3If you’re a regular Twitter user, you’ve no doubt been annoyed a time or two by a flood of tweets from an event, ballgame or conference you’re not interested in. I don’t want to unfollow people I like and regularly interact with just because they are rabid football and basketball fans — and I hope they don’t unfollow me for my numerous St. Louis Cardinal Baseball tweets.
When I watch a game or attend an event, I’ll often save a hashtag search and follow that stream instead of the main feed. I find new people to connect with and can more easily keep up with the conversation around what’s happening.
A new application called Hot Potato will make it much easier to connect with fellow fans or attendees without alienating followers who don’t share your interest. Though it hasn’t yet caught on in the mainstream, there’s a lot of potential. As an added bonus, you may avoid Twitter’s notorious fail whale, often seen during popular events.
After you’ve created your free account, you’ll see this screen upon login. It gives you a list of events that are currently hot; click the me too button at right to join. You can search for friends via Facebook, Twitter or search your Google contacts. You can also sign in via Facebook Connect. In addition to the events on the What’s Hot? tab, you can select an action, such as watching, listening, reading, attending, and begin typing in the update box. It will bring up a list of already-created activities; if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you get to create your own.
The site allows you to engage with others with similar interests, exchange comments and updates and it stores past events. Become an expert in a particular category and you’ll receive an award posted on your profile.
There is also a free iPhone app.
Though it won’t be truly useful until it gains much wider distribution, I’d love to see this app catch on — the interface is simple, clean and easy to use and navigate. If you’re hosting or attending a conference or other major event, encourage your audience to try it out.
What do you think? Useful or not?