Eighth Day of #ARU10DoT: Managing People

Over the last seven days, you may have found that as you continue to use Twitter, you come across more and more interesting people to follow, and your following also grows exponentially. Keeping track of them all can be a challenge, and sometimes you will want to focus on certain groups of them over others, or check in on some people only sporadically. This is hard to do in the undifferentiated stream of tweets on your Twitter feed, where they are all mixed in together. Fortunately, there are ways to split up your Twitter stream and group the people you follow into separate streams, so you can keep an eye on their tweets as it suits you.

You might want to group the people you follow into any of the types that we looked at in Day Three. Some examples might be

  • Colleagues or services at your institution
  • Colleagues and peers across the country/world in a particular field
  • Professional or funding bodies
  • News accounts
  • Social, personal or fun accounts

Twitter lists

Twitter has a feature which allows you to make lists of people – and you need not follow all of them to add them to a list. These lists can be private, so only you can see them, or they might be public so you can share them with others. I created such a list for the participants of this course on Day Two, so you could find each other on Day Three. You might create such a list for the benefit of others, for example, to bring together the attendees at a workshop or conference, students on a particular programme or module, or the top accounts on a particular topic which you recommend other people should follow. You can share a list by giving people the URL of the list page, or let them view the lists you’ve created on your profile, where they can subscribe to your lists too.

To create a list on Twitter, go to the Gear Wheel icon at the top right of the page. Select ‘Lists’, and you will see a page which will contain any lists you will make. Click on ‘Create list’, and you will be asked to name your new list and add a brief description. This description will be very helpful if you now choose to make the list public, so others can find and subscribe to it. You will now be invited to search for people to add to your list. You can also add them later, by clicking on their @name and going to their profile. If you click on the three vertical dots you will see a menu containing the option ‘add or remove from lists’.

To view your lists, or those of other people, you can simply go to ‘lists’ on your ‘Me’ tab (one of the options across the top), and see only the tweets from the people in that list.16-12-day-08-02Block, Report and Mute

While we’re on the topic of managing people, you can also block or report people, for example, if you are followed by a spam account or someone you don’t want following you. My Block List (accessed through Settings) includes a variety of unwanted or undesirable accounts.

As I’m not a fan of gambling, for example, I have blocked Bet365, 888Poker and Newmarket Racecourse. Some of the accounts appear to be spambots as it is highly unlikely that young girls who live in the US and don’t speak English are a) real and/or b) interested in anything I have to say! Others I block for political reasons. I have not actively sought out accounts to block – these are all accounts that followed me for reasons best known to themselves.

16-12-day-08-03Extras

If you’re keen to explore further, you might look at the following tips, or you might return to them later on, when you’ve been using Twitter for a while:

Third Party Apps

The beauty of Twitter is in its simplicity as a platform. However, sometimes you need a bit more functionality. There are some third party applications created by other companies as add-ons to Twitter, to help you out with some of the things about Twitter which you may find a bit overwhelming. Some of them will need to be integrated with your Twitter account to drawn information from them, and to do this, you will need to grant them access to your account (you can undo this again from your Twitter account settings).

You might want a more convenient way to view different aspects of your Twitter stream, or even add in updates from other platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn together with Twitter, so your whole social media stream is visible in one place. To do this, you can use one of the third party applications that were developed to make Twitter easier to use.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is owned by Twitter, and is a good way to manage more than one account, if you have more than one (for personal and professional use, or perhaps an individual one and an official one on behalf of an institution). I am using Tweetdeck to tweet from @ARU10DoT, @markwarnes2 and also @AngliaLTA at the moment, without having to log out of one account and into another – and it’s easy to get confused and tweet from the wrong one! However, you can also use Tweetdeck to split your Twitter stream into columns divided by people. It will import any lists you have made on Twitter too.

You will need to create an account, with an email address and password. Once you have set up an account, you can connect your Twitter account(s). You can use it as a web-based application to access from anywhere, or you can download the Tweetdeck app to your computer (there is no app for smartphones or tablets). Tweetdeck is organised into a number of columns, and gives you a number of columns automatically, such as your timeline, your own tweets or your @mentions (tweets that mention you), and you can add new columns for the lists you create. You can also create new lists in Tweetdeck. Click on ‘add column’, and choose ‘lists’ (or any other column you want to add!).

