Twitter Pack by CarrotCreative via FlickrAbout an hour ago we implemented an experiment to display all tweets featuring the word ‘Econsultancy’ on our homepage, something we’ve had in mind for a few months.

The ‘widget’ was patched together in-house and simply searches for ‘Econsultancy’ via the excellent Twitter API, then aggregates these tweets into a feed. There are a few improvements we have planned for the code (we’ve just inserted a timestamp).

We planned on adding the feed to the sidebar in the blog, but decided instead to debut this on our homepage.

This afternoon we emailed a bunch of our users to spark some interest, and announced it on Twitter. It has since taken on a life of its own, and is makes for surprisingly addictive viewing!

In the past hour more than 250 people have discussed it on Twitter and we’ve increased our followers by 200 or so. Pretty good going…

Brave or stupid, that is the question?

Well, it’s an experiment. And it’s a Friday. But it’s something we’ve had on our to-do list for months and now we’ll see how it plays out.

It isn’t being pre-moderated right now, but we’re obviously keeping a close eye on it. Sure, it’s open to abuse, but there are various things we can do to prevent spam or trashy messages. Worst case scenario and we can lose it. 

Opinion among Twitter users has been largely positive, with the occasional “Still to be fully convinced this is useful” comment. We’ll see whether it is or not, but we believe it is something that will positively reinforce trust in our brand.

In any event, it’s a but of fun and makes for an interesting case study. 

We’ll have a better idea next week on how this has affected our KPIs, such as traffic, new ‘Bronze’ members (sign up for free) and ultimately paid-subscribers (Silver, Platinum and Diamond members).

We’ll also be able to name and shame the spammers, and take a view on whether or not to leave the feed where it is. Anyway, we like the openness of it, so fingers crossed.

And yes, we will be releasing the code for free, so you can do the same. More on that in due course.