Backchannel Side Effects – Personal Meeting Notes

So at some point during yesterday, @eingang tweeted:

… how can I quickly get a list of all my tweets from #ouconf10?

and picked up a response from @mhawksey after I suggested that the conference tweets were archived on Twapperkeeper:

@Eingang twapperkeeper can filter by user as well. Here are your tweets for #ouconf10

That is, use a URL of the form:

The numberOfResults parameter (e.g. 10, 25) is the number of tweets that will be displayed that were sent most recently (I think, in the default case?) by @twitterUsername using the hashtag #eventHashtag.


One of the things I’ve found myself using hashtags for is blatant self-promotion annotating issues raised in conference events using links to related resources that I am either aware of, or have authored…

As with @eingang, sometimes I feel that it would be handy to be able use an archive of tweets I’ve made around a particular event as a set of crude notes for the event… and it seems that Twapperkeeper offers just that sort of service:-)

PS this also puts me in mind of several other things. Firstly, tweeting around an event generates collateral damage – if you can grab your tweets around a hashtag, you’ve got a free set of memory prompts/notes from the event. The ability to grab this feed and then repurpose it has some similarities to the way in which someone can comment on WriteToReply or JISCPress documents, and get a personal feed out of just their comments (e.g. see also Document/Comment Interlacing with in this regard). Thirdly, and a little more tangentially, if we can ever generate a list of event related comments/tweets that contain links, they represent an ideal source for a “discovered” custom search engine.

PPS Here’s another thought… if we can anchor a tweet to a meeting discussion paper (e.g. via a URL to a particular paragraph of a particular meeting paper that has been posted to something like WriteToReply), or a tweet to the relative time of a recorded event (either video or audio), we can then annotate the original document or recording with tweeted notes (cf. Document/Comment Interlacing with or JISC10 Conference Keynotes with Twitter Subtitle). Hmmm… there’s a thought… @mhawksey’s iTitle and uTitle are a bit like a Twitter version of Livescribe, aren’t they..?! (Which reminds me: must look at what Livescribe API offers.)

PPPS Hmmm – maybe we could flip the use of tweeted links as annotations to a document around, and instead annotate a twitter feed that links to e.g. unique paragaphs in something like WriteToReply with those paragraphs. For an early corollary to this, see Pivotwitter, where I describe a recipe for how to annotate tweeted links with commentaries from people who have bookmarked those links on delicious.

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

10 thoughts on “Backchannel Side Effects – Personal Meeting Notes”

  1. Doug Clow, Anesa Hosein and I are currently working on a paper on liveblogging, and we noted that Tweets from a session can be used as a form of liveblog However – we also noted that it is sometimes infuriating to have your Twitter stream completely filled by one person intensively Tweeting about a conference session (particularly a session in which you have no personal interest). Lots of people twittering about the same session give multiple perspectives, dialogue and buzz. Just one person generating the same number of Tweets can begin to feel intrusive.

    1. @r3beccaF,
      I know some people who maintain separate Twitter accounts just for conference tweeting. I’m sure that’s the reason why. Perhaps more Twitter clients need to provide mechanisms to temporarily ignore certain aspects of your tweet stream. For example, one of the touted advantages of Kiwi ( is that you can write rules that highlight or hide specific things in your stream. That could be a person or a hash tag or URLs or whatever. If you can write a regular expression to represent it, Kiwi can hide/show it and it’s easy to enable/disable filters without removing them permanently.

      I can agree that an intensive tweeter (trying not to look too guilty) can quickly overwhelm your stream, but I’m not sure I want to run (yet) another account just for doing conferences or events. It removes some of the serendipity for people and it’s probably not as likely to be followed. On the other hand, if I were using Twitter as a personal memo service, that would be fine. Sharing isn’t my primary purpose in that situation and any sharing occurring would be an added bonus.

      I don’t use Kiwi, but it seems like a good compromise and gives you full control over your stream without people needing to create/maintain separate identities and allows you to sometimes pay attention or sometimes not. You make the call based on how interesting you’re finding it.

      PS: I am looking for a new Mac client. I’m frustrated by the lack of updating to Tweetie for the Mac. Twhirl, my previous favourite, is abandonware as the company promotes Seesmic Desktop instead. Any suggestions, tweet me!

  2. As mentioned previously, I have memory problems, so I’m a bit of an inveterate notetaker. I happened to be working on a research project write-up due later the same week, so I didn’t have time to pay attention, take notes, and tweet simultaneously. I opted for tweeting and intermittent attention, but then realized later that I should add a copy to my journal or I wouldn’t remember or find interesting things later. That’s why I was looking for my tweets specifically.

    In the end, however, I opted for the entire stream, because I thought there might be occasions of people responding to me that I’d want to know about and, heck, it doesn’t really cost extra to take it all. As a point of interest, I did not go for the export version, which looks to be either comma- or tab-delimited data suitable for a spreadsheet or database. Instead, I fired up Safari, adjusted the Twapper Keeper settings to show 800 tweets and just copied and pasted the Rich Text Format tweets into DevonThink, my journal tool.

    An interesting side effect of that was OLNet’s avatar icon showing up as bigger than everyone else’s. I’m not sure why that is.

  3. CoverItLive might be worth looking at as well – it allows integration of tweets – either based on accounts, hashtags/keywords or both – and you can moderate what is published as well. Since the whole CoverItLive stream is then made available as RSS, it suggests some possibilities for both live and post-event subtitling of video streams.

    While CoverItLive is clearly intended to provide some level of ‘live blogging’ I suspect it could double as a personal notebook – with the additional benefit of being able to pull in other information as well.

    Whichever way you use it, it also seems like a nice way of keeping your ‘live blog’ notes separate from your public twitter stream.

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