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 gmx DOT com

Science in London: The 2016 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 31 May 2013

How to do all sorts of stuff on or with Twitter - my fairly useful posts that are tagged "Twitter tips"


Jump to the list of posts ordered with most recent first.



I've been writing this blog for about four years and covered quite a lot of topics including technology, diabetes, science communication, film music and anything that takes my fancy really. Probably my favourite posts are the ones on how to do something, usually on a computer. They're fun to write (you just write what you did!) and are useful to me, because a year from now I'll have forgotten how to what I did a year ago.

These are what I consider pretty useful posts about using Twitter. I might do a round-up of posts that are about wrestling with Word and the internet more generally. With Twitter and Word it's generally me that's acting as the 'expert' sharing what I've discovered but my posts about the internet are often 'help' and that's where the comments can make life a lot happier.

I thought it also might be interesting for anyone nosey to see exactly how many 'hits' a post actually gets (note I also publish annual statistics for this blog, based on Blogger stats mostly - I think you need to divide by two thirds to get more realistic figures!).

In the first list there are four numbers below each post - the first is the flattering page count that Blogger gives you, the second is the much lower (but much realer) pageview count from Google Analytics. The third number is the number of unique pageviews and the fourth is the average time spent on the page.

In the second list I've just put them in date order (most recent first) in case you just want to look at more recent posts - note that I do tend to amend and update older posts, until it gets to a point that I treat them as archival.

First list

Thursday, 7 June 2012
What happens if you block someone on Twitter? What happens if they block you?
148,500 (an outlier!) / 57,470 pageviews from 55,997 unique visitors spending 4.14 minutes on the page
- the most popular thing I've ever written and, as always, I wrote it very quickly after making the observation that an awful lot of people don't seem to have worked out that blocking someone on Twitter does not stop them from seeing your tweets. Since its initial publication I've added answers to questions that people have sent me, or if I've spotted what they've searched for on Google I've answered that.

Monday, 30 May 2011
A list of tools for finding or capturing tweets
14,396  8,307  5,887  3.03
- pretty useful though about to keel over from its bigness. I update it roughly twice a year. Never get rid of anything though, just block it out, so it's kind of a historical record of all the cool stuff we used to be able to do up until 2011 when social media went a bit crap (personal opinion).

Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Curated posts: liveblogging science conferences - my thoughts on tweeting medical research charity conferences
858  220   162  4.13
- a post that has changed its remit as time's gone on. Initially it was a response to the hoo-ha that ensued when Daniel Macarthur tweeted from a biosciences conference, and my reflections on the 'ethics' of delegates reporting things from medical research conferences (particularly where patients are also watching). Now it includes all sorts of posts about the infrastructure of conference tweeting and is pretty regularly updated.

Saturday, 5 March 2011
Trapping tweets for archiving eg at conferences, or curiosity
593  295  258  2.00
- not bad. A little out of date (need to block out Twapperkeeper) but nicely divided into WHAT (stuff you want to do with tweets) and HOW you can achieve that with the tools).

I've actually written a much more recent post on the work blog about how to use Storify to get conference tweets, see Using Storify to maintain a collection of tweets from events and conferences – a ‘how to’ guide

Friday, 22 March 2013
Thwarting spammers on hashtag livetweeted events
500   140  125 3.42
- I had a flash of inspiration, this one works well.

Thursday, 19 July 2012
Using free tools to capture a handful of tweets or a larger bunch
438    173  132   3.29
- people who say "people often ask me" sound a bit smug but people do often ask me about Twitter tools, and these are the ones I use most often or have played around with most.

Thursday, 17 January 2013
Twitter archives available: what I tweeted about in September 2008 - and how to get the original URL
385 115   91 2.55
- that delightful moment when you can access your entire history of tweets. Mine are four years' worth of me being delighted about stuff on and offline, I enjoyed reading them. There's also How to share your Twitter archive via your public Dropbox though I'm not currently doing so myself (again, ethics).

Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Some quick thoughts on Storify as a mini archive for Tweets
348  191 165  4.48
- still fairly relevant, more about how Storify works rather than a how to (for that see Using Storify to maintain a collection of tweets from events and conferences – a ‘how to’ guide. One of the first things I ever tried with Storify was to find it how it saves tweets, and I discovered that if you save a tweet there and the person deletes it from Twitter it will remain in the Storify story.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011
If you're using Storify for conference or event tweets you *might* be doing it a bit wrong-ish, suggest Chirpstory :)
316   126    105  3.22
- Storify is fantastic and getting better all the time, it's also very pretty. Slightly less pretty, but better for a metric beeptonne of tweets, is Chirpstory. Storify lets you grab 20 at a time and I don't think it lets you easily deduplicate (though you can get rid of RTs). Chirpstory grabs 50 at a go and is easier for captures where you have to come back and add the new tweets. In doing so you end up recapturing some of the older ones as well and it's really easy to get rid of those on Chirpstory, less so on Storify. Both let you reorder tweets in either direction (newest first or oldest first) though Chirpstory already had these features before Storify.

Thursday, 28 March 2013
Things you're doing wrong on Twitter (well not you, obviously)
256 views 54   51 6.04
- an important lesson to learn in life is that others don't think as you do. Despite this I'm still surprised to see people sending @messages when what I suspect they wanted to do was send an .@ message, to 'break' the @ and let the rest of their followers see the message that they're sending to the world while still referencing the @person, as opposed to just sending it to the person. What surprises me is that I just worked this out from spotting a few other people doing it (and realising that I was suddenly able to see messages) and adopting it. I just assumed everyone did, but then I discovered that 90 per cent of computer users don't know about Ctrl+F. That slightly blew my mind - bad enough that people are searching documents by visual scans instead of leaping to their word or phrase of interest - but the fact that it really hadn't occurred to me that everyone didn't already know this.

The post is also a tiny bit about how to use search on Twitter to see what people are saying about your business. 

Sunday, 5 February 2012
Anatomy of a tweet - the New New Twitter version
209  55   47 1.25
- when you hover over, or click on, a tweet - while using Twitter.com - a little world of information opens up. You can get the web address that will let you share the link to that tweet (directly) with someone else, find out when it was sent and do all the usual stuff of retweeting and favouriting.

Sunday, 12 May 2013
How often has that tweet been retweeted? Here are some ways to find out
196 views 51  47 5.27
- another 'people often ask me' one, vaguely related to engagement (as in are people interacting with that tweet). My handle on this is relatively basic - you can pay people / pay for apps that will tell you a great deal more. Useful summary at the top.


Sunday, 11 December 2011
Quora questions I've answered about Twitter and hashtags

118  44   27  3.40
- Love Quora, the sort of thing I'd want on a desert island. 

At the time of writing (the post) here were the questions I'd had a go at answering.




Second list

By date, ordered with most recent posts first

Sunday, 12 May 2013
How often has that tweet been retweeted? Here are some ways to find out

Thursday, 28 March 2013
Things you're doing wrong on Twitter (well not you, obviously)

Friday, 22 March 2013
Thwarting spammers on hashtag livetweeted events

Thursday, 17 January 2013
Twitter archives available: what I tweeted about in September 2008 - and how to get the original URL

Thursday, 19 July 2012
Using free tools to capture a handful of tweets or a larger bunch

Thursday, 7 June 2012
What happens if you block someone on Twitter? What happens if they block you?

Sunday, 5 February 2012
Anatomy of a tweet - the New New Twitter version

Sunday, 11 December 2011
Quora questions I've answered about Twitter and hashtags

Wednesday, 26 October 2011
If you're using Storify for conference or event tweets you *might* be doing it a bit wrong-ish, suggest Chirpstory :)

Monday, 30 May 2011
A list of tools for finding or capturing tweets

Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Some quick thoughts on Storify as a mini archive for Tweets

Saturday, 5 March 2011
Trapping tweets for archiving eg at conferences, or curiosity

Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Curated posts: liveblogging science conferences - my thoughts on tweeting medical research charity conferences




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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).