You can do everything we’ve covered in Twitter on Tweetdeck too, including shortening URLs. Tweetdeck also makes some other things in Twitter a little bit easier. For example, when you retweet, it will ask you if you simply want to retweet or if you want to edit the tweet, as we discussed in Day 6. On Twitter, you need to copy and paste the tweet if you want to edit it, which can be fiddly; this does it automatically.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is similar application to Tweetdeck, but it allows you also to import other social media accounts such as Facebook, and it is also available as an app for mobile devices. You can sign up using Facebook, or if you prefer to keep Facebook separate from your professional social media use, you can sign up with an email address, name and password. It will then ask you to add your chosen social network accounts. You can then add streams of content similarly as in Tweetdeck, and tabs for the different social networks. Hootsuite has a quick start guide to help you set up your account.

The other bonus of tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite is that you don’t see the advertising ‘promoted tweets’ from companies you don’t follow!


Digital Badge

See the Digital Badges tab at the top of the screen for more information.

Activity: Today’s Digital Badge activity is to create a list and post the link in the comments section (e.g. https://twitter.com/MarkWarnes2/lists/famous-people). You might want to try making a list of your colleagues on Twitter, or perhaps one for the professional and funding bodies you follow.

Digital Badge Update

Hi all!

Keeping track of who has completed the daily tasks has been much more complex than I had predicted!

I have produced a table showing what I have received from you all for last week’s activities:

Day 1: Username Day 2: Joining in Day 3: Following People Day 4: @messages Day 5: Retweets
@nicmil75

Y

@royalsociety
@Science_Council
@ChemicalScience

Y

Y

@sarah_elsegood

Y

@RobGMacfarlane
@scholastic_rat
@LibGoddess

Y

Y

@richardhayward7

Y

@RacePhil
@trishgreenhalgh
@PhDForum

Y

Y

@SparklyBooks

Y

@orkneylibrary
@innocent
@ARULibrary

Y

Y

@liama_llama

Y

@ARULibrary
@OnePerfectShot
@FakeLibStats

Y

Y

@ARU_ARITI

Y

@cyberawaregov
@futurecitiescat
@BBCRoryCJ

Y

2 / 3

@mrshannahunt

Y

@_skiesimunder
@Vicky_gazette
@esxLGBTAlliance

Y

Y

@MartinAlpin

Y

@IDScUK
@TheIET
@guardian

Y

@librarianklok

Y

@frenchiemanny
@CILIPinfo
@gerardway

Y

@EdgarKlusa

Y

@EuropeUnion
@TheEconomist
@HarvardBiz

Y

@annapajak_

Y

@EU_Comission
@EU_Eurostat
@MarkWarnes2

Y

@ARU_Networking

Y

@ChelmsCouncil
@Cisco
@Mashable

Y

@jrsvensson

Y

@aurorawatchuk
@BEAUTIFULPlCS
@oncologytube

Y

@sarahalle88

Y

@ARUaccom
@ARUenvironment
@UB_UK

Y

@holly_bopp

Y

Y

@Connect_to_Omair

Y

@FST_Placements Y  @PlacementsUK
@Gradcracker
@RateMyPlacement

Y

Y

Please let me know if you think I’ve missed anything – I’ll just claim a senior moment. Some of you who have joined late haven’t complete Day 1 so you aren’t on this table yet – I’ll add you you when you’ve posted.

Don’t worry if you still need to fill in the table, though – there’s plenty of time to catch up!

Happy tweeting!

Fifth day of #ARU10DoT: Retweeting

You’ve send a few tweets over the last few days – hopefully you’ve found plenty in your everyday routine as an academic which would be of interest to others, whether they are your Anglia Ruskin colleagues, peers in your field, other professions within or beyond Higher Education, such as policy, journalism, or publishing, or to the general public.

