Quick Tips: New Twitter archive, social media bios and free Twitter tools

Twitter has started rolling out an archive feature allowing you to download all your old tweets and retweets from the beginning. Yup, all of them. It will appear at the bottom of “Settings.” Users with their language set to English will get the feature soon, if you haven’t already. I’m waiting for it to show up on my profile. Apparently, it just takes a few minutes to download all your tweets. This feature could come in handy for journalists to keep track of exchanges with sources via Twitter. It may serve as a bit of a Twitter notebook for journos. It’s also sure to spark a flurry of “Check out my first tweet from 2008” type posts. Expect one from me.

This is how it will look below.


I was playing with another Twitter-affiliated tool called Vizify last night. What it does: A visual representation or interactive graphic of your life on social media. (i.e. for dorks like me). It doesn’t seem to have a whole of lot of utility for journalists except for being a cool-looking social media portfolio. It does analyze your tweets from the last year and shows you a) your most frequently tweeted words b) your best tweet of the year and c) your most dedicated follower. I’ve got mine plugged into LinkedIn, Instagram (yes, I’m still on it. for now), Twitter and Facebook. (And yes, I turned my social media life into a Christmas tree).


Came across this blog post this morning on Top Free Twitter Tools for 2013.

I’ve only one called Tweriod. This analyzes your Twitter feed and gives you an indication of when your followers are online and notes the optimal tweeting time for your account. It’s useful. Check it out.

Twitonomy: Just tried it out today. Definitely has some possibilities for newsrooms, journalists. It offers pretty in-depth analysis of your Twitter account. It offers a bunch of information, including the day of the week, hour you tweet the most, who retweets you, Twitter history, etc.


Both of these tools help you track your followers: followerwonk.com and refollow.com. If you’ve got a lot of followers, it will help give you a sense of how influential they are and who they are.


Facebook: Tips on profiles, reader comments on pages

Got some good questions recently from Sun Media staffers about Facebook recently. Thought I’d share what I passed on to them with the rest of the class.

Q: I’m wondering how common it is for reporters to have separate, more work-related Facebook profiles. Was thinking of creating a second Facebook account, for work. (i.e. finding sources and making myself available to contact) Do you have any advice on this?

My answer, with a few additions: Most experts used to argue that reporters should have one Facebook profile, serving as a personal/professional hybrid. I’ve never bought that. A few years ago, when I was still reporting, I set up a separate Facebook profile that I use just for work to share stories, journalism quips, search for sources, etc. In my view, it made sense at the time. I didn’t really want my work contacts to see my wedding photos, for example. That’s just for friends and family.

Facebook now offers a one account solution that’s been around since fall 2011: Faceboook subscribe. This allows anyone to “subscribe” to you to see your updates, pics, etc..



Once you allow subscriptions, you have the the choice to make updates public or private. Subscribers only see posts you make public. Posts you mark as friends, only me, etc., stay reserved just for your inner circle.


To follow you, readers just need to hit the subscribe button on your profile.


For more information: Facebook blog post: subscribe button and Q & As about the feature.

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Verifying photos from the social web

Storyful – a news agency that helps mainstream news organizations find quality social content – hosted an important Google Hangout today about photo verification. This is an issue I’ve highlighted before, particularly following Hurricane Sandy when a flurry of fake tweets and pictures were circulating around the web.

Still, I think it’s an important topic to revisit. So much of what we use online, and in print, comes from the social web these days. The onus is still on us journalists to verify all the information we’re curating from the public.

Here’s the chat, which focused on Hurricane Sandy and the social media fallout:

The highlights:

Liz Heron, direct of social media and engagement for the Wall Street Journal, revisited some of her photo verification tips, including:

Source: Liz Heron’s blog

Craig Silverman of Regret the Error suggested all journalists need to hone their photo verification skills. His main message: Learn how to use the tools, many of which are easy to use, that are out there and employ them before sharing content.

The rest of chat was more of a debate about if readers care about debunking fake info? Yes, of course; Turning to the community and other media on social networks to work together – particularly during times of crisis – to suss out false information.

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