Free Your Chat From Twitter's 140 Character Limit

@swombat (CTO of @Woobius) was tweeting away with @destraynor (User Experience Lead at, but after a small number of tweets @swombat decided that the conversation needed to move to somewhere that was far more conducive to conversation than Twitter and it's 140 character limit & staccato nature. After all, Twitter is a broadcast system - it wasn't built for the fast-paced, in-depth conversation that it often initiates. But here's how @swombat used Nurph to workaround Twitter's limitations and to seamlessly move to a real-time chat room with @destraynor...

1. @swombat tweeted a link to

2. @swombat and @destraynor both clicked the link and joined the Channel (a Twitter chat room).

3. They chatted in real-time in a chat room belonging to @swombat that was custom built for the Twitter eco-system.

@swombat and @destraynor got, and continue to get, the following benefits from using Nurph to chat; no 140 character limit, (chat-tastic!), real-time chat, no spamming of their Twitter follower timelines, no more working around in-reply-to links, real-time tweet streaming from @swombat's profile (so people in the channel can see what @swombat is tweeting), automatic chat transcripts which are easily shared back on twitter, and last but not least - Nurph extends Twitter's social rules, meaning anyone who @swombat follows can chat in the Channel and contribute to the conversation, but the followers can still watch the chat happening in real-time without participating in the conversation.

Finally, @swombat tweeted his thoughts on Nurph.

Do you chat in Twitter? Try tweeting a link to your Nurph Channel, bringing your Twitter community together, and chatting in real-time instead. And do you ever see two people chatting away like mad in Twitter? Send them a link to and tell them to chat in @Nurph!

A New Tool for Running Twitter Hashtags

@bhamchat is a weekly online conversation about Birmingham, AL that takes place on Tuesday nights from 7-8:30 p.m. CT. Courtesy of @bhamterminal. And on the 12th January, 2011, @bhamchat held their chat session in Nurph rather than in the Twitter timeline.">

You can read the entire conversation transcript right here and it features the following Twitter community members...

- @bhamchat, the moderator
- @chris_depew
- @ageekgirl
- @thegeekwife
- @salsaritasoho
- @ButtermilkMeeks
- @tmgoodrich
- @dgarvich
- and @sheets

But why would @bhamchat have chosen to use Nurph in the first place? Here are just some of the reasons that @bhamchat would have noted when migrating their Twitter chat session over to Nurph:

  • Twitter: Limited to 140 chars.
  • Twitter: Hashtag participants have to include the hashtag in every tweet.
  • Twitter: Hashtag participants broadcast their hashtag tweets to ALL their followers.
  • Twitter: No moderation. Anyone can spam your hashtag.
  • Twitter: Pulling together transcripts is tricky.
  • Nurph: No character limit. It's real-time chat!
  • Nurph: No need to include a hashtag in every remark. Just chat naturally.
  • Nurph: Participants don't broadcast their every remark to their followers.
  • Nurph: Moderation for free. You can hand pick the people who can chat (only the people you follow), and everyone else can watch.
  • Nurph: Transcripts come for free, and on easily shared URLs.
  • Nurph: Transcripts read much more like a cohesive conversation the than 140 character hashtag search results do.
  • Nurph: Twitter profiles, @Anywhere and tweet-streaming are baked right in to the core of Nurph. The integration with Twitter is almost seamless.

Are you running a Twitter hashtag? Use Nurph for your next chat session and see the benefits. Just login to Nurph and get chatting.

@AllStartups: Real-Time Chat for Web Startups

@AllStartups is a Twitter community that's all about Web startups. If you're interested in new ideas for Web sites, Web applications, programming, design, HackerNews, Y-Combinator, TechCrunch, Mashable, RWW and the rest of the "startuppersphere", you should follow @AllStartups on Twitter and stop by #AllStartups on Nurph to chat in real-time with likeminded startup enthusiasts.

