The Non-Exsistant State of the Royal Roads Twittersphere

24 May

The Twitter API only lets you access the last  7 days of a user’s tweets. Sadly I wasn’t able to compile any of the usage statistics this past week because of 2 things: 1) the cron job I wrote to automatically import all of the data, for some reason, hasn’t been working properly (I only discovered this a couple days ago) and 2) I’m now outside of that 7 day range to compile the data manually.

For the very few of you who find this information interesting, I apologize.

From now on, I’m only going to be doing this on a monthly basis. Based on the data I’ve been collecting, a weekly analysis is too short of a time frame to compile anything meaningful. And because I’m now missing week 3′s stats, the next state of the Royal Roads Twittersphere won’t come until July 1st.

If there’s something you’d like to see in the next RR Twittersphere update, let me know so I can include it in the data collection process.

Twitter Announces Annotations Hackfest: May 29-30

23 May

Earlier today, Twitter announced that this coming weekend, 50 or so developers will have the opportunity, for free, to take part in a hackfest at Twitter HQ, where they’ll get to work with Annotations. The applications developed during the hackfest will even be judged by a panel of early-stage startup investors.

There’s going to be a ton of great ideas generated during the short 24 hour hacking period and I cannot wait to hear about them all.

If you aren’t familiar with what Annotations are, I wrote a post going over what they are here.

Twitter’s Annotations Explorer

20 May

When Annotations launch, the Annotations Explorer is going to be launched along with it. The Annotations Explorer will indicate which Annotation are tending, most used, and most adopted by developers. To accompany this, there will also be a wiki page for developers to share with each other the ways they are using Annotations are how they are choosing to describe them (this discussion is already taking place here and here). The goal here is to have the developer community start agreeing on what the most common Annotations should look like, ie: a book, song, or movie.

One of the primary concerns around Annotation is that every developer is going to have their own way of describing an Annotation, which in turn is going to make it exceedingly difficult to standardize and take advantage of Annotations. My hope is that the Annotations Explorer will address this concern and help developers come to a consensus about how the most predominant Annotations should be described. Twitter isn’t going to enforce any of these Annotation types on developers, so someone who despises the most adopted way to describe a book can still go off and do their own thing. However, I’m not entirely sure why they’d want to.

There isn’t any indication when the Annotations Explorer will be launched, but I suspect it’s going to arrive within 1-2 months.

Twitter for iPhone Officially Released

19 May

It’s here. Twitter officially released Twitter for iPhone today and it comes with a couple new features that are going to make life on Twitter more beautiful, simple, and elegant than ever. Grab it from the iTunes Store here.

New things to love

  1. Use Twitter without an having an account. This is great. You can browse trends, users, and use Twitter Search.
  2. Twitter Search is made much more elegant. It includes results for top tweets and trends too.
  3. Sign up for Twitter within the application. Nice little convenience add.
  4. They’ve reorganized some tabs making common functions like re tweeting or following a user more accessible.
  5. It’s free!

Here are some screenshots of the new application:

Woohoo! Get it now, for free!

Corporate Tweeting: How does your company know they need a Twitter feed?

19 May

It’s too easy for the digital strategist you hired to tell you that having a presence on Twitter will shrink the emotional gap that exists between you and your customers. Or that it will supersede traditional media pipelines by allowing you to casually connect with customers. Or that it can coexist with your current communication strategy.

It’s easy to talk about the ideologies that surround Twitter and business. However, in my experience, doing so without having data to support your suggestions won’t get you very far.

How do you know you need a Twitter feed? Has your digital strategist utilized Twitter Search, the Twitter API, or any number of third-party Twitter applications that offer audience profiling tools to find out if your customers are even using Twitter? Are they bringing you concrete data to supposed their recommendation to use Twitter?

If you’re note receiving this type of advice, I’d be in a big hurry to ask whoever you’ve hired to build your social media strategy to support their suggestions with data.

Thanks to @casuist, my professor, for bringing this point up in class and reminding me of its importance.

Twitter to Make Parsing Out Entities From Tweets Much Easier for Developers

18 May

A couple days ago, Raffi posted an announcement to the Twitter API Announcements Google Group letting the developer community know that Twitter’s Platform Team is going to start supporting an entities attribute as part of a tweets JSON and XML payload. What does this mean, exactly? It means it’s about to get stupid simple to parse a tweet’s hashtags, URLs, user mentions, and lists.

Here’s an example:

{
"text" : "State of the @RoyalRoads Twittersphere for the 2nd week of May: http://bit.ly/9wdQlM #yyj",
...
"entities" : {
"user_mentions" : [
{
"id" : 3992442,
"screen_name" : "RoyalRoads",
"indices" : [13, 23]
}
],
"urls" : [
{
"url" : "http://bit.ly/9wdQlM",
"indices" : [65, 84]
},
],
"hashtags" : [
{
"text" : "#hot",
"indices" : [85, 89]
"url" : "http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23yyj"
}
]
}
...
}


or

<status>

<text>State of the @RoyalRoads Twittersphere for the 2nd week of May: http://bit.ly/9wdQlM #yyj</text>

...

<entities>

<user_mentions>

<user_mention start="13" end="23">

<id>3992442</id>

<screen_name>RoyalRoads</screen_name>

</user_mention>

</user_mentions>

<urls>

<url start="65" end="84">

<url>http://bit.ly/9wdQlM</url&gt;

</url>

</urls>

<hashtags>

<hashtag start="85" end="89">

<text>#hot</text>

<url>http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23yyj</url&gt;

</hashtag>

</hashtags>

</entities>

...

</status>

It’s already exceedingly simple (and fun) to work the the Twitter API and removing the burden of parsing the text from a tweet correctly is going to allow developers to focus their energy on much more interesting elements of their applications and  save a –ton– of time.

Thanks, Twitter Platform Team!

State of the Royal Roads Twittersphere (week 2 of May)

17 May

Here it is, the statistics for Royal Roads University on Twitter during the second week of May. Not too much movement to report, however, there are some small changes on where people are tweeting from and who’s been most active this week. Like last week, I’ve included the top 10 most followed and most active users for everyone to check out below.

Download full version here.

State of the Royal Roads Twittersphere

Top 10 most followed (as of May 15, 2010):

Top 10 most active:

  1. @landoncreasy
  2. @casuist
  3. @Worldly_Bites
  4. @dbbradle
  5. @mattyouens
  6. @PhilHarrison
  7. @RoyalRoads
  8. @Any_Day_Now
  9. @molashah
  10. @Jammer19

Is there something else you’d like to see analyzed? If so, just let me know, I’m all ears for making this more interesting and useful for everyone. Be sure to check back next week for the next RRU Twittersphere update.

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