Ten Twitter tools

This post lists ten free tools for helping you manage your Twitter accounts:

  1. Twitonomy (analytics)
  2. Tweetchup (hashtag manager)
  3. Tweriod (online status of followers)
  4. Buffer (automated posting)
  5. Followerwonk (location of followers)
  6. ManageFlitter (weed inactive accounts)
  7. Unfollowers (weed unfollowers)
  8. Commun.it (alerts to tweets that need a response)
  9. SumAll (daily activity reports)
  10. TweetReach (popularity of tweets)


Education, Teaching

100 Best 2.0 Classroom Tools

More tools to discover, courtesy of this post.  I’m highlighting below the tools that I think would be relevant to graduate education:
















I’m looking forward to exploring the tools I’ve not used before.  I’d be interested in hearing of your experiences with any of these tools for educational use, as well as other social media tools not listed above.


Professors and Social Media

Thanks to my friend Stuart Boon, for publishing this post, where he indicates that “At a recent study by Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson that shows about 91% of college faculty use social media as part of their job. This is in sharp contrast to other industries where just 47% of employees use social media as part of their work.” The infographic below, from Schools.com, summarizes the findings of the study.

I would certainly count myself in that 91%, as well as the 70% of professors who use social media in their teaching.  I tried using a private blog for one of my classes last term, but this did not work well, since it’s difficult for non-administrators (i.e., the students), to add posts; they can only respond to a post that I’ve added, and these responses must be moderated first by me before being posted.  I tried this approach because I was concerned about using a public blog as part of the students’ participation mark, since my concern was with protecting their privacy.  On the other hand, opening the blog to the public might encourage interaction with other members of our profession, which can add greatly to the students’ experience.  We do have a blog feature in our online learning system, but it’s not the most user-friendly.   I think I’ll try the public blog feature in the Winter term for one of my courses and see how it works.  I don’t think that students were as concerned about privacy as I was, so perhaps I’m being overly conscientious.

I am still not comfortable using Facebook as a teaching tool; I still don’t befriend students in my personal Facebook account.  Has anyone tried creating a class-based Facebook account for teaching purposes?


University’s Social-Media Policy Draws Cries of Censorship

I came across this article that discusses Sam Houston University’s Social Universe portal and its social media policy.  The article focuses on the perhaps heavy-handed policy requiring that everyone who has a campus-related social media account to provide the university with editing privileges.  It’s certainly an interesting question to ponder.  If you have an account that features the university name or banner, then is it unreasonable for that university to exercise some control over what is posted?  I don’t think it’s as simple a question of free speech.  I can’t comment on U.S. laws, but we certainly have very strong rights to freedom of expression in Canada; I think the problem is that some people equate freedom of speech with a lack of responsibility.  I may have the freedom to say what I want, but I must be prepared to accept the consequences of what I say.  In the case of accounts related to a University, would the University be liable for comments or posts that violate the law, e.g., in the cases of inciting hatred or violence, or defamation of character? If I am posting something as an employee of the University (as is the case, for example, for our School-related blog, Twitter, and Facebook feeds), then is it reasonable for the University to exercise the right to monitor and moderate content?

I am intrigued by the concept of this portal; I think it’s a very good way of bringing together the various social media outlets that the University employs.  It highlights also the increasing importance of having clearly-stated social media policies.


Social media and libraries

I had a wonderful discussion today with an academic librarian whose primary responsibility is to communicate and promote the library system’s services. My interest is in the use of social media to accomplish this goal. We talked about using social media to help break out library services beyond the confines of time and space (sounding very Star Trek here). What impressed me was my colleague’s enthusiasm for the possibilities in expanding the scope and perception of library services. This was so much more than a simple jumping on board the Library 2.0 bandwagon, but a genuine reflection on how social media can impact these services. I look forward to a continuing dialogue.


Columbia J-School Students Try to Keep Professor Off Social Media

This is a rather amusing look at what I like to call social media addiction. A Dean and Columbia University is such a prolific poster to social media sites, that a fundraising campaign has been set up that asks his followers to give a monetary donation to not hear from him for 24 hours:

“So a Silence Sree web page was set up and if 200 people donate $5 or more, Sreenivasan’s 4,999 Facebook friends and 19,400 Twitter followers will not hear from him for 24 hours. Columbia students who donate cash can give as little as $1. If fewer than 200 people donate, the silence will last for a comparable portion of the day. All the money will go to charity: 85% to scholarships for Columbia journalism students and 15% to earthquake/tsunami relief in Japan.”

I am nowhere near this man’s social media weight class.

Columbia J-School Students Try to Keep Professor Off Social Media | LinkedIn.


Social Media Shapes Up As Next Analytic Frontier

In keeping with our recent Lunch & Learn sessions about the use of social media in organizations, comes this timely article about the growing impact of these media on business operations.

“Print advertising is down, digital advertising is up and social media is emerging as the hottest hot spot in online marketing.”

“The stakes in this market are growing. U.S. advertisers will spend more than $2 billion on social media sites this year, up 24% from 2010, according to research firm eMarketer. It’s a small but fast-growing slice of total spending, compared with magazine and newspaper spending in the U.S. pegged at $38 billion and all forms of online advertising totaling $28 billion last year, according to Winterberry Group figures.”

The challenge lies in monitoring and responding to the  various social media fora for customer feedback.  This article discusses some new tools being developed and used for this purpose.

Social Media Shapes Up As Next Analytic Frontier — InformationWeek.


Some White House records may not be preserved

This article is timely indeed, given the Lunch & Learn sessions that my colleague Sandra Toze and I have been giving over the past two weeks (Using social media to leverage corporate intelligence and tacit knowledge).The article deals with the challenge of preserving records generated by social media applications, such as Facebook and Twitter.  Technically, any posts associated with a corporation’s social media site could be considered business records, and thus subject to the company’s retention and disposition policies.  As the article points out, however, controlling these records becomes difficult if people access and post to these corporate sites via personal devices.  Of course, the other side of the argument is the matter of what to keep, as it’s doubtful that all of these social media records have any long-term value.

The Associated Press: Some White House records may not be preserved.


Kobo’s New Social Reading Platform Has Launched –

As a Kobo and BlackBerry client and someone whose research has focused on transforming library catalogues into social spaces, I am particularly intrigued and excited by Kobo’s announcement that it will be releasing a social reading application that works with BlackBerry Messenger. This app will let readers  “shop with a friend, read with a group, exchange passages, and discuss the book in real-time.”  These features – with the obvious exclusion of the commercial aspects – are exactly the direction in which I think library catalogues should go.  I have argued for a number of years that library catalogues should enable communication amongst patrons, allowing them to share and discuss their reading, hearing, and viewing interests.  This type of interactivity may be particularly valuable for people for whom access to a physical branch may be difficult or limited.  One of the logistical challenges of this type of app is the lack of compatibility across different platforms, such as BlackBerry, Android, iPhones, etc., which can serve to limit its use.  I live in hope that cross-platform compatibility will be in our near future.

Kobo’s New Social Reading Platform Has Launched – eBookNewser.