Pulse of Open Source is a new site that aggregates the Twitter messages of thought leaders and participants in the Open Source Software community. It's a great example of the value that can be added on top of a simple aggregation of dynamic niche content. It's also a good example of how you can find value in Twitter without even having an account of your own.
Inspired by the site Pulse of PDX, an aggregation of Twitter messages from users in the tech-rich town of Portland, Oregon (where I live) - these Pulse sites provide a model that could be used to create a central location for live discussions on any topic.
At Pulse of Open Source, anyone who follows Twitter user pulseofoss and send a direct message requesting inclusion in the site is added.
There's a bio page where you can learn about who is included on the site. Participants at launch include people like Ross Turk, Community Manager at SourceForge, Amanda McPherson, the Marketing Director at The Linux Foundation, Greg Stein, the Founding developer of Subversion, and many other people who are vendors, analysts and reporters on Open Source. Does that sound like a site worth checking out? I think it does.
With a little editorial judgment, this model could work well for any number of niche topics. Integration to display recent bookmarks on social bookmarking sites and blog posts wouldn't be difficult either. Think of it as an industry-centric version of social lifestreaming, instead of a user centric one as is more common these days. I think both models are fascinating.
What community would you like to see the Pulse of? News reporters, political campaigners and graphic designers come to mind for me.