by Michael Shapiro | October 1, 2010

An interesting Twitter-based service launched Wednesday morning, Sept. 29, at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, a gathering that spotlights (and evaluates) technology startups. The service, Tweetbeat, is designed for finding and following events via Twitter messages. Their definition for "event" is a little looser than ours might be: "any occurrence that spans a reasonable amount of time (30 minutes to several days) and gets a lot of attention on Twitter."
Using technology developed by its parent company, Kosmix, Tweetbeat analyzes up to 3,000 tweets per second and determines which ones are related to an event and which are the most important and interesting. To determine this, according to the company's website, Tweetbeat asks three questions: What is this tweet about, who said it and is this tweet part of an event that is happening now? Significantly, Tweetbeat doesn’t rely on Twitter hashtags to categorize the messages, a fact they claim allows them access to a much larger pool of potentially relevant information. The content also is automatically filtered, so you don’t see every single tweet about the topic -- just what Tweetbeat deems most interesting.
You can see the filtered tweet stream for TechCrunch Disrupt here, and a leaderboard for that show here, to get an idea of how the technology might work during an event. (At Disrupt, the company was showing these pages on huge screens.) Tweetbeat widgets currently are in development, according to a company spokesperson, which will enable shows that are working with Tweetbeat to have the stream embedded on their homepages, or as part of a social media platform dedicated to the event. If you're interested in potentially using Tweetbeat at your conference, contact Tweetbeat VP Sabrina Ellis.