November 16, 2011

Hootsuite: keeping Twitter in its place!

Writing about web page

I've resisted the charms and attractions of Twitter, until recently. It keeps intruding into my professional life though, and I can't ignore it any longer! I go to an event and there is a hashtag advertised for twitterers to use. Or I can't go but I can look at the event website and follow the twitterers who are there, and so get a sense of what is happening. Twitter is undoubtedly useful but it needs to be kept in its place. I have enough to do!

Warwick PhD students on on the 23 Things for the Digital Researcher course have been asked to tweet, and as a co-ordinating tutor , I have wanted to show support for our course participants by tweeting too. (Does that make me a 'Twuutor'? I love all the fun to be had with the name 'Twitter'!)

We're using Twitter to keep in touch with researchers and PhD students who use the Wolfson Research Exchange (fondly known as REx) and who also tweet. The REx itself has a twitter account: @ResearchEx, but I want to tweet in my own name too, including the entries from this blog.

How do I tweet as both me and the REx and not lose hours of my life?! Here is the story of one possible answer...

I like to schedule my blog entries in advance when I have lots to write about and time to write it. So I asked a colleague who tweets and blogs (Emma Cragg:, whether it is possible to do this with tweets on Twitter. Emma tweeted to ask her contacts and back came the answer "". (Thanks to Emma and her Twits!)

I found that I need to use Hootsuite in Mozilla Firefox: like so many great tools, it doesn't work properly for me in Internet Explorer. No matter, I'm used to having at least 2 browsers open! With Hootsuite, I can now view on one screen for my own Twitter account, all the tweets of those who I follow, all tweets '@' me and any direct messages for me via Twitter. Then on another tab I can view the same for the REx Twitter account, and I've also added my LinkedIn account, so that from one tool, I can monitor several social networking sites. I could also add Facebook, but that is more for my real friends these days so I don't want to link that one to my other accounts...

Even more cleverly though, I can tweet from Hootsuite as myself or as the REx, or even post an update to LinkedIn... I never do that latter but maybe one day I might. And I can schedule my tweets, so I can write a load at the beginning of each week... and stay active on Twitter without having to be tied to it 24/7.

Let's hope that I can keep Twitter in its place, as a useful tool to share information about my work and possible also to communicate with professional contacts, and stop it from becoming a burden or a distraction... feathers crossed!

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Nick Dimmock

    Another useful tool for scheduling tweets is Tweetdeck, which was purchased by Twitter itself earlier this year. I haven’t used Hootsuite myself, but in Tweetdeck you can very quickly specify a post date for a tweet down to the minute.

    I expect they’re much of a muchness (Tweetdeck also offers Facebook integration, searches, stats and so on, which I believe is also true of Hootsuite), but it’s worth checking out for anyone trying to get to grips with using Twitter in a meaningful way.

    15 Dec 2011, 10:04

  2. Jenny Delasalle

    Hi Nick, thanks for the tip. I knew of Tweetdeck but didn’t know that it could also schedule Tweets. It will be on my list of things to investigate, then!

    15 Dec 2011, 10:15

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