I'm the developer of the blocks and Chad suggested that I join in with this conversation. (He's said nice things about you.)
This is a brief history of the blocks
Our original plan was to just make one block for Moodle a la Twitterific and so on, but we realised that we could make more use of the Twitter service if we broke it up. First we created a simple set of send and read blocks (Twitter post and Twitter Update). We added an Twitter RSS feed in the summer to act at a 'bucket' for class tweets. We've been using an account that is connected to the class rather than the teacher so that it's re-usable so to speak.
In June, we added the ability to highlight Twemes and direct messages to the Twitter Update block. We created the Geomap because we were working with distributed communities and one of our foci has been creating presence for distance learners. The Geomap would make a nice module at some point, or fit nicely into the banner at the top perhaps. I'm interested in the idea of using them as modules in general.
There are Photoblocks in the pipeline, I can't promise that they'll be anything other than simple. We had big technical issues with the Flickr and Twitter services for this one. We're hoping to create something useful using tags and to have two versions, with and without a map, though they might just be Flickr blocks due to problems with the Twitter refresh. These have been really painful to develop!
We did actually think about AJAX in the early stages, but we're a tiny project with no money, so we chose to explore ideas rather than create just the one simple AJAX Twitter block with the money. We didn't know if Twitter in Moodle would work at the time.
This means that we are re-writing them all to use AJAX because of the usual problems with latency and updates; something you'll encounter on the demo site. We've started on the Twit2RSS block which can now refresh, but the Twitter XML
has gone peculiar again. Hopefully we can upload
the new version soon. The aim is to get a first releases of the new blocks out by Christmas, but I'll know more next week.
I've kept pedagogy etc out of this post, so this is really just the technical side. Happy to answer any questions. If anyone's interested in the blocks in any way, shape or form then please let me know!
List of M3 Project blocks m3.jiscemerge.org.uk
Twit2RSS - bucket feed for displaying the friends feed from a single Twitter account.
Twitter Post block - solely for sending messages to any Twitter account.
Twitter Update block - lets you read the tweets from any feed, and includes a tweme search.
Geomap block - can centre on a chosen location, and shows your Twitter friends.
Photo block - looks for Twitter friends and show their pictures.