I've recently been doing design/development on a band's new website. It's going to be a simple 1-page sound-clip/mailing list sign-up type page, but I am keen on throwing around some of the more interesting/modern (read trendy) web gubbins.
Out of principle i've until recently refused to use twitter, and I still don't 'get it' - but as an incredibly simple method to get band members posting on their own site, without setting up a blogging tool, it's great.
This seems to be a large part of the (now slightly aging) web2.oohhdeargod ideals - outsource the maintenance/admin/storage tools to other site, and simply collect their streams into one place. The RSS feeds (and more recently the easy to use APIs) these content managers (such as twitter/flickr/youtube etc etc) coat themselves with now mean that even the simplest sites can provide dynamic content with a few lines of code.
Which leads, bizarrely, to the code part of this blog post. Ripped and modified from the great CSSTricks, this simple snippet of JQuery will search for a specified string using Twitter's API, grab up to 100 posts, and randomly pick 2 from those that are available (see the CSSTricks article for the supporting .linkify() function).
var q = 'hot rats';
var i = Math.randomMax(data.results.length-1);
var j = Math.randomMax(data.results.length-1);
(I promise that future code will be more interesting)
The idea behind this was that, even if the band guys never post a single message, there will be random, anarchic content always appearing on the site. In the design it is fairly well scrambled using negative letter-spacing over a b/w silhouette, so that too much isn't taken from the inane twitterings. There is whole bunch of enhancements that could be added to this - such as only picking tweets of a certain length, not picking the same tweet, etc etc.
Note that this is my first look at JQuery code - I have been using Prototype as my JS library of choice up until now. I prefer Prototype simply because of history, but it looks like JQuery is winning the popularity vote, so I've decided to give it a go in new projects.
Despite its flaws, JS seems to be where a lot of the heavy lifting is heading in webdev, and it's been good to get a bit of practice in.
...also: Awesome eyecam