Friday, 15 May 2009

Hashtags in Twitter and walls, fountains, ways to keep everyone's remarks in the picture

It is Friday, my head is already moving into weekend-drive and so I was looking for something small and nice to share. Twitter is used by a lot of people at this point. Some of its use is focusing on real-time feedback from participants, learners, students... So I bundled a few of the nice twitter applications that let you stay on top of everything that is happening in and during your event (when hastagged). If you are emerged in Twitter, you will have been using all of these and more, but otherwise, these apps can bring an 'aaaaahhhaaaa'-feeling to any event you are hosting or participating in.

First of all, no matter what type of course, event... you are moderating or presenting Twitter can add to your overall communication. But as such all of the students, participants and stakeholders need to be in synch with the event. So you need to set up a hashtag that people can use in order for other twitters to find relevant information that is posted for the event. If you want to get a feel of what is going on, put in a hashtag at this #hashtags search site to see what comes up (e.g. #eLearning or let's say you are presenting at Brussels Internet Convention in 2070; then a possible hashtag would be: #BIC2070 or #BIC70) and who is using those hashtags.

Some of these applications to ask your twitter account, so if you did not set it up yet, you might want to.

Let's say you are going to present something at a conference, meeting... or just during a course that you want to liven-up with some extra interactivity; you will want to make a hashtag for your event AND you will want to keep track of everything that is being posted on this (your) subject. Keeping on top of all the hashtags will be easier if you use any of these tools because they centralize everything in one and the same page or area:

Tweetchat
If you want to stay on top and interact with the people that send you comments through hashtags, you might want to use tweetchat as it enables you to interact just like twitter (comments, favorite). I like this one for if I have more time to interact behind the computer or mobile. All you need to do is open tweetchat and put in the hashtag and off you go.

twitterfountain
Another option is Twitterfountain (Dutch based): this is a nice app if you want to add a widget to a central page and still be able to stay in touch with the relevant hashtagged remarks that are published. You just adjust the widget to what you want to see, copy it and paste it into any page or area you want. It can also add Flickr photos, so if you are having a multimedia presentation, you can ask people to send their pictures immediately to a dedicated flickr-account and .... those pictures will show as the background of the tweets (a bit busy though).

Twitterwall
Another nice application you can use for this purpose and which is less stressful for the eyes (in case you have a lively presentation) is twitterwall, it is easy and straight forward: you just go to twitterwall, put in your tag, if prefered you add a URL that will be shown as a background and ... you get the latest tweets on the topic. For example this link based on the 'eLearning africa' tag.