On Wednesday, ThinkUp developer Amy Unruh released the latest alpha of her real-time streaming Twitter plugin. Her work over the last couple months fundamentally changes the way ThinkUp behaves — moving from periodically polling Twitter's oft-unreliable API to opening a persistent, real-time connection for each user. Watching tweets pour in, and immediately seeing them reflected in ThinkUp, is very exciting.
For now, it's mostly for the adventurous — comfort with the commandline is a prerequisite — but we encourage you to give it a try and post your results to the discussion list. Amy wrote up a detailed guide to getting it installed on Github.
Last month, we stress-tested an earlier version of her plugin on the @whitehouse Twitter account during President Obama's State of the Union address. Even without using Redis for caching messages, the database kept up easily. Success!
More than 20,000 tweets were captured during the streaming test, peaking at around 7 mentions per second. I've pulled out a data dump of all 14,873 tweets addressed to @whitehouse during the period on January 24 between 9pm and 11pm EST, excluding tweets from private accounts.
Thanks to Amy for all her hard work, and if you try it out, be sure to let her know what you think of it on the list.