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Twitter for Researchers - 2 Dec 14

by Pascale Colonna, adapted from Jenny Evans and Andrew Day's presentation (with thanks)

Pascale Colonna

on 4 December 2014

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Transcript of Twitter for Researchers - 2 Dec 14

Twitter can be used as a painless metric to assess how your tweeting is working for you and your project.
Showing the growth in your followers and the number of people who read your research blog can also be helpful for funding applications.

How many
followers do you have?
times have you been re-tweeted (RT)?
mentions (@) have you had?

Twitter statistics

Personal vs institutional perspective - bear in mind the importance of not broadcasting views on Twitter that could radically backfire with your employer, colleagues, students and other university stakeholders.
Tweeting styles:

Substantive tweets
are written in complete sentences, and are always intelligible on their own.

The conversational style
is much more fragmented and relaxed, the opposite to the substantive style, with users sharing stories from a variety of sources, engaging in conversation with others, and making more use of abbreviations.

A middle ground
is widely used in academia, mixed with shortened URLs - conveying personality well without being too informal

Tweeting as a researcher:
Finding your voice
Different approaches
Not enough time?
Can access from any device
Can be displayed in a widget in MyLearning

I can’t think of anything to say
Start small – have you found a useful paper that other people might be interested in?
Follow other people for a while first

My research is confidential
As with any communication about research make sure it is appropriate to share
What else could I tweet about - wider issues affecting my research?
Perceptions on why you would not use Twitter?

To keep up to date with what is happening on a particular issue or being raised at a specific conference
Find out about things more quickly
Getting answers to questions
Get a quick overview and then follow up if necessary
Back channel communication at conferences (conversation streams between delegates and speakers)
Subscribe to Middlesex Tweeters list: https://twitter.com/jennye/lists/middlesex-tweets
Learned Societies
Building a solid network
Twitter for Research
Twitter basics: create a Twitter account and start 'tweeting'
Twitter in a research context: networking, showcasing your work, building a solid online presence and researching topics.
Read your partner's tweet on

Is this a good description of your research?
Present and identify
Tweet, in fewer than 140 characters, a description of your partner’s research
Use the #TeachML

Discuss your research with each other
Ask questions. Get a good grip on your partner’s research
You will have to re-describe your partner’s research, so do this well

Describe you research to your partner
Reply to a tweet posted by someone in this room today:
Select ‘reply’ on the tweet you want to reply to
Twitter automatically adds @personreplyingto
Write your tweet and send
Becomes part of a tracked conversation
Go further: reply to a tweet

Twitter auto-finds contacts when you use @
Twitter tells you when you hit the character limit
Include a link and address it to someone in this room, for instance share your blog page or a website
Email address
Your name

Set up a Twitter account
Sharing someone else’s tweet to your followers
Twitter ranks tweets by retweets received
Retweeting doesn’t have to mean endorsing a tweet (can be for interest, discussion etc.)
A modified tweet (MT) is someone else's tweet, edited by you and then shared
Private message to another Twitter user (they must be following you)
Limited to 140 characters
Direct messages
Keywords, tagged and grouped with #
A hash tag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic
E.g. clicking on #TeachML will bring up all tweets containing #TeachML
Use ‘#’ symbol in front of and attached to word (or words with no spaces) to create a hashtag
a 'tweet' is a message
Limited to 140 characters
Can be replied to (@)
Can be shared by others (‘re-tweeted’)
More on tweets
Find somebody in the room (preferably someone you don’t know)
If an odd number, make a three
Pair up
Start following: find someone you know in Twitter
Use of @(username) tags Twitter user in a tweet
Can be used for to ask a question publicly (user will be notified) or mention someone or CC in another user
Or to reply to a tweet
@ mentions
@ mention
Tweet (with shortened link)
Twitter news feed
The Twitter interface
Trending topics
‘Who to follow’ suggestions
Twitter features
Twitter profile
Compose tweet
Profile and settings
Search bar
Twitter menu bar
Trends / topics
Twitter homepage
#Twitter for Researchers- 2 Dec 14


LSE Twitter guide: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/files/2011/11/Published-Twitter_Guide_Sept_2011.pdf
Twitter for research projects http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/cap/marcomms/communications/social/handbook/twitter/using-twitter-for-research-projects
Networking: http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/research/guides/management/twitter.htm?part=1
Research blog : a case study http://vimeo.com/24303956
Blogging to demonstrate impact?: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2011/06/21/there-are-no-easy-answers-to-the-problem-of-determining-impact-but-blogging-is-here/
The A to Z of Social Media for Academia
TweetDeck to manage multiple timelines: https://about.twitter.com/products/tweetdeck

What next?
Twitter feed

(Some material based on work by Martin Paul Eve under CC BY-NC-SA license)
Any questions?
What is Twitter?
An online social networking service & microblogging service that enables users to send and read text-based messages <140 characters

550 million accounts
284 million active users
2nd most popular social network, and the fastest growing
Twitter in 2014:

http://expandedramblings.com, 29 Oct 2014
Networking and engaging with others in your field

Showcasing your work: creating a solid online presence

Researching topics (along with a research blog)


Tweet your definition. Start your tweet with #TeachML
So... a social network for conversations in a news feed
Your first impressions
Comment on your first impressions of Twitter, or, if you have used Twitter before, do you remember what it was like when you first used it?
To 'follow' someone means that all their tweets will appear in your feed
Enter the person or organisation's name in the search bar:

On a Twitter profile, click on the ‘follow’ button to follow the user’s tweets:

You can unfollow them at any time
You can also block/report nuisance Twitter profiles

Or retweet someone's tweet posted on your timeline today
Or send a DM to someone in this room
Using a Mac? Press Alt+3 for #
Now take a few moments to develop your profile
Your 'bio' (place of work, about you and your research, 'views my own')
Header photo (ideally, representing your work)
Other details – your website or blog
Using a Mac? Press Alt+3 for #
Choose 2-3 Twitter users to follow now
Write a tweet starting with #TeachML and @colonna69

Gain publicity
Refer to official information on website (link to the full version or to a summary on the open web or research blog)
Share information about your research project, e.g. key milestones or developments
Crowd source: to gather information for research activities or to refer followers to research blog (e.g. to discuss preliminary ideas via online discussions) - blog as a way to develop a narrative around your work
Cover developments in your research area
Engage in discussion with other people
Raise your online identity
Having a good presence on Twitter may help you demonstrate impact when you next apply for funding
5 minutes to complete task
5 minutes to complete task
Hashtag is used to cluster conversations, lists are used to group people up
For instance, list of Middlesex staff involved with research
The Twitter app interface
To show engagement to your area
and increase the visibility of your research
To promote and support your work
To build an online community
and monitor conversations
Chance connections or strategic ?
Full transcript