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

Thursday, 12 January 2012

How Twitter shared @tdecastella's story on "Five ways the digital camera changed us"

The BBC published a lovely article today on the history of digital cameras and how their ubiquitousness (2.5 billion people have one apparently?!) has changed the way we think about images, let alone capture them. It's fascinating and I spotted a link to it in my Twitter stream this morning, clicked on it (right click, new tab) to read later after work then forgot who it was who'd posted it (I knew I'd RT it later and wanted to give them credit).

Searching for an URL in Twitter brings up every tweet that links to that page so, if something hasn't been tweeted too many times then you've a decent chance of finding it, and the person who sent it - however in this case it seems that it's been posted several hundred times. To handle larger amounts of tweets I tend to use Chirpstory because it lets you search back further in time than Twitter and it also lets you collect a bunch of tweets. So earlier this evening I copied, in under a minute, 600 tweets (12 pages of 50 tweets) stretching back a few hours, pruned out the duplicates and RTs and created a Chirpstory of them.

By this time I'd lost interest in finding out who sent the one I saw this morning and was enjoying the different ways in which people had referred to the same news story. For one thing I think it illustrates rather nicely some great ways of composing a good tweet (I wonder if people who compose tweets thoughtfully also compose good pictures...!).

The majority of the tweets and retweets which I pruned out just had he name of the article and the link, but the ones I kept all seem to have added a little something - and they're usually the sort I'd click on. I liked the way people took a particular sentence from the piece that amused or resonated with them (there were some great quotes in the story too and really interesting comments at the end) or just added their own thoughtful commentary. In the end I found that several of the people I follow on Twitter had tweeted or retweeted this link so I don't know whose tweet it was that I originally saw.

Despite the shortened links being different in almost every tweet they all point to exactly the same page: Five ways the digital camera changed us (12 January 2012) BBC News Magazine by By Tom de Castella

Although I don't have any great interest in photography myself - beyond the random snaps I post to Flickr - there can't be many cameras that are more beautiful than this, from Rollei.

Rolleiflex 2.8F
Picture credit: Rolleiflex 2.8F from Flickr user jaimekop

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