But it really would be hard work to generate all the material yourself to feed your followers with regular, interesting tweets! Fortunately, you don’t have to – you can retweet the tweets of others. It’s sort of like forwarding an email, but to everyone who’s following you. They see the content of the original tweet, who it came from originally, and perhaps also a contextualising comment from you. By doing this, you’re performing a valuable service:

  • to your followers, by sifting the stream of information available to them, filtering out what’s potentially interesting to them, and also by making them aware of potential new contacts they can add to their network. They may already follow the person you’ve retweeted, in which case you’re bringing their attention to something they may have missed the first time. They may not yet follow the original tweeter, in which case, you’ve made available to them information they may not have had access to, and given them a new contact to follow.
  • to the people you follow, by amplifying their message and spreading it outside their network (and also possibly putting them in touch with new contacts)
  • to you, by displaying to others that you’re well connected to interesting and important people, and that you are a discerning judge of what information is interesting and significant!

I’ve been retweeting items I hoped might be of interest to you and my other followers on @markwarnes2 over the last week. To retweet a message, you simply click on the ‘retweet’ button which appears below each tweet when you hover over it.

RetweetThe message will then appear in your followers’ Twitter streams as if it appeared from the original sender, even though they may not follow them (although they might!). The tweet that they see will be marked with ‘username retweeted’ in small lettering, so if they look, they can tell that it was you who retweeted it.

Retweet 2However, you can edit the tweet before retweeting it:

Retweet with editAdding a comment alters the appearance of the retweet on your news feed, and Twitter embeds the original tweet below your comment:

Edit and retweetAlso, apps like Hootsuite or TweetDeck (we’ll look at these later on!) give you the option to quote and edit, or just retweet. This makes the tweet come from your account, rather than the original sender, making it clear that it’s you who has chosen to pass this information on.

Remember that to use Twitter effectively to promote your own work, you need to update frequently with interesting content to gain a following, and you also need to reciprocate and promote the work of others. No one wants to read or retweet a Twitter feed which is just broadcasting announcements about itself!

So – have a look at your twitter stream and see if you can find tweets you think your followers might be interested in – funding opportunities, calls for papers, an item of news, a new blog post, or publication someone’s tweeted about, a comment you agree with… and start retweeting!


Digital Badge

See the Digital Badges tab at the top of the screen for more information.

Activity: Today’s Digital Badge activity is to edit three tweets to add #ARU10DoT and retweet them.

Fourth day of #ARU10DoT: Sending @messages

You’ve sent some tweets, followed people and hopefully gained some followers of your own. Some people prefer to listen more than they tweet, which is fine – the only thing to consider is, the more you say about your interests and interact with others, the more people will know what kind of information might be useful to you, and direct relevant things your way. It’s a way of fine-tuning your Twitter feed as well as providing useful information to others.

Sometimes you might want to address a tweet to someone – it will be visible to other followers, but you want to catch a particular person’s attention with it. This might be because:

  • you are replying to or responding to one of their tweets
  • you are asking them a question
  • because you think they might be particularly interested in the information passed on in your tweet and want to make sure it catches their eye
  • you mention them in a tweet and want them to know, for example, if you retweet one of their tweets, or are talking about their work

It may also be that you don’t follow that person, or they don’t follow you, but you still want to catch their attention with one particular tweet: they will still see it if you include their @username

For example:

To call someone’s attention to a tweet with an @ mention, you use their username or ‘handle’ preceded by a @ sign. For example, to let me know you’ve mentioned me, you would include ‘@markwarnes2’ in the tweet. If you click the ‘reply’ option which appears in grey in each tweet, Twitter will automatically insert the person’s @name into your tweet (we’ll look at the other options that appear in each tweet later!)

This is another reason to keep your Twitter name as short as you can – it uses up some of the 140 characters! This is a feature that originated with the users of Twitter, which was then subsequently designed into the platform. It’s what has turned Twitter from a broadcast medium of updates into a conversation, and that’s Twitter’s real strength.

