Twitter is a social media site on which people can post 140-character tweets. One feature is that of “hashtags”, which are essentially a hash sign (#) followed by a word/abbreviation or similar. For Twitter Journal Club, we have a hashtag of #TwitJC.
By adding this hashtag to a particular tweet that you write, it will appear when anyone searches for that hashtag. In this way, you can generate a virtual chat room within Twitter. It is within this virtual chat room that we conduct our discussions.
There are different ways in which you can search for tweets with a hashtag:
- The most simple (but in our experience, rather unreliable) method is to use the search function on the Twitter website; however, we find this tends to only show a small selection of tweets.
- You can use software called TweetDeck. By adding a column with a search for #TwitJC, any relevant tweets will appear. This is our preferred method for tracking discussions on a mobile device.
- The website TweetChat does not require you to download any software. Simple visit the TwitJC Room, and you can see all tweets with the #TwitJC. You do not require a Twitter account to follow discussions in this way. You can also use the button on the top right of the page to log in via your Twitter account, allowing you to post, reply, and retweet from within TweetChat. This method also has the advantage of automatically adding the hashtag to your posts so you don’t forget to. This is our preferred method for following discussions on a computer.
If you are not using TweetChat, remember you will need to put “#TwitJC” at the end of any tweets you want to contribute to the discussion, otherwise we won’t see them.
Please note that, if your Twitter profile is set to private, only those following you will be able to see your contributions to the discussion. If you wish to have a private Twitter account and want to contribute to #TwitJC discussions, it might be worth setting up a separate, public Twitter profile just for this purpose.
If you have any queries of a technical nature, please do not hesitate to contact Fi via Twitter (@fidouglas) or comment on this page.