It’s interesting to watch the popularity of Twitter hashtag chat communities (like #uklibchat) grow. It’s also interesting to the number of different ways these chats are recorded from dumping/exporting a Twitter Search into a word or pdf doc to using tools like Storify to capture the highlights. If you organise or are thinking of organising a #chat here’s one way you might want to keep a complete record of what was said and a couple of ways you can use this data.
Archiving the conversation
Perhaps not surprisingly it starts with my Google Spreadsheet Template for capturing Twitter searches. I realise that this solution isn’t as straight forward as old services like Twapper Keeper and it can look a bit daunting but trust me it’s not that bad and even with my dodgy typing it can be setup in under 3 minutes.
Publish archive as a spreadsheet
Here’s an example from the last #uklibchat (for demo purposes only, the archive isn’t been updated). What you can do is select the rows that cover your chat period and paste them to a new sheet (as I have done here). Once you’ve copied you might want to sort on the Time column to get the tweets back in chronological order. At this point you have a couple of options. You can File > Publish to the web generating a link for the sheet (or as I’ve done just File > Share then entire spreadsheet).
Embed tweets in your blog
By adding a column with the formula
and filling it down the entire column of your chat sheet when you paste the values generated into certain blogging tools like WordPress.com the twitter status urls are automatically embedded in the page like the one shown below (you might want to be selective about the tweets you include as too many will kill your page load time):
Hello,the first#uklibchat of the yearis kicking off now !
— #uklibchat (@uklibchat) January 12, 2012
Experimental – Visualise, interact and replay the conversation
With you #chat in a Google Spreadsheet another thing you can do is use my TAGSExplorer to let other people see and interact with the conversation. Here’s #uklibchat for the 12th January:
- with nodes joined by @reply
- with nodes joined with @reply [solid black] and @mentions [grey dashed]; and
- with nodes joined with @reply [solid black], @mentions [grey dashed] and RTs [blue dashed];
Some things worth noting: click on a node lets you see their tweets, replies and mentions; and you can replay the conversations with that person
What do you think?