Note – as the @ sign is reserved for marking people’s handles, you can’t use it as an abbreviation for ‘at’, for example, ‘let’s meet @6pm @cafe’ – it will treat these as an @message, and it’s likely that someone, somewhere, will have chosen @6pm or @cafe as a handle!

Why might you want a wider audience to see conversations between you and another user?

What’s in it for them?

  • It’s polite to acknowledge them if you’re retweeting something they’ve said, or to let them know if you’re commenting on their work
  • You are drawing attention to them and their work to people who don’t already follow them – they get publicity and new followers

What’s in it for you?

  • You gain a reputation as a polite, helpful, knowledgeable and well-connected professional
  • You may also gain new followers or make new connections

What’s in it for your followers?

  • They get to know about someone’s work which they may have been unaware of, and a new person to follow
  • They are offered a chance to contribute to the discussion too, and thereby gain new contacts and audiences
  • If replying to someone who’s passed on useful information to you specifically, it’s helpful to copy in their reply to your tweet response, in case your followers are also interested in the information.

To see @messages directed at you, click on the tab marked Notifications with the bell icon, at the top of the screen.

NotificationsThey will also appear in your Twitter stream, but you may miss them there! Depending on your settings, you can also receive an email when someone @messages you. To set your account to email you when someone mentions you, click on Settings (accessed via your Profile Picture at the top) and then ‘Email Notifications’ in the left hand menu. You may wish to edit the Email Notifications anyway as the default settings may include things you don’t want or need.

Remember that Twitter is a very public medium, and your tweets will be visible to anyone who views your profile.

Direct Messages

If you really want to send a message to just one person, but don’t want it publicly visible to anyone else, Twitter allows you to send them a DM or Direct Message, but only if that person follows you. Direct Messages on Twitter operate in the same way as other direct messaging systems, such as Facebook Messenger, for instance.

If you want to practice sending a Direct Message, feel free to contact me! If I’ve accidentally omitted to follow you, let me know!

So – send some @messages to people you follow – ask them a question, draw their attention to something, comment on something they’ve tweeted! Reply to anyone who messages you, to be polite, if they appear genuine and professional.


Digital Badge

See the Digital Badges tab at the top of the screen for more information.

Activity: Today’s Digital Badge activity is to send me an @message to tell me how it’s going @markwarnes2

Second Day of #ARU10DoT: Sending tweets

Twitter only allows you to send 140 characters, which doesn’t seem much. In academia, we almost always write at length about complex ideas, so it’s difficult to say something meaningful in such a short amount of text. But that doesn’t mean that Twitter is superficial or only used to tweet about frivolous things. Many people, especially in an HE context, who are new to Twitter aren’t sure what to say, or why updates about whatever they’re doing would be interesting to others. But there are actually many aspects of your day-to-day work that would be of very practical use to others. Have a look at some Twitter feeds from academic tweeters and see what kinds of information they share, to get an idea of how you really can say something useful and engaging in 140 characters.

The appropriate tone for a professional Twitter account doesn’t need to be overly formal – you can be chatty and conversational, and allow your personality to come through. In fact, you’ll have to be a bit informal if you want to fit everything in, using abbreviations and even textspeak! Even if tweeting on behalf of a department or group, you need to be engaging rather than formal. Do remember though, if you’re tweeting in any professional capacity, that Twitter is a very public medium, and that your tweets can be kept by others, even if you delete them (more about this on Day 10). Don’t say anything you wouldn’t normally say openly in a work context.

Some examples of what you might tweet about:

  • an article you’re reading that’s interesting or a book you recommend
  • an online resource you’ve stumbled across
  • a workshop, webinar, seminar or conference you’re going to – others may not have known about it, may want to meet you if they’re also going to be there, or may want to ask you about it if they can’t make it
  • a new person you met today who might be a good contact for you or others in future
  • some insight on academic work from an incident that happened today
  • advice, tips or insights into how you teach or research for students or other colleagues
  • a question asked by a student or colleague that made you think
  • slides from a talk or lecture which you’ve just uploaded online
  • your thoughts on an education or other news story relevant to your work
  • a funding, project or job opportunity you’ve just seen
  • a digital tool or software you’re using or problem you’ve solved with it
  • a typical day – an insight into an academic’s life or moral support
  • your new publication or report which has just come out (there are ways of mentioning this gracefully!)

