McKinney Launches ‘Crows Nest’ Twitter Tool

Site, mobile Web app monitor industry influencers

McKinney has launched 'Crows Nest', a new site and mobile web app that acts as a kind of Twitter industry filter. The tool monitors 250 influential people in advertising, design and related technology on Twitter and works out the top 10 links that are shared by this group all day, with updates every 15 minutes.

Crows Nest was created as part of the Durham, N.C. agency's '10%' program, initiated in December, which allows staffers to spend 10 percent of their time on the job working on their own projects. (It is modeled upon a similar initiative in place at Google.)

"McKinney's philosophy has been a little more open in terms of how employees work," said Jim Russell, partner, director for digital strategy at the agency. "We have people who work on Saturday and Sunday. So we're just giving them some work time for what they're already doing."

McKinney has no current plans to monetize the platform and expects to make it available to others who want to create their own lists for vertical industries or interests like travel, sports or food.

Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, McKinney has distinguished itself with digital work for clients like Audi, for which it created an alternate reality game to launch the carmaker’s A3 luxury hatchback in the U.S.

Last month, Brown-Forman’s Southern Comfort brand tapped McKinney as its lead interactive agency.