Hootsuite and Tweetdeck just don't cut it.

This is massively overdue post but with the assistance of screen clipping tool Skitch I think I'm ready.

Ok, context first

I have been live tweeting at events since 2008 and its always been a conversation and connecting tool. Who is in the room and who is not, is important. If you are not its quite nice to see photos of the speakers but all the 'hey look at me, don't you wish you were here too' photos and who's up next tweets... STOP! 

Thats a bit hash...  what I mean is they are great for 'your' networked audience but the audience following the hashtag IMHO want what all the 'on the ground' audience want, to learn from the wisdom of the programmed speakers, draw insights from discussions and panel plenaries. Oh and network.

OK So photos are welcomed to put the 'in the cloud' audience in the picture. For us in the digital audience its a common frame of reference to be able to empathise with the activities you are participating in at a distance online. If I'm commissioned to tweet my objective is to visualise the audience as a whole within the twittersphere and communicate with them. Present or remote isn't important. My challenge is always to generate a coherent stream of activity, a stand alone stream containing all reverent content, chatter, user generated media and the official event voice. I am not necessarily the 'official voice' but the conversation laser's focus operator!

Now... I'm getting to the point I promise! Networking conversations 1-2-1 are part of the experience at any conference but most of the time it's dialogue between groups or one person introducing two people to one another and is rarely binary back and forth ie @name to @name. 

There is a dialoging feature which was present in the pre twitter ownership days of Tweetdeck that made my role as connector and stream curator easier. It disappeared and never came back. 

Here's how it works - I have found a little known Tweetdeck alternative, Janetter that has the feature.

Its about responding to multiple people in one tweet in the click of a mouse, logically compiled as I, the curator reads the activity in real-time. I hope these screen shots illustrate my point.

First the tweets and colleagues I wanted to engage.

Mozilla Twitter Column
Tweets from my Firefox side panel column displaying Twitter

 

It was responding to them that helped me break down the long felt frustration of the missing feature in to a blog. So thanks Kate and Jen if you read this. Do let me know how your trips to Edinburgh turned out.

Anyway...

Kate @BustingFree and Jen @jennifermjones are not in the same networks as far as I know. I met Jen several times after she attended MediaCampNottingham and, forgive me if I'm wrong Jen also as part of the Amb:IT:ion program roadshows. Kate on the other hand sat on Equity's Independent Theatre Arts Committee with me for several years and I follow because she had the awesome idea of building a theatre in a bus. Both are always interesting reads and following their activities on twitter over the years gives me a sense of where they are at professionally always wanting to find time in my calendar to coincide locations to meet up. I remember a time when everyone I knew were numbers in my mobile phone now in the social media age they are status updates in a constantly moving stream of activity, my home twitter feed. Better but thats another post. I digress! This is about illustrating this lost feature.

Bare with me! It is a long lost feature and you are probably nonplussed by my indignation. I want to communicate when d0ing this dynamic dialoging at events and not have to faff with the interface.

Best way I could think to illustrate my point was with screenshots.

Original Tweets in Tweetdeck

TweetDeck
Tweetdeck
TweetDeck Reply
Hitting Reply to Kate

 

Clicking the Reply icon creates a message to either Kate (above)

 

TweetDeck relying to Jen
Hitting Reply to Jen

OR Clicking the Reply icon on Jen's tweet
I can send send a reply to Jen (above)

It never used to be this way you could build replies.

Yes I can Reply by typing/pasting both @names into a new tweet or hope the autocorrect offers them up to me. But on the fly, in an event thats not really an option. I did explore Hootsuite for this 'reply building' feature and I had resigned myself to its absence. It changed the way I tweet. So what happens in Hootsuite? (it was this reply building feature that led me to favour Tweetdeck over Hootsuite back then)

Original Tweets in Hootsuite

Hootsuite
Tweets displayed in Hootsuite
 
Hootsuite
Hitting Reply to Kate on Hootsuite

 

Hootsuite screen shot
Hitting Reply to Jen on Hootsuite


Just as before with Tweetdeck I'm forced to reply to one person at a time. As I'm writing this it seems so minor but it fundamentally changed the way I interact with Twitter. I like Twitter less since the change happened and I have bemoaned its loss ever since. I kept an old install of Tweekdeck to keep this feature but finally it was closed down and the browser based version we have today superseded it. 

OK... THE FEATURE

I discovered a little know, or so it seems twitter client called Janetter.

Original Tweets in Janetter

Janetter screenshot
Tweets displayed in Janetter 
 
Janetter reply building screenshot
Hitting Reply on Kate and Jen's tweets


With Janetter clicking a reply icon builds on the tweet being composed, it included all the other @names in the tweets and the hashtags. These replies can be from different columns or accessed by scrolling further down the stream. Once all the @named people are included you can tidy up the hashtags, remove any @names you don't need in this tweet and write the tweet... of course then SEND.