Sending a tweet is really easy – when you’re logged into Twitter, you’ll see a box in the middle of the screen at the top, which says ‘What’s happening?’ If you click in the box, you’ll be able to write your tweet and then press ‘Enter’ or click the ‘Tweet’ button. You can also use the feather quill pen icon in the top right of the screen to compose your tweet.

What's happening?Remember – you’re only able to write 140 characters including spaces. A small counter below this box tells you how many characters you have left. It will stop you once you go over and highlight how many characters you need to delete. You’ll soon develop a suitably concise style, and learn the tricks to abbreviate your writing, such as using ‘&’ instead of ‘and’. This all adds to the informal tone.

Over the next week, we’ll be sending the following ten types of tweets. For today, though, just send a few of the first type of tweet over the course of the day, using the examples above. You could include the hashtag #ARU10Dot in your tweets – we’ll explain why later!

  1. A simple message – what are you up to? What kind of event or activity might your intended following find interesting, personable or quirky? You could let them know about an upcoming event they were unaware of or might also be present at, a thought about your research or work that’s just occurred to you, or just show that you’re approachable and share common experiences. Don’t agonise over it though – Twitter is ephemeral in many ways!

(no’s 2-10 are examples of what we’ll be moving on to over the rest of the week)

  1. An @ message directed to someone. Ask someone a question, comment or reply to one of their tweets, thank them for a RT or welcome a new follower. NB: don’t start your tweet with the @ sign, as then only the people that follow both of you will see it! Either include their @name later in the message or add a full stop . before the @ if it’s at the start.
  2. Send a direct message (DM) to someone. What kind of message would need to be private in this way?
  3. A link to something interesting and relevant you’ve read online, or link to a journal or book. Twitter will automatically shorten it using Twitter’s automatic tool or you can manually shorten it using third-party software such as tinyURL, bitly or ly Add a bit of context or comment on it!
  4. Ask a question of your followers – crowdsource their views, ask for tips or advice or recommendations on a topic of mutual interest! Perhaps ask them to retweet (i.e. ‘pls RT’)
  5. Tweet a link to something you’ve shared online recently – a profile update, slides from a conference presentation, handouts from a workshop. Many platforms can be set up to do this automatically when you update, such as blogs, SlideShare, Storify, LinkedIn, and so on. Add an engaging and contextualising comment!
  6. A retweeted, quoted tweet from someone else. Don’t just use Twitter’s retweet button – start with your own comment, then add RT and the @name of the originator or retweeter
  7. A tweet incorporating a hashtag which links to a wider discussion. Search for your chosen hashtag first, to get a sense of what others use it for and what the discussion has been, and what you can add. Look at tweets from followers for hashtag discussions to join, make one up and see if it’s been used, or try adding something to an existing hashtag such as #studychat or #infolit
  8. Livetweet an event of some kind, even if only for 10 minutes. You might try a research seminar, conference presentation or lecture. It’s polite to ask permission from the speaker. See if there is a hashtag for the event and if so, use it. Practice summarising the event and distinguishing your comments from the speaker’s
  9. Take part in a livechat on Twitter: #UKedchat, #ECRchat and #PhDchat are popular ones

We’ll look at nos. 2-10 over the next few days. If you can think of any more professional uses for Twitter, then do add them in the comments, or tweet about it!

If you’re thinking of tweeting in an official capacity, then think about the balance of your own announcements to other information (Twitter is still a conversation, not an announcement service, and too much one-way, impersonal promotion will turn off your following!).

So – send a few tweets, now and perhaps throughout the day, following suggestion no. 1 from the list above! Make sure that when people check out your profile from yesterday, there’s some interesting and engaging content there! Watch for tweets from us at @ARU10DoT and tweet back!


Digital Badge

See the Digital Badges tab at the top of the screen for more information.

