Thing 7: Twitter
Twitter is a microblogging site where you can share image, video, sound, and weblinks, along with a maximum of 140 text characters. Despite, or because of, the tight restriction on text it’s an effective way to build a peer network, track news and events, and share information and research updates.
For this Thing we will be using three strands, one for Twitter Beginners, one for Twitter Intermediates, and one if you do not wish to sign up to Twitter at all.
So why use Twitter?
- Twitter can be a go-to place for expertise and advice – this can be of benefit both for your own information finding and for demonstrating your own expertise.
- It can also provide access to CEOs, Senior Managers, Research Councils, Leading Academics and Researchers, etc. that you would otherwise be unable to reach, allowing you to build a great network.
- Developing these networks can lead to collaboration, employment, speaking, and other opportunities.
Twitter Tips: How I used social media to find jobs – A great article by a social media executive sharing some tips and insights on using Twitter professionally.
Students: Tweet your way to a job – Article on using Twitter to build up a professional profile for that switch from student to professional.
Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities – The LSE’s guide is widely referenced as a great tool for academics and researchers wanting to start, or improve, their use of Twitter.
How to complete Thing 7
If you have never used Twitter before you may find the Lynda.com video tutorials: Twitter Essentials useful in understanding how to sign up and use the platform. If you don’t have access to Lynda.com, and even if you do, Mashable’s Guidebook to Twitter is also an excellent resource.
To complete Thing 7, set up an account on Twitter and play around on the platform to see how it might be able to work for you.
- Experiment by creating a tweet with an image, a gif, or a poll.
- Look for accounts of people in your field to follow.
- Try searching for relevant keywords or #hashtags to find content that is interesting to you.
Write a short blog post reflecting on your exploration of Twitter.
If you are already on twitter, to complete Thing 7 we are asking you to explore some of the management tools available on the platform.
Did you know you can create lists of specific Twitter users?
Lists are a great way to manage the amount and type of tweets you are viewing. To add someone to a list:
- Go to their Twitter profile page and click on the cogwheel/settings icon next to the large ‘Following/Follow’ button on the right of the page.
- Choose the second option down ‘Add or remove from Lists’.
- You can then choose to create a new list or add them to an existing list by selecting the box for your list of choice.
To view the feed from one of your lists:
- Click your profile image on the top right of the page and choose the second option down ‘Lists’.
- This will take you to a page where you can select which list you would like to view.
- The list will then display a feed of tweets posted by people only on that list.
Did you know that Twitter offers Analytics of your tweets?
To enable Analytics:
- Go to “http://analytics.twitter.com“
- Log in with your Twitter account
- .. and you’re done
To view your analytics:
- Go to your twitter home-page
- Click on your profile image in the top right corner, then on Analytics from the drop down menu
- Use the tabs Home/Tweets/Audiences/Events/More at the top of the screen to explore the different analytics Twitter collects for you.
Have you tried using a management tool such as Tweetdeck?
By using a management tool you can schedule tweets to be sent out at specific times, save #hatshtag searches, keep an eye on and participate in realtime chats using #hashtags.
Tweetdeck is a great management tool to start with, follow the information provided in Twitter’s guidance page, Getting started with Tweetdeck to give it a try.
Mashable’s Guidebook to Twitter is also an excellent resource with tips and tricks to improve your use of Twitter.
Write a short blog post reflecting on your exploration of one or more of, Lists, Analytics, or a management tool such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.
Not wanting to set up an account
You don’t need to be signed up to Twitter in order to use it for information gathering.
Go to the twitter homepage https://twitter.com and click on the search bar (shown with arrows in the image below). Type in some keywords from your field into the search bar and see what types of accounts and tweets are returned.
Explore the site, find twitter users with interesting content and view their public feeds.
Try using a #hashtag to find content and news in your field.
Write a short blog post reflecting on the information you were able to find without creating a Twitter account and how this could be useful for information gathering and/or networking.
Thing 8: Facebook
Once again, for this Thing we will be using three strands, one for Facebook Beginners, one for Facebook Intermediates, and one if you do not wish to use Facebook at all.
How to complete Thing 8
If you have never used Facebook before and are just setting up a new account, or if you have an account and have been using Facebook, make sure you set aside time to read through and familiarise yourself with the privacy settings. Think about what content you may share, who you are connecting with and in what way.
Did you know you can create levels of sharing? Lists can be created for ‘Close friends’, ‘friends’, and ‘acquaintances’. Then when posting content to Facebook you can select which lists of friends are able, or not, to see your content.
Have you though about what will happen to the page and account when you or a loved one passes away? It can be a difficult thing to talk about, but our digital legacy and what happens to our information when we are no longer here is now a part of our digital footprint.
After reading through the privacy settings and lists, write a short blog post about what you have learned about using Facebook and whether this has changed how you will use it in the future.
So you’ve been using Facebook for a while and know all about privacy settings and lists. Another feature you may be interested in using are the Facebook Groups.
Groups can be created for specific information sharing with a select audience. For example families may create a group for family members only in order to share pictures and updates about family life they’d rather not share with everyone on their Facebook feed. Friends may create a group to share information about specific interests they share. Colleagues may create a group for sharing professional updates and information.
- Groups can be made publicly viewable or secret.
- You can share files and documents
- Events can be created within and for specific groups
- Polls can be used in groups to gather information and organise
After reading about Facebook groups, write a short blog post about what you have learned. Have you created your own groups or joined groups created by others? If this is something you were already using, would you now consider using it in different ways?
Not a Facebook user
There are a variety of reasons why people choose not to sign up to and use Facebook, varying from personal, to professional, to international concerns. Please write a blog post about why you choose not to use Facebook. and share this with the other participants so we can appreciate your perspective.
Bonus Thing B: Participate in a Twitter Chat
A Twitter Chat is a publicly tweeted conversation around one unique hashtag. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with these interests.
To see how a Chat works, go to Twitter and search for the hashtag #23EdCh. This will bring up the tweets that participated in our Chats as part of the 2016 course. Participants ask or respond to a question by writing a tweet and including the hashtag so that anyone else following along can find and respond to your tweet.
If you are using Tweetdeck you can do a search for the hashtag, and then add that column to your dashboard for a live view of all tweets using the hashtag.
To find a Chat use a search engine to see if there is a directory of Chats for your country/region and find something you’d be interested in chatting about.