Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2017 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 24 April 2010

TweetNotes - tool for archiving hashtagged tweets at events and conferences etc

Shortened URL for this post http://is.gd/bGqqZ

EDIT: The developers of TweetNotes sadly pulled the plug on this rather nice tool.

I have just been invited to have a look at TweetNotes, a twitter hashtag difference engine from The Extraordinaries.

I'm using this one as an example: http://app.beextra.org/tweetnotes/event/id/ntc/session/2046 - this is a collection, which has already been set up, of hashtags and associated information from a conference that is still ongoing but winding down. I don't know how to set up one of these TweetNotes to record a hashtag either in advance or on the hoof while at an event - I think it's in beta at the moment.

That page sits within all tweets that came from the NTC conference, all the subpages are listed here http://app.beextra.org/tweetnotes/event/id/ntc/session/2046
It does look rather good as a service.

Each tweet appears with the tweeter's avatar (FriendFeed take note) and appears quite tweet-like (context is there: timestamped with the link going to the original tweet, and all hashtags appear as clickable links which take you back to the Twitter search).

You can also vote on every tweet which is new to me. As a consequence of that there's also a 'highest rated' tab which lets you see whose tweets went to the top of the class. In the example given no-one appears to have voted yet but early days.

The tab that really made me sit up was 'Media' - at the time of writing I'm investigating if this is doing what I think it is. I think it's harvesting all of the URLs that people post in their hashtagged tweets and aggregating them separately, into photos, videos, blog posts etc. If so - that's a bit awesome and would be immensely useful. It looks like all the URLs are in full, rather than their bit.ly miniaturisations - a plus for those who enjoy glimpsing the information contained in a full URL.

It may actually be something manually added, which is less exciting of course, but would still be useful, if fiddly.

There is a tab for the 'organizer's notes', for the organiser to add in extra information, obviously a good idea. Finallly 'people' lists all of the twitterers who've added a hashtagged tweet - it looks like it's done in a tag cloud style with those tweeting heavily given more prominence on the page compared with those who've posted fewer tweets.

I heard about the tool because I followed the link from one of @askmanny's tweets - http://www.theextraordinaries.org/2010/04/conferences-and-their-hashtags.html - and then I commented on the blog post in response to the discussion on saving tweets for later.

In the second point the author @benrigby notes that hashtags with decimal points in don't work - the plan had been to filter each session with a kind of decimalised hasthag eg #ntc10.sessionnameX - but this apparently wasn't very successful (although it looks like the hashtags show up as clickable links in TweetNotes which suggests it isn't a complete washout).

Generally people have got round this by using two hashtags, eg #ntc10 #session1 but TwapperKeeper has a useful feature exploiting the exclamation mark. Like some sort of Twittery mass spectrometer using #tag !a will filter a tweet to the A folder and #tag !b to the B folder. I've not used it much, but I've tested it and it seems to work fine.

I'm in favour of short hashtags where letters and numbers are kept reasonably separate, ie #33aa rather than #3a3a, because those tweeting on phone keyboards will thank you if they don't have to keep toggling among different screens (on an iPhone the letters are on one screen, numbers on another and the hashtag symbol on a third). So please put numbers at the end or beginning, not in the middle.

In fact, mildly useful tip for iPhone Tweetdeck users - type the hashtag once on a tweet, press Cancel, then choose Save - then whenever you click the new tweet button it's preloaded with your hashtag.

What else would I like?
I appreciate that I can harvest a PDF of tweets from whatthehashtag (wthashtag), although the time interval is a bit fiddly - I think you can get it in 24 hour batches.

The current set up on TweetNotes is very readable but quite 'heavy' on the page because each tweet has so much of its meta information with it - a 'printer friendly' or PDf version might be a plus, for archival purposes (in addition to the full version).

I think this has real potential as being a hub for tweeted information on a conference / event or a session at one. If I was tempted to add anything it might be a tab for real world registration information (how to get to the venue, where to go once there) - I expect that most events and conferences will have their own website attached anyway, but it might be a bonus for more ad hoc events. Possibly...

How easy is it be set up to record a hashtag? Does it require a registration step (I think it does), or will it auto-record a hashtag once it reaches critical mass as wthashtag does? I see that it's not intended as a replacement for other real-time hashtag monitoring (such as Tweetdeck) but I'd be interested to know how it handles an incoming stream in real time.

How long will the archive be kept? Is it 'run' automatically from an RSS of the twitter search (which eventually appears to degrade) or is it more like FriendFeed which freakishly seems to be able to hold on to tweets that are a couple of years old.

When does it go live?

------------ Related posts ------------
1. Following conference hashtag tweets in real time and saving them for later
http://brodiesnotes.blogspot.com/2010/01/following-conference-hashtag-tweets-in.html
2. Curated posts: liveblogging science conferences - my thoughts on tweeting medical research charity conferences
http://brodiesnotes.blogspot.com/2010/02/curated-posts-liveblogging-science.html
(a collection of posts from others, with my comments)
3. Health charity conferences: policy thoughts on liveblogging
http://brodiesnotes.blogspot.com/2010/01/health-charity-conferences-policy.html
(from the perspective of hosting a conference where new health research info may be presented, and how to handle its dissemination appropriately)

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