Laura Gibbs

Power of Twitter Hashtags: TAGSExplorer

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Apr 22, 2018

I had a great meeting with Adam Williams and other folks from the awesome Canvas Community team last week, brainstorming about some ways to bring more remote participants into the #InstCon conversations, which will also provide conference attendees new/more opportunities to connect and share what's going on at InstructureCon. 


During that conversation, I mentioned the efforts made at OLCInnovate last week to connect via Twitter, and I was involved with that as a remote participant: I did an OLCLive remote presentation about un-grading, and I also participated as a remote audience member in an OLC presentation, plus I was a remote panelist for a Virtually Connecting session; I should write up a blog post about the great people of Virtually Connecting too! Those were all video events, and I also participated at Twitter, of course, mostly by retweeting.


So, the main hashtage for OLCInnovate was, surprise surprise, #OLCInnovate. You can see what that stream looks like at Twitter: #OLCInnovate at Twitter.


screenshot of hashtag at Twitter


For a very different perspective, you can use this TAGSExplorer built by Martin Hawksey. It's fabulous! I hope we will use it for #InstCon also (Adam can check with the social media group and see if this is a tool they already use; it's been around for a while). The main page is here: TAGSExplorer for #OLCInnovate.


More about the tool: Twitter: How to archive event hashtags and create an interactive visualization of the conversation


Adam is hoping to get some metrics about Twitter participation, and Martin's Twitter toolkit is definitely the way to do that. I've seen this used for many conferences, and it's also been a tool people have used in MOOCs I have participated in where Twitter was one of the MOOC spaces.


Some features:


Click on Top Tweets to see the people who used the hashtag, ranked by number of tweets in which they used the hashtag:



screenshot of TAGSexplorer top tweeters


Then, you can also search on other hashtags that appeared in the #OLCInnovate tweets, conversationalists (which measures interactions), and also search the archive.


Over in the graphical network view, you can see how people are connected, and you can click on any person to learn more. For example, here's me:


screenshot of TAGSexplorer top tweeters


One of the coolest features is clicking on "replay tweets" for a person to see their connections unfold in time. Here's my friend John Stewart connecting person to person over time:


screenshot of TAGSexplorer replay


It's pretty cool stuff, and I think we can make good use of it as part of the #InstCom Twitter-verse. :-)