Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that allows short updates (or tweets) to be constructed of 140 characters or less. An update will include the name of the account holder, prefixed with the @ symbol and may also include a hyperlink if entered by the user. A tweet or update can be viewed by anyone unless the account is restricted to those who request access to view the account. No registration or login is required to view tweets, but in order to reply to them or to receive regular tweets as they are published then a free account is required. Launched in 2006, Twitter has become a popular tool for providing short pieces of information or opinion across a variety of sectors.

The number of twitter users is estimated at 12 million users in the United States alone although there is no data to suggest how many accounts are in active use, the frequency or regularity of account usage, or indeed the content of the short messages that are created. Nielson Online reported in March 2008 a total of 14 million US visitors to twitter, Emarkerter.com calculated 6 million US users in 2008, rising to 12 million in 2009 and 18 million in 2010 up to 288 million monthly active users in 2015.

Initially, Twitter was predominantly used by private individuals and celebrities, however, with a change to the website’s prompt where updates are entered into Twitter from ‘What are you doing?’ to What is happening? and the widespread update and adoption of Twitter in general, more businesses and organisations are using Twitter to supplement their website, blog or online presence in general.

Overview

My Twitter account was first used on 13 Jan 2009. Until now have been 4,250 updates to the account. These tweets comprise:

28 day summary (February 2015):

Tweets 214 is 137.8%
Tweet impressions 33K 228.5%
Profile visits 930 68.5%
Mentions 16 100.0%
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FOR TOTAL: Followers 800 - 80 in February 2015

The account was maintained by Dejan Majkić. The updates were made using the main twitter site, the co-authoring service Buffer and Circular and the automated service Twitterfeed.

Manually entered tweets

The manually entered updates predominantly featured news relating to ICT events or additions to the website, reviews, dates of conference and events. They also contained web links using the shortening function of bit.ly or ow.ly. Manual entered tweets also included the #joomla feature which has become a practice among many twitter users to highlight some of the twitter users that they find interesting and provide a list of names or user accounts along with the hash-tag #

This was adopted by the dejanmajkic account in the earlier part of the year to expand our presence on twitter and to gain a wider audience. This would frequently result in either a public or direct (private) message with a note of thanks for the mention. The concept of follow Friday was adopted slightly to have a thematic grouping of users each week. Examples include:

In total, the manually entered tweets comprised 50% (n=90) of all dejanmajkic's twitter activity. tweets were made on 17 occasions and a total of 75 twitter users were given a mention as part of this feature.

Re-tweets

Re-tweets (RTs) are the repetition of fellow user updates that are then circulated to the original account holder’s followers. The purpose of an RT is not only to circulate content more widely, but also acts as an advertising mechanism to introduce users to each other as each RT contains the content as well as the username and logo of the original author. Example RTs are:

RT @linux: Really good analysis costs of online Maketing delivery

The dejanmajkic RTs (%, n=35) were drawn from 28 different users. This reflected the wide range of accounts that were followed by UKCLE and, to some extent, indicated accounts which were felt to contain relevant and reliable content both for the tweet that was re-tweeted and their tweets in general.
Automated tweets
Automated tweets arose from a number of services that were programmed to send out alerts in response to RSS updates elsewhere on the web. These arose from the various blogs, news portals and websites. The service
Twitterfeed allows the inclusion of other tweets drawn from RSS feeds to be made automatically.

These four were chosen as there is little or no editorial control over the automated service other than deleting a tweet (if it is thought to be irrelevant or undesirable) once it has been retweeted. From these automated tweets, totaling 54, or 31% comes of all activity.

Followers

It is possible to monitor who follows a twitter account. This is not an indication of active participation but does offer an indication of the level of readership and, more interestingly, the people who have chosen to follow the dejanmajkic account.

As of 20 February, there were 80 new followers. This number has altered throughout the year, however it has in general increased rather than decreased. There has been no detailed analysis, but the followers can be categorized broadly into three distinct groups: HEIs (such as law schools and universities), bodies corporate (such as law firms or publishers) and individuals (such as academics or students).

One measure of active participation is to examine whether the web links provided within the tweet are followed. All automated tweets containing hyperlinks (31% of all tweets, n=54) were shortened using the goo.gl website. This service offers some analysis of the number of clicks that are made through the short link to the full url, although this is limited to the automated tweets only.

An indicator of perceived value or interest in the dejanmajkic tweets can be gained from whether the updates are re-tweeted by other users. 47 tweets were re-tweeted by a total of 62 users.

Lists

Twitter users are permitted to create lists of users which they follow and give such a list a name. These lists may be privately kept by the user or made public for others to see and follow. dejanmajkic created 1 private lists to assist me in finding relevant legal or educational twitter feeds:

  • UK Law Schools using Twitter
  • US Law Schools using Twitter
  • Law Librarians (UK)
  • Legal Academics
  • Law Firms
  • Legal News
  • Law Publishers
  • HEA and Higher Education

Alo for potitics and IT related stories

The lists were not exhaustive, however they were maintained and updated when new twitter accounts were discovered.

dejanmajkci appeared on a variety of lists under a variety of list names:

  • Information technologies
  • LawHigher Education
  • Academic
  • Law Schools
  • Law Stuff
  • Research

Following
The dejanmajkic account follows a number of notable persons or organisations. Largely, these are IT Professionals, academics, practitioners/law firms, news reporters, students or similar organisations internationally. The prime reason for selecting followers was to identify other tweets worth of re-tweeting. The dejanmajkic account was following 1,152 other accounts.

There may be some overlap between followers and following as there is a perceived practice of following those who follow you as a matter of courtesy or common practice. However, there are a large number of spam accounts or accounts which simply act as advertising and not as conversations.

So, if you like to read carefully selected contents from the world of ICT, please follow me http://www.twitter.com/dejanmajkic


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