Nodeflakes—real time tweet powered snowflakes

7th January 2015: Nodeflakes has been decomissioned for another year; please check back nearer Christmas for more festive flakes!

The snowflakes you can see gently floating down your screen are real-time representations of tweets, taken live from Twitter’s Streaming API. The size of each flake is loosely based on its author’s follower count, and hovering over each flake will reveal the tweet it represents complete with highlighted hashtags, usernames and URLs. If you’re using a modern web browser with any luck the snowflakes will even rotate slowly as they glide down your screen.

Try It Out!

To avoid a total whiteout only tweets containing certain festive keywords are shown, so if you want to feature simply send a tweet including any of the following phrases. Your tweet will appear instantly at the top of the page—although it can sometimes be a little tricky to spot!

merry christmas, happy christmas, father christmas, christmas presents, merry xmas, love christmas, christmas songs, christmas shopping

If you had trouble spotting your tweet then simply include the #nodeflakes hashtag in any tweet for an extra special snowflake you’ll be hard pressed to miss (especially if you have your sound turned on!). The following Tweet button will illustrate a special gold nodeflake in full effect:

How It Works

If you’re interested in more information about the technology powering nodeflakes your best bet is to head over to the original article. The following image will give you some idea of what’s going on but the writeup goes into far more detail about each individual component and the frontend code.

nodeflakes flow diagram This fantastic diagram was provided courtesy of my good friend Ian Thomas

Follow-up Articles

Like What You See?

This is a small demo I put together three years ago, but hopefully you’ve enjoyed it nonetheless. If it’s piqued your interest at all feel free to get in touch to discuss it or find out how we may be able to work together using any of the technologies on show here, or indeed anything else I may be able to help you with.