Using Storify to Enhance Twitter at Science Meetings

By Derek Hennen

If you read my previous post on the usefulness of Twitter to entomologists, you might be wondering what other Twitter tools exist. There are organizational programs and apps, like TweetDeck and HootSuite, that are helpful for viewing multiple feeds at one time and managing your Twitter feed. These are probably the two tools that will prove most useful for most Twitter users. A third, called Storify, is a useful tool for events like conferences.

If a large event encourages users to tag their tweets with hashtags, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the messages. That’s where Storify comes in handy: it can be used to aggregate these tweets and place them all on an easy-to-read page. This page can then be shared, and it saves time for anyone trying to search for all the users tweeting with a specific hashtag.

In the case of the Entomology 2013 conference (hashtag #EntSoc13), more than 1,500 tweets were sent out between Sunday and Wednesday. Trying to read them all using the Twitter client is difficult, but thankfully Storify was able to quickly compile them all. You can view the Storify version of tweets from the 2013 Entomological Society of America meeting here.

Unfortunately, Storify does have some drawbacks. I attempted to add all the tweets from the conference to the page, but I encountered errors with adding tweets before Monday morning, so that’s where the conference’s Storify begins. To read Sunday’s tweets, you’ll need to just search through the conference hashtag. Despite this shortcoming, Storify is still a useful tool for Twitter users. It can compile more than just hashtag searches, and can pull media from other websites and services.

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Derek Hennen is a graduate student at the University of Arkansas who studies the endemic arthropods of Arkansas. Follow him on Twitter at @derekhennen

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