@AllStartups, like every Nurph Channel, is open 24/7 to Twitter chatterers, but Friday afternoon is the peak time to chat, and last Friday was no exception. After reading @IqbalGandham's guest post on @TCEurope, I posted a tweet from the @AllStartups account and kicked-off a real-time chat session about bootstrapping and related startup topics. During the session, twelve insightful startup community members stopped by, including..

- @MikeButcher, TechCrunch UK Editor
- @DuaneJackson, Kashflow founder
- @IqbalGandham, TC UK contributor
- @Swombat, Woobius co-founder
- @joelg87, @bufferapp founder
- @PaulDJohnston, founder
- @leggetter, Kwwika founder
- @paul_ww, Zubworld founder
- @nickwsmith, founder

...and thanks to Nurph's transcripts feature, here's a direct link to entire conversation archive for you to read through (if you're a budding startup founder or just interested in startups, you'll definitely enjoy reading through this):

Would you like to bring your Twitter community together in real-time? Just log-in to Nurph, tweet a link to your Nurph Channel, and start chatting.

New Look Nurph!

After some great feedback from @PeterC (among others) we've launched a new design for Nurph.

The feedback suggested that the 'Channels" list on the left hand side (the one that listed the most popular channels among the people you follow on Twitter) was confusing the overall navigation, cluttering up the interface, and detracting from the focus on the chat timelines. People were arriving in a Nurph Channel and seeing too many things going on, and too many interface elements to click on. The new version (image above) turns Nurph in to a two-panel design which puts the entire interface focus on the chat timelines. So if you're on a Channel URL, e.g., you now feel like you're really focused on the chat.

Can you spot any other adjustments to the interface? There's a couple that I haven't mentioned...let's play a "Where's Wally!" with new Nurph interface tweaks!

Setting Up an IRC Channel for Your Brand (Symphony CMS)

Symphony is an XSLT-powered open source content management system. @Czheng, the Symphony Community Lead, sent me a link to discussion within the Symphony Community Forum on the topic of using an IRC Channel for real-time conversations to supplement the forum, and to create a place for the members to 'hang out':

The thread contains several votes in favour of an IRC Channel, and several mentions of Nurph, too. After reading through the thread, I sent a few thoughts across to @Czheng:

- IRC seems to have a couple of votes, however...
- Nurph is easily accessible on a URL, so there's no need for an IRC client
- Nurph has automatic conversation archives on URLs (which makes exporting IRC conversation logs in to XML seem incredibly archaic), e.g.
- Nurph uses your existing @SymphonyCMS Twitter profile branding and design, and it ties in to the tweets from your @SymphonyCMS account. If you've gone to the effort of setting up a Twitter account, Nurph is only adding additional value.

Can you suggest any other pros/cons for either IRC or Nurph when building out a real-time chat community around your brand? And are you considering setting up your own IRC Channel? If so, you might want to check out

How To Bring Your Twitter Community Together Without the Character Limit

This is how Nurph works best: @Mardiciones logged in to Nurph, lots of people starting tweeting the link to the @Marciones Nurph Channel (found on; just append any Twitter username to and you'll visit the Channel), and the @Marciones Twitter community got together for a real-time chat.

@Marciones got to meet their friends & followers, to chat with them in real-time, and to work around the 140 character limit in the easiest way possible. It's all about joining the conversation!

In our last blog post, "New Feature: Transcripts & Conversation Search", we covered the launch of the new transcripts feature - and when @Mardiciones brought their Twitter community together in real-time, the resulting chatter created a great example of how Nurph enables you to read through chat logs at a later date. Just click this link to see what we mean: You'll see there's 16 people in the transcript, all with proven Twitter identities - and it's a lot easier to read through than tieing together 140 character tweets with hashtags, or a clicking round a collection of "in reply to" links.

Would you like to bring your own Twitter friends & followers together in real-time? Try tweeting a link to your Nurph Channel!

New Feature: Transcripts & Conversation Search!

Have you ever wished for an easy way to move out of Twitter's 140 character restriction and in to a more fluid conversational experience, whilst still keeping an easy way to track the conversation for people who want to follow along, and a way to archive it all for a later date? Well, you're in luck; the Nurph team just deployed transcripts & search to the Nurph Channels!