And thats it the missing feature.

Another unique (a word to use with caution but I haven't seen else where) is the ability to change the font used in the app. This means the OpenDyslexia font can be used making it super stable visually for me to read.

So... What do you think?

Do you use Janetter too? 

Have I missed another platform, tool or service you think I should look at?

 Apps

image from cdn.appstorm.net
Janetter
image from screenshots.en.sftcdn.net
Tweetdeck
image from hootsuite.com
Hootsuite





Tools: Email Tracking Power Tools

Streak_ident

I use Streak to track emails. Knowing an email has been opened is a great relief. Especially those crucial job or project proposal applications. Its not fool proof as it works by including a tiny pixel image which is requested from a server when the email is opened. So if images are turned off or other settings to prevent that data exchange are in place... well they don't want to be tracked! If all is well the following data is available. A notification pops up too when the email is opened. Very reassuring.

Post_July_Meeting_Action_-_BuyOuts_etc__-_pcmcreative_gmail_com_-_Gmail

Check it out I love it - https://www.streak.com/

Now on the surface it's quite complicated and when I was tracking down the info to blog this, the "CRM in your inbox" tagline made me grimace slightly. I realised that I only use the free bit, the inbox power tools so if you want to explore the CRM stuff go for it, but if like me you just need the email power tools. Yippee!

Install the extension, reboot Chrome, reopen Gmail and look for the orange Streak icon top right in the Gmail window. If it's there its running. Thats it. Next email you send a green eye should appear in the far right of email's data line.

Inbox__32__-_pcmcreative_gmail_com_-_Gmail

This is a Chrome browser extension

Streak_-_CRM_in_your_InboxLike it? Let me know. Comment below.

 


“As a lighting designer and technician I have experienced the technological revolution as it has evolved and changed around me over the last 25 years. The practical application of technology is what interests me in the new online social networking, audience-centric trend and the 'mix and match', ‘Mash-Up’ Web 2.0 culture emerging and expanding since 2006 and still so today in 2015. The building of communities across distances and the implications it has on us as physical beings in an increasingly cyber world drives my business development. I am especially interested in how this affects the generations, how we communicate with each other, relate to the younger generation and include less able demographics within society. It’s not necessary to be able to build a website or write software, but a fundamental understanding of internet basics is, I believe, essential in this modern world for business or pleasure.” - updated for a bio I'm writing now but the foundation is from 2009... been doing this for quite a while.


.Lazy Tweeting - that preceding fullstop. #StopIt

image from www.gigashots.com
Once upon a time Twitter was a stream trickling through the cracks of cyberspace. Its now a tidal river opening out into a vast ocean of commonly refered to as The Twittersphere.

Time was, when who ever you followed on Twitter pulled in all the activity of that tweeter this included all @ messages from those they followed. This full circle conversation visibility make joining conversations very easy with context of who was talking to who. It also helped building your follow list. Which in turn would broaden and enrich your twitter stream. That early day's dialogue has long since gone. It feels much more window-like than door-like these days. But that's the  pitfall of successful growth it seems.

So this fullstop adoption/affectation

Then a day came when the buzz was too much and tweets with an @ name became only visible to the person the message was intended for. To continue public dialogue the full stop was inserted as a fudge to prevent the exchange being exchanged only between the intended recipient and other @ names in the tweet.

So it has a purpose but why am I wanting it to stop?

Used as it was intended it announces to the twittersphere a comment you want everyone to see but it is a mechanism for the lazy construction of a well crafted intentional tweet.

Before I continue... adding the full stop prior to an @ name other than at the very start of your tweet shows your misunderstanding of the twitter vernacular and convention, do it and claim to be a 'pro' 'expert' or 'guru' and you will show your true shade of b*ll*cks

So full stop, How to combat it prevalence and pointlessness.

Stephanie Drakes of DotSocial explains it fully in her January 2015 post - Twitter Tips: Why add a full stop before an @mention on Twitter 

I'm using her examples to illustrate the alternative ethos (ie, using the dot) for audience dialogue and adding it for your message recipients... but is it necessary?

@dotsocialise thanks for the great #socialmedia tip

This message is thanking Stephanie for her great tips.

.@DotSocialise post great #SocialMedia tips

This message is about Stephanie but not really intended for her, the rhetoric dot! Seen by all but doesn't look good good on the eye! Better would be...

Great #SocialMedia tips from @DotSocialise.

This message is being addressed directly to your followers, your audiences yet still credits the source of the 'greatness'.

So when could you use the dot?

A superb example of the rhetoric dot - this is most certainly an about someone, not to them tweet!

I saw this tweet from Owen Jones as I was writing this post and it's only quoting for context, a tweet from Owen that I would EVER configure letters to convey 'that man' in any writing I do. Why does Owen get this license? Check out his Politics of Hope talk (audio) from this years FutureFest.

 image source: Gigashots