Tag Archives: Research

Twitter Tools for Research

Statistics

TweetStats

You can find out how often you (or anybody you know the twitter name of) is tweeting using TweetStats.

WeFollow

Use WeFollow to see who people with similar interests are following. It uses hashtags to categorize people by industry or hobby.

wefollow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xefer Twitter Charts

Xefer graphs Tweets and replies using Yahoo Pipes and Google Charts to display hour-by-hour information. The other cool thing about Twitter Charts is that it will show you all the @replies a person has ever used, sorted by person. You can quickly find out who they favor.

xefer

 

 

 

 

 

Searching Tweets

Twitter Search

This is Twitter’s search page. Use it to search for keywords. There is also an advanced search option

See what's happening right now

Snap Bird

Searches beyond Twitter’s history so you can search tweets further back than 10 days, in only friends’ tweets, within direct messages and within any user’s favourites. Really useful when you remember a tweet but forgot to favourite it and want to read it again.

Trendistic 

Allows comparative searches of terms within Twitter. It is great for contextual analysis since the visual data (that can span from 24 hours to 30 days) is supported by the inclusion of qualitative data (the tweets that were used to generate the visuals). It is also a great tool for analyzing words in context as well as observing emergence of trends and patterns of communication.

Listorious

A search engine for Twitter lists, which is helpful for finding users with interests similar to yours.

Twicsy

This searches for images in Twitter. It relies on user descriptions so can be a bit hit and miss.

Influence and Reach

 

TweetReach

Provides a comprehensive set of metrics about a search term or user impact on Twitter and complements the quantitative data with excerpts of qualitative inputs. An explanation of how the scores are calculated is available here. Calculating reach is useful when aiming to assess the number of exposures a message/account could gain as facilitated by its network.

TweetReach report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klout 

Klout scores range from 0-100 and measure the overall online influence of a Twitter account. The score is “a factor of over 35 variables broken into three categories: True Reach, Amplification Score and Network Score” where “True Reach is the size of the account’s engaged audience and is based on the followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that an account’s messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential an account’s engaged audience is, also on a scale of 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.”

TwentyFeet

Aggregates social media stats from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Analytics, Myspace and bit.ly. Once authorized it collects and produces visualizations based on activity metrics: followers, lists, mentions, RTs, favorites, links and more. It interprets data into categories: reputation (followers and lists), influence (mentions, RTs), conversation indicators (Tweets, RTs, @replies).

 

Archiving Tweets

The Archivist 

Archives twitter data and provides some visual interpretation by default. This makes the analysis process even easier than with TwapperKeeper . It has options for viewing and downloading the data. The Archivist has also a desktop application which would enable working with other datasets as well.

Other ways of archiving Twitter include back-up options reviewed by ReadWriteWeb. Of some relevance might beTwistory and TwInbox, both downloading data to calendars and Outlook Express respectively.

Using Twitter for Academic Research

Twitter is an excellent resource which is often underused in Academic research. Largely because of common misconceptions of Twitter including:

  • It’s only for teenagers
  • It’s all celebrities telling us what they have for breakfast
  • It’s time consuming

This is unfortunate, because Twitter is a valuable resource for academics. If you’re allowing  inaccurate stereotypes to deter you, you’re missing out.

Dorothy Bishop, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, University of Oxford (From Blog post: A gentle introduction to Twitter for the apprehensive academic, Tuesday 14 June 2011. Accessed 10th February 2013)

You don’t need to follow everybody, you can select who you follow so that you don’t have to know what Lady GaGa has had for breakfast.

To stop the “noise” on twitter be selective about who you follow and run keyword searches to seek information you want.

Think of it as a radio that is playing all the time in the background. You can tune in and out of it when you want to and if something particularly good has happened you can search for it – just as you could look up a radio show on BoB or iPlayer if you missed it but everyone says you should hear it.

Twitter is excellent for networking and connecting with researchers with similar interests. You can also follow most conferences on Twitter using hashtags, so even if you can’t get to a conference or seminar you can find out what is happening.

A big concern for many researchers is managing their online identity. This video from the University of Warwick explains why you don’t need to worry too much:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-OoKA2RGRM

If you need more convincing here is a personal journey through Twitter:

http://youtu.be/sY6hqkGvb1c

When using Twitter for research it is helpful to ask effective questions. This blog post gives some advice.

We also have an introduction to Twitter here.

Further information: