Introducing DnDTweets.com

by Mike Shea on 26 September 2011

You're a busy person. You have a regular game to prepare, a family to pay attention to, and a full time job. You don't have time to surf Twitter every ten minutes looking for D&D news. Yet there's a lot going on. Hell, Monte Cook might be coming back to D&D but you were stuck in a sales meeting looking at powerpoint. You want to keep up with the latest D&D news but you just don't have the time to surf through 500 tweets a day to find it.

DnDTweets.com solves this problem. Now you can find the latest Dungeons and Dragons news in under a minute. You can see what the top members of the D&D twitter community are saying about D&D, see what web pages they're linking to, and filter out non D&D related tweets.

DnDTweets.com focuses on a selected list of D&D enthusiasts, bloggers, freelancers, and Wizards of the Coast employees and posts their tweets any time they use the #dnd hashtag. This reduces the number of tweets from 600 a day to about 80.

On the right side of the page you can see all of the titles of web pages linked in these tweets. This way, you can scan the link list yourself to see what articles are hot in the D&D world.

The whole page is built to save you time and still let you keep in touch with the latest D&D news.

How does it work?

DnDTweets.com is a static HTML5 page built every hour from a single small Python script that reaches out to Twitter and pulls in 600 tweets from the Sly Flourish dnd4e Twitter List. I maintain the list by watching the top 50 #dnd twitter taggers and keeping my own eye on the D&D tweeters who post useful tweets containing the #dnd tag. It's a continually evolving list that I'll grow and prune to keep the most interesting and useful D&D news showing up on the site.

The site also looks great on the iPhone and other mobile devices. If you're on an iPhone, save it to your home screen and it looks just like an app.

What the site doesn't do

This site isn't perfect. The #dnd hash tag isn't always used or used correctly. A hacked account this weekend caused a flood of unrelated spammy web pages all tagged #dnd. Luckily, since the site is backed by a Twitter list of users, it's easy to remove such an account until things get healthy again.

You're also going to miss some stuff. There's a lot of D&D chatter that is simply not tagged. But, you're likely already missing out on a lot of stuff anyway. No one can keep up with everything that's going on. A site like this helps you to keep an eye on the big things. Any big news, like the before-mentioned Monte Cook news, is bound to show up since someone is likely to tag it.

Not a replacement for making friends

This isn't a replacement for Twitter. Twitter is still the best way I've found to meet and talk to the D&D community. DnDTweets.com won't help you with that. It doesn't give you much of a chance to learn about the person behind each Twitter account. It will, however, let you keep an eye on the latest D&D news and discussion without taking up a lot of your time.

If you like the site, please take a look Sly Flourish's Dungeon Master Tips and Running Epic Tier D&D Games. You might also bookmark this Amazon link and take a look at the D&D Miniatures from Troll and Toad, an official Sly Flourish sponsor.

Send feedback to @slyflourish on Twitter or email mike@mikeshea.net.