The leading thinkers on Open Education gathered in Vancouver last week for the OpenEd09 conference. It was a sight & sound to behold – an open storm. Ustreams, Flickr pics and a Twitter avalanche, meant many of us around the world felt part of the event, as virtual attendees. (I got up at 4am in New Zealand on Saturday, to watch the Friday keynote at 9am Vancouver time.)
Social media are such an extension of conferences and events. Pre-social media we used to hear from the 15-20 selected speakers at a conference. And probably about the bunions of the man you were unfortunate enough to sit down next to at lunch and were unable to ditch. Now we can hear from everyone at the conference, and select those we want to hear more from. For 6 days, the #opened09 column in my Tweetdeck dispensed precious ideas & information. I began following new people, feverishly bookmarking urls and favouriting tweets for follow-up.
And that’s where I hit a snag – the tweets.
1. My favourite tweets don’t make much sense without the context of the other tweets. And unfortunately, the Twitter search is ephemeral and will not let you retrieve those later. It’ll let you set extensive date parameters, but these don’t give you the desired results. This was a harsh lesson from the EDUCAUSE Australasia conference in Perth this year, which was one of the first well-tweeted events I attended. We lost a lot of witty and valuable tweets…
2. And a more academic problem - some #opened09 tweets are such gems, I’ll likely want to quote and re-quote them. How do I give credit where credit is due and correctly reference a tweet?
But then I came across Gunther Eysenbach How to cite twitter, how to cite tweets, how to archive tweets which solves both problems. In it he gives a detailed how-to of the WebCite service which not only gives you the correct reference for a website, but perhaps more importantly, also creates a permanent archive for that site. And it works for tweets too.
So I can reference and archive Scott Leslie’s individual tweet like this:
Leslie, Scott. Twitter / Scott Leslie: are you supposed to get ch… . 2009-08-18. URL:http://twitter.com/sleslie/statuses/3310928225. Accessed: 2009-08-18. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5j7I0nnKZ)
or the entire Twitter stream for the #opened09 hashtag like this:
[Multiple Authors]. #opened09 – Twitter Search. . 2009-08-18. URL:http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23opened09. Accessed: 2009-08-18. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5j79icRhc)
These archived tweets are now static at WebCite so they can be referred to and retrieved. Of course, that was 2 hours ago. The #opened09-ers go on. Even as I’ve been writing this post, the Twitter search tab is showing 7 new results ‘since you started searching’…