Transcripts are daily archives of the conversation in your Nurph Channel. Just click the "view earlier messages" link at the top of the channel timeline (just scroll up to the top of the recent messages after you've joined the Channel), and you can continue browsing through the archives on a daily basis.

Further to this, the new search box allows you to look for matches for words in the things that have been said in your Nurph Channel. Just type in a word, hit enter, and Nurph will return a list of the top matches in remarks (highlighted for your convenience) with a link to see the remark in-situ (in the conversation).

If you're running a Twitter hashtag for real-time chats and you're manually creating conversation logs from tweets containing your hastag, you should give Nurph for a spin in your next chat session. Just ask @PeterC! Not only can you bring your Twitter community together for a real-time chat without the 140 char limit, but you also get the transcripts of your conversation generated automatically and available on easily shared URLs!

p.s. What do you think of the 'transcripts' naming convention? Would you prefer 'archives' or 'logs', perhaps?

Channel Previews (Invite the Celebs!)

We just launched a nifty update to Nurph that allows you to visit a preview of a Channel belonging Twitter User who hasn't already logged-in to Nurph. Previously we would simply show you a message stating the user hasn't logged-in to Nurph (and prevent you from seeing what the Channel might look like), but now we're giving you the opportunity to get a sneak peak at their Channel appearance, plus an easy way to invite the Twitterer to Nurph.

So what are you waiting for? Visit the Channel of your favorite Twitter celebrity, send them a tweet about Nurph, and start chatting with them in real-time!

Improving Twitter Hashtag Chats

Are you using Twitter hashtags to hold pseudo real-time chats? Are you finding the 140 character limit too restrictive? Are you tired of using third party tools to piece together conversations of tweets containing your hashtag? If so, you should give a Nurph Channel a go. As @PeterC says:

"there are plenty of people doing annoying fake IRC experiences on Twitter using hashtags, shouldn't they use Nurph instead?"


According to Wikipedia, IRC (Internet Relay Chat) "is a form of real-time Internet text messaging (chat) or synchronous conferencing. It is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication via private message as well as chat and data transfers via Direct Client-to-Client." However, IRC isn't considered a mainstream communication platform in the way that email, Facebook, or Twitter are.

Twitter #hashtag usage bears many similarities to IRC Channel functionality (the names of which are also pre-fixed with the # symbol). For example, when the #CareerChat community get together for a scheduled 'real-time' tweet chat, they would probably be better served by a real-time chat room that enables people to hold a free-flowing conversation, rather than having to fight the 140 character limit and the opportunity for other people to hijack the hashtag in question. With Nurph Channels being owned by Twitter accounts, e.g. @CareerChat, Twitterers can get together in a real-time chat room that's custom built specifically for Twitter users, and one that leverages Twitter's social rules to bring the right people in to the conversation.

If you're running a Twitter hashtag and scheduling real-time chats, try logging in to Nurph, tweeting the link to your Channel, and watching the Twitterers really getting together in real-time.

A Çoopèd Up Nurph

If you read yesterdays' post, Peter Çoopèr in the Nurph!, you'll know that @PeterC made a number of suggestions for improving the Nurph experience for the @RubyInside, @RubyFlow, and @CoderIO Twitter communities - with one of the suggestions being for a more streamlined log-in procedure.

Today I'm proud to announce that we've gone ahead and launched a more streamlined log-in procedure for when you're logged out of Nurph and attempting to access a specific Channel. Previously a 'logged-out' user would be taken to the standard "Login to Nurph" page (without any reference to the Channel they were previously trying to access), but as of today they'll stay on the Channel URL, they'll get a preview of the Channel community, and there's massive, unavoidable "Login" button, like so:

This way we're providing Channel insider info about the people chatting in the Channel (making the login-in process much more inviting), and the whole login process just feels much more streamlined due to the reduced number of page requests.

Could you suggest any further improvements to the logging-in procedure? And have you tried breaking out of the 140 char limit and bringing your Twitter community together in real-time in your very Nurph own chat Channel?