Twapper Keeper, Tweets and Captioning

In September I will be attending iPRES 2010 – 7th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects in Vienna. I will be talking about our experiences of archiving blogs (Approaches To Archiving Professional Blogs Hosted In The Cloud) and also presenting a poster on Twapper Keeper (Twitter Archiving Using Twapper Keeper: Technical And Policy Challenges).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Twapper Keeper it is a Twitter archiving service. It enables users to chive tweets from a conference, trending hashtags or keywords for historical or analysis purpose and save personal tweets. Recent developments to Twapper Keeper have been funded by the JISC.

If you are interested in preserving Tweets I’ve written more about it on my digital preservation blog (Preserving your Tweets).

Anyway we have been using the Twapper Keeper service to archive our own IWMW10 tweets. The Twapper Keeper iwmw10 archive is a really handy resource and provides a complete summary of the event.

IWMW10 Twapper Keeper Archive

There aren’t just archived tweets available though…some techy people (Martin Hawksey and co) have also been carrying out some interesting work using a Twitter captioning service called ititle.

They’ve mashed the videos that we created at IWMW and the Twitter stream. You can see a mash up of the full Twitter stream and examples that use single Twitter IDs (the official event Twitterer in this case). The content can also be embedded in Web pages – see Ranjit Sidhu’s talk.

Ranjit Sidhu's Talk with Twitter captioning

Brian Kelly has written a couple of posts on approach taken and the significance of this approach: Captioned Videos of IWMW 2010 Talks and Twitter Captioned Videos Gets Even Better. He has also included some advice for others:

If you are thinking of doing something similar for your event here are some suggestions.

Creating the Twitter Stream

  • Create a Twapper Keeper archive for your event hashtag.
  • Consider providing an official event Twitterer who can ensure that the key points in the talks are recorded.
  • Provide clear ways of identifying the start and end of the talks. For example we used the hashtag #P1 for the first plenary talk. Tweeting “#P1 #start of talk by Chris Sexton” and “#P1 #end of talk by Chris Sexton” enables the start and end of the talks to be easily identified, and this syntax is also understandable by people reading the Twitter stream.

Synchronising the Video and the Twitter Stream

  • The service uses GMT so if BST is in operation (as was the case during the IWMW 2010 event) you will need to bear this in mind when providing the time of the start and finish of the talks.
  • You can fine-tune the time to ensure that you include the official tweets which provide the time stamps.

As Brian says in his post, these captioned videos provide an interesting example of what can be done when web services provide APIs for use by other services (such as Twapper Keeper) which can then be exploited by other applications (such as the Twitter captioning service). The captioned videos are an excellent amplified conference resource and we hope to do more with Twapper Keeper, Tweets and captioning in the future.


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  1. Pingback: Newsletter for August 2010 « UKOLN Update

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