara Kessler titled “Twitter Engineer Builds Tool for Event Backchannels.” According to her the new Twitter Backchannel was developed by Twitter Developer and Software Engineer William Couch and was first demoed during the SXSW event for Design from the Gut Panel.
What Makes Osprey Different from the Traditional Hashtag Backchannel.

Osprey’s purpose is to make Twitter Event Backchannel more organized. In the traditional way, Panels use Twitter Hashtags to received tweets from audience. However, hashtags usually floods attendee’s Twitter followers feed stream plus buries valuable question from participants especially when the hashtags were actively tweeted.

Osprey Twitter Backchannels

To resolve this issue, William made a concept of developing Osprey. What Osprey does is it collates Tweets from Event Participants and submits @ replies to a Twitter account set up for the event and tweets them. To get a clearer picture of what I am trying to say you could check their SXSW demo site at DesignFromTheGut.com.

Aside from collecting tweets from the people at the panel, Osprey also allows people to favorite a tweet. This Twitter favorite function will be use by Osprey as metric of ranking tweets from their leaderboard of tweets. The ranking feature can also be viewed by everyone online. The board will help event moderators to identify questions and tweets that the audience would likely want to be answered and discussed by the panel. The concept is very simple and direct to the point.

Final Thoughts

I love Osprey concept but I think Osprey was just a temporary solution for a much better Twitter Backchannel. I think Twitter is in their midst of developing a new milestone that will fit the need for a more effective backchannel for event activities.

I am really excited to see Twitter’s official backchannel tool and I believe that people who will work behind the new concept are eager to come up and build a powerful backchannel tool. I am impressed with Osprey and I think the tool was a good example of their attempt to develop Twitter and make it a more useful tool of communication.

For more updates, I suggest you to check William’s Blog and follow my Twitter account @adrianoarwin.

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