• Tech Talk: Show Me the Tweets

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    February 19, 2014

    by Megan Wolleben

    Megan Wolleben

    I am a self-professed Twitter lover. One of the things I love most about Twitter is being able to take part in conversations at events and conferences, whether I am physically there or not.

    When I’m following the conversation from my own computer, the issue of how the tweets are displayed is moot. When I’m at an event, it’s a whole different story. Displaying tweets during an event can help us attendees put faces to names, handles to hair color, and give us a chance to take our fingers off the keyboard for a handshake with a new acquaintance. But sometimes displaying them on the big screen is not so pretty.

    I found several good options for displaying tweets that you may want to consider using for the next event, meeting, or conference your career center is hosting:

    • Twitter with hashtag search—This is probably the most basic of all methods, but it is worth noting as an option because it can work. The catch: The feed does not automatically refresh so you would need to make sure someone is manning the computer that is projecting the feed to continue to load (and display) the tweets.
    • Visible Tweets (http://visibletweets.com)While basic, this service does offer a few choices for how tweets are displayed. My preferred animation is the rotation option. This platform solves the issue of manually refreshing new tweets by automatically loading them. Overall, it’s quick and easy, and offers a simple, but interesting, display.

    • Tagboard (https://tagboard.com/)Tagboard seems to be the best of these easy options at displaying photos within tweets, and I really like the Pinterest-esque look of it. I tried out the basic version, which is free, but Tag Board does offer more options (like analytics and registered hashtags) if you upgrade to a paid version.

    A few notable mentions:

    • TweetBeam (www.tweetbeam.com/)This seems like it could be a really cool option, but I found a few drawbacks. The first is easily resolved, and that is that you need to download and install Silverlight, a free web-browser plug-in. The second drawback is the terms and conditions of using the free version as opposed to their priced plans. I’d run it by legal before setting up the screen display at your next career fair.

    • ParaTweet (www.paratweet.com)ParaTweet is a nice option because you can have moderation, but be aware that not all setups are free.
    • Tweetwall (http://tweetwall.com)Tweetwall is another platform worth exploring, but there is no free version What is nice about Tweetwall is the ability to exclude tweets; for instance, those that contain profanity or RTs can be excluded. The board is also very customizable in terms of the design of the page.
    • RebelMouse (www.rebelmouse.com)One out-of-the-box idea is to use RebelMouse, which is slowly making waves in the social media world, and rightly so. There is a lot of potential for this platform. It offers more than just tweets, as it can pull from various social media platforms to give richer coverage of the event. It may be something to consider if you are displaying at an event that usually produces more pictures on Instagram than tweets—for example, during graduation (like Syracuse University did). If you’ve got some time and are curious, you can find out more on RebelMouse’s very helpful blog.

    Most of these platforms offer free versions but do have plans you can purchase that offer more options, design input, and control or moderation. And, of course, there are many other platforms out there that can help you display the tweets around the next conference or event you host—these are just a few to help get you started.

    Megan Wolleben is assistant director at the Bucknell University Career Development Center.