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 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Quick post for @tom_hartley and other events organisers, on capturing tweets

I have made a study of some Twitter tools (for events mostly) but since every time I go looking for more I find more I'm pretty certain that I have but scratched the surface etc. etc. and there may well be more suitable tools than the ones mentioned below, that I don't even know of.

1. Displaying delegates' tweets attractively on a display screen in the foyer
Twitterfountain looks a bit fancy, quite nice, screen refreshes with a different tweet.
Twitterfall drops new tweets into a downwards scrolling page of tweets, users can see theirs appear soon after pressing send.

2. Displaying delegates' tweets in the conference
If you must - it can be a bit distracting to be honest, but many like it. I'd recommend Twitterfall for this. Monitter can also be used.

3. Being a delegate and tweeting from a laptop
Use, Tweetdeck or - if you really want to focus on the hashtag - use Tweetchat which will auto-add the hashtag to save you having to type it each time, will show you nothing other than the hashtag, and will pause for you as you scroll back.

4. Capturing the tweets as a permanent record
I always do more than one. SearchHash is my new favourite (now that What the Hashtag has stopped doing this). You can copy and paste the search results somewhere else or download as a .csv. They are not pretty though, they look like a tabulated data set rather than a range of tweets - this may not matter. You can set this up within a day of the conference starting as it seems to handle about 1,000 plus tweets in one go, but I don't recommend leaving it too late. New tweets will eventually push out older ones so download regularly and remove duplicates later.

For prettiness I am smitten with Twilert - set up soon after or before your hashtag is being used and it will send you daily, hourly, 15-minutely updates with new tweets since the last update (you can determine what rate you think you need). The tweets look lovely and the avatar is there and it's all full colour.

With such prettiness I wish it was easier to transfer the contents of the email into some other format eg a website. I can email to a blog post and it comes out fine but it would be nice to access the html and edit it to combine a run of alerts together. I don't know how to access the html though - if someone does, let me know.

Another good tool for collecting a bunch of hashtagged tweets together is Chirpstory - log in with Twitter, clear the current timeline (you don't want to add any of them if you're just looking to collect hashtags), then search for your tagged word and choose the option to move the whole page over to the collecting panel on the right.

Then go back in time to collect previous ones by pressing page 2... page 3 and so on - eventually you won't be able to go back any further. Once you've collected them all you can remove duplicates (in case you've inadvertently copied page 15 twice, say) and then you can reorder them, using the up and down arrows, so the latest tweet's at the top (default) or at the bottom (which I think is nicer for reading). Then make sure you click the pale blue button on the bottom right that says 'Create story'.

A very similar, and more frequently used, service is Storify however the last time I checked it didn't let you move a page of tweets in one go nor reorder them. Hence I prefer Chirpstory for collection. Storify is used to add commentary in between tweets which I don't think you can do with Chirpstory.

For searching a bit further back in time try Topsy. It's unlikely to give you a neat thread of them though.

This is a much shorter version of the post linked above - that one has a list of all the tools I've come across and a brief description of what they do.

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