Activity: Today’s Digital Badge activity is to tweet the following:  Joining in #ARU10DoT with @ARU10DoT and @markwarnes2

Eighth Day of #ARU10DoT: Managing People

Over the last seven days, you may have found that as you continue to use Twitter, you come across more and more interesting people to follow, and your following also grows exponentially. Keeping track of them all can be a challenge, and sometimes you will want to focus on certain groups of them over others, or check in on some people only sporadically. This is hard to do in the undifferentiated stream of tweets on your Twitter feed, where they are all mixed in together. Fortunately, there are ways to split up your Twitter stream and group the people you follow into separate streams, so you can keep an eye on their tweets as it suits you.

You might want to group the people you follow into any of the types that we looked at in Day Three. Some examples might be

  • Colleagues or services at your institution
  • Colleagues and peers across the country/world in a particular field
  • Professional or funding bodies
  • News accounts
  • Social, personal or fun accounts

Twitter lists

Twitter has a feature which allows you to make lists of people – and you need not follow all of them to add them to a list. These lists can be private, so only you can see them, or they might be public so you can share them with others. I created such a list for the participants of this course on Day Two, so you could find each other on Day Three. You might create such a list for the benefit of others, for example, to bring together the attendees at a workshop or conference, students on a particular programme or module, or the top accounts on a particular topic which you recommend other people should follow. You can share a list by giving people the URL of the list page, or let them view the lists you’ve created on your profile, where they can subscribe to your lists too.

To create a list on Twitter, go to the Gear Wheel icon at the top right of the page. Select ‘Lists’, and you will see a page which will contain any lists you will make. Click on ‘Create list’, and you will be asked to name your new list and add a brief description. This description will be very helpful if you now choose to make the list public, so others can find and subscribe to it. You will now be invited to search for people to add to your list. You can also add them later, by clicking on their @name and going to their profile. If you click on the Gear Wheel you will see a menu containing the option ‘add or remove from lists’.

16-12-day-08-01To view your lists, or those of other people, you can simply go to ‘lists’ on your ‘Me’ tab (one of the options across the top), and see only the tweets from the people in that list.

16-12-day-08-02Block, Report and Mute

While we’re on the topic of managing people, you can also block or report people, for example, if you are followed by a spam account or someone you don’t want following you. My Block List (accessed through Settings) includes a variety of unwanted or undesirable accounts.

16-12-day-08-03As I’m not a fan of gambling, for example, I have blocked Bet365, 888Poker and Newmarket Racecourse. Some of the accounts appear to be spambots as it is highly unlikely that young girls who live in the US and don’t speak English are a) real and/or b) interested in anything I have to say! Others I block for political reasons. I have not actively sought out accounts to block – these are all accounts that followed me for reasons best known to themselves.

 

Extras

If you’re keen to explore further, you might look at the following tips, or you might return to them later on, when you’ve been using Twitter for a while:

Third Party Apps

The beauty of Twitter is in its simplicity as a platform. However, sometimes you need a bit more functionality. There are some third party applications created by other companies as add-ons to Twitter, to help you out with some of the things about Twitter which you may find a bit overwhelming. Some of them will need to be integrated with your Twitter account to drawn information from them, and to do this, you will need to grant them access to your account (you can undo this again from your Twitter account settings).

You might want a more convenient way to view different aspects of your Twitter stream, or even add in updates from other platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn together with Twitter, so your whole social media stream is visible in one place. To do this, you can use one of the third party applications that were developed to make Twitter easier to use.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is owned by Twitter, and is a good way to manage more than one account, if you have more than one (for personal and professional use, or perhaps an individual one and an official one on behalf of an institution). I am using Tweetdeck to tweet from @ARU10DoT, @markwarnes2 and also @AngliaLTA at the moment, without having to log out of one account and into another – and it’s easy to get confused and tweet from the wrong one! However, you can also use Tweetdeck to split your Twitter stream into columns divided by people. It will import any lists you have made on Twitter too.

