Can’t make SXSW? Visualize it in tweets

Me and my fellow VentureBeatnik Eric Eldon are here on the ground in Austin, Texas for this year’s SXSW conference. Right now, nothing too exciting is going on, as we’re sitting alone in a cafe writing, but tomorrow the conference starts. For those not at the conference, there’s an interesting, visual way to follow along.

Pepsi has teamed up with the teams behind two great Twitter apps, Twistori and Twennis, to bring us PepsiCoZeitgeist, a new Twitter visualization tool that showcases tweets about SXSW. For those familiar with Twistori, it looks similar, but rather than focus on the words “love,” “hate,” “think,” “believe,” “feel,” and “wish,” it focuses on more SXSW-appropriate terms: “arriving,” “registering,” “eating,” “connecting,” and perhaps most importantly, “partying” and “drinking.” But those evolve as the conference goes on, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone notes in a post about the feature today.

And you can change the visualizations too. The default is a stream like Twistori, but you can also use “Popular” view, which is sort of like a tag cloud, “Swarm” view, which shows tweets on a map, “Party Watch,” which will focus on parties on any given night and “Overheard” view, which will seperate out all the tweets that start with “OH:”

For those of you here at SXSW, Pepsi will be displaying these visualizations on displays throughout the Austin Convention Center. Those who were here two years ago may recall that is similar to what Twitter itself did back then. That move was perhaps the big catalyst that made the service a staple in the tech community, and allowed it to grow into what it has become today.

Of course, while this will be a nice tool for some of you who couldn’t make SXSW, I know a lot of you would prefer a way to filter out all SXSW-related tweets. Sorry, can’t help you there.

You can find me on Twitter here along with fellow VentureBeatniks Eric Eldon, Dean Takahashi, Anthony Ha, Camille Ricketts, Dan Kaplan and Matt Marshall. We have a VentureBeat account (for our posts) as well.