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New Twitter-Style 'TV Guide' Makes Tweeting Easier

By DNAinfo Staff on January 31, 2013 10:39am

UPPER EAST SIDE — Now it's easier to meet smart Tweeps.

Chirp Guide, a website recently launched by Upper East Side resident Rob Schutz, provides Twitter users a directory of live tweet streams for an event or broadcast — from political debates to press conferences to reality TV shows.

"Chirp Guide is really like TV Guide, but for live-tweeting," Schutz said.

Here's how it works: for an event such as Monday Night Football, Chirp Guide staffers would post one or several lists of pertinent live Twitter streams, Schutz said.

The team would pick from a roundup of "qualified content producers" — such as writers for newspapers, magazines and blogs in teams' respective hometowns and each list would feature about 10-25 live Tweeters per event, Schutz said.

Users can also mix and match their own custom stream of tweets highlighted by Chirp Guide or the site's users, Schutz said, and can also register their own live tweet-worthy events on the website.

"For us, it's about putting people into a position so if they don't want to do a lot of work, they can view curated content within two to three clicks," said Schutz, 29.

Since the site launched in late fall, more than 5,000 people have logged in with their Twitter IDs at least once, Schutz said.

Some television networks — such as Lifetime and the History Channel — are promoting their live tweets on Chirp Guide too.

Schutz — who has previously worked at various web startups — said he got the idea when he was watching a televised debate with his wife.

He noticed that his wife was checking live tweet streams during the debate, and he wondered why there wasn't a way to fact check the talking points via Twitter, he said.

"I looked around and was talking with people, and it seemed like a common question that came up was that people just didn't know where to go to find this information," he said.

Asked why Twitter users couldn't just use hashtags to find info relevant to them, Schutz said that you might not find the best set of tweets about a given subject — or might be overwhelmed with information in the process.

"The problem with hashtags is it's not curated at all," he said. "You're kind of just drinking from the fire hose."

Mallary Tenore, managing editor at Poynter.org and a social media expert, said she hasn't seen too many websites like Chirp Guide, and thinks it could provide a useful service.

"It's easy for there to be a lot of noise in Twitter streams. Part of that comes down to who we follow," Tenore said.

"Perhaps by using this site, you might be able to find more people who are tweeting about things that are of interest to you and also maybe gain some exposure yourself as a Twitter user."