You will need to create an account, with an email address and password. Once you have set up an account, you can connect your Twitter account(s). You can use it as a web-based application to access from anywhere, or you can download the Tweetdeck app to your computer (there is no app for smartphones or tablets). Tweetdeck is organised into a number of columns, and gives you a number of columns automatically, such as your timeline, your own tweets or your @mentions (tweets that mention you), and you can add new columns for the lists you create. You can also create new lists in Tweetdeck. Click on ‘add column’, and choose ‘lists’ (or any other column you want to add!).

You can do everything we’ve covered in Twitter on Tweetdeck too, including shortening URLs. Tweetdeck also makes some other things in Twitter a little bit easier. For example, when you retweet, it will ask you if you simply want to retweet or if you want to edit the tweet, as we discussed in Day 6. On Twitter, you need to copy and paste the tweet if you want to edit it, which can be fiddly; this does it automatically.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is similar application to Tweetdeck, but it allows you also to import other social media accounts such as Facebook, and it is also available as an app for mobile devices. You can sign up using Facebook, or if you prefer to keep Facebook separate from your professional social media use, you can sign up with an email address, name and password. It will then ask you to add your chosen social network accounts. You can then add streams of content similarly as in Tweetdeck, and tabs for the different social networks. Hootsuite has a quick start guide to help you set up your account.

The other bonus of tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite is that you don’t see the advertising ‘promoted tweets’ from companies you don’t follow!

Think about the kinds of update you’ve seen on Twitter so far from the people you follow. Who do you most want to see tweets from? You might want to try making a list of your colleagues on Twitter, or perhaps one for the professional and funding bodies you follow.

 

Fifth day of #ARU10DoT: Retweeting

You’ve send a few tweets over the last five days – hopefully you’ve found plenty in your everyday routine as an academic which would be of interest to others, whether they are your Anglia Ruskin colleagues, peers in your field, other professions within or beyond Higher Education, such as policy, journalism, or publishing, or to the general public.

But it really would be hard work to generate all the material yourself to feed your followers with regular, interesting tweets! Fortunately, you don’t have to – you can retweet the tweets of others. It’s sort of like forwarding an email, but to everyone who’s following you. They see the content of the original tweet, who it came from originally, and perhaps also a contextualising comment from you. By doing this, you’re performing a valuable service:

  • to your followers, by sifting the stream of information available to them, filtering out what’s potentially interesting to them, and also by making them aware of potential new contacts they can add to their network. They may already follow the person you’ve retweeted, in which case you’re bringing their attention to something they may have missed the first time. They may not yet follow the original tweeter, in which case, you’ve made available to them information they may not have had access to, and given them a new contact to follow.
  • to the people you follow, by amplifying their message and spreading it outside their network (and also possibly putting them in touch with new contacts)
  • to you, by displaying to others that you’re well connected to interesting and important people, and that you are a discerning judge of what information is interesting and significant!

I’ve been retweeting items I hoped might be of interest to you and my other followers on @markwarnes2 over the last week. To retweet a message, you simply click on the ‘retweet’ button which appears below each tweet when you hover over it.

16-12-day-05-01The message will then appear in your followers’ Twitter streams as if it appeared from the original sender, even though they may not follow them (although they might!). The tweet that they see will be marked with ‘username retweeted’ in small lettering, so if they look, they can tell that it was you who retweeted it.

16-12-day-05-02However, you can edit the tweet before retweeting it:

16-12-day-05-03Adding a comment alters the appearance of the retweet on your news feed, and Twitter embeds the original tweet below your comment:

16-12-day-05-04Also, apps like Hootsuite or TweetDeck (we’ll look at these later on!) give you the option to quote and edit, or just retweet. This makes the tweet come from your account, rather than the original sender, making it clear that it’s you who has chosen to pass this information on.

Remember that to use Twitter effectively to promote your own work, you need to update frequently with interesting content to gain a following, and you also need to reciprocate and promote the work of others. No one wants to read or retweet a Twitter feed which is just broadcasting announcements about itself!

So – have a look at your twitter stream and see if you can find tweets you think your followers might be interested in – funding opportunities, calls for papers, an item of news, a new blog post or publication someone’s tweeted about, a comment you agree with… and start retweeting!