Do you want want to monitor what are hot issues on social media? RTreporter is a handy data tool doing that. It was developed by a Dutch fund for promoting journalism in The Netherlands. The Dutch Nu.nl site already makes use of this tool.
The tool signals trends on Twitter. Different packages can be ordered that send notifications on high volume use of one ore more keywords.
In my office (www.irc.nl) we have started a WASH twitter site with a number of colleagues. A quick check on the WASH twitter site has not convinced me that following this group twitter is helpful for my information and communication work on WASH in the developing world. All the tweets I saw were on washing bodies, cars and babies, mainly in the USA. This is happening the same with the internet searches on “water”, which starts with mainly USA sources.
Last Friday I finished two days of facilitation work at UNESCO IHE in Delft on water education and communication for and through mass media professionals. In an expert group of 70 education and water people from Europe and USA only two IHE people use twitter. I am on Twitter.com since early last year, but after a first couple of checks I could not see value for my work. With the IHE people we have started a Global Water Communicators group on Facebook. IHE’s Laura Kwak has promised me that she will put there simple Twitter applications that should be useful for my communication work.
Twitter made the Tros Radio online programme on Radio 1 on Saturday afternoon. Valerie Frissen (professor ICT and social networks) confirmed my worry: twittering is costing a considerable amount of time. So does using Facebook.com and Linkedin.com and other social network communities.
I am looking forward to be convinced that the time I would spend on these are making my writing and communication work easier!