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Ed Chi, area manager and principal scientist for the Augmented Social Cognition Research Group at PARC, says that the information coming through Twitter resembles a stream--users will dip into it from time to time, but they don't want to consume it all at once. His group's work is called the "Eddi Project" in reference to the idea of eddies in a stream.
The researchers developed two main ways of filtering Twitter content. The first, presented recently at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Atlanta, is a recommendation system that ranks which posts in a Twitter stream a user is likely to find most interesting, based on factors such as the contents of posts as well as his interactions with other Twitter users. The second tool, the Twitter topic browser, summarizes the contents of a user's timeline so that the user can quickly survey what information has come through Twitter without having to read through every post.