To make Twitter work for you requires a bit of up-front work! The content you see on your Twitter stream (apart from a few adverts) depends entirely on who you follow (to follow someone, click on their name or photo and then click the blue “Follow” button).
So how do you refine the constant stream of tweets to reflect your own personal preferences?
Twitter will make suggestions: Twitter does not work well “out of the box” but once you start following people and favouriting tweets (by clicking the heart underneath them), it will begin to make better suggestions based on your interests.
Follow someone’s followers: if you view someone’s Twitter profile, you can click on the count of their “Followers” or “Following” and discover a new network of people. Useful for people in your subject area!
Search for people to follow: you can also proactively seek out people and “Follow” – you can use the Twitter search box (top right on Twitter) or Google. Although we are focussing on using Twitter as a researcher, it’s often fun to include non-work content in your Twitter feed too. So who should you hunt down to follow on Twitter?
- Are your real-life friends or colleagues on Twitter? Many people include their Twitter handle on their email signature or website
- Top researchers in your field e.g. Mary Beard, Alice Roberts, Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre
- Swansea University has multiple accounts for research departments and projects: the main university account is @SwanseaUni
- Journalists in your area e.g. Alok Jha (Science)
- Journals usually tweet new articles or editions – check the publisher site
- Funding organisations e.g. Wellcome
- Professional bodies and learned societies
- Hobbies, celebrities or music you enjoy
- Local news from Swansea or your home town/country
- Fun accounts
Finding people attending an event or conference: many events have a hashtag (e.g. the recent #postbrexitcymru event at the School of Management). If you search for that hashtag on Twitter, you can find who is tweeting about that event and follow them if they look useful. There are also well established Twitter “chats” like #lthechat and #ecrchat.
Most importantly: don’t be afraid to “unfollow” someone if you decide they are cluttering up your Twitter stream with tweets that don’t interest you!
Task for Day 2
Use the above suggestions to find some new accounts to follow then tweet a recommendation to us all using the #su7dot hashtag e.g.
The ImpactStory blog on “Find your community on Twitter“