CSSE 2011: Research Tweets From the East Coast

To explore the tweets from the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) 2011 conference I turned again to the twitteR package for R. My initial plan had been to compile the tweets at the end of CSSE, which seemed like a good approach given my experience with the #AERA11 tweets (see “End of an AERA” for the summary of my first twitter extract). Unfortunately I encountered two challenges: 1) CSSE participants were more active than the AERA participants and 2) Twitter only provides access to a maximum of 1500 tweets. These two issues meant that my first compilation did not go back far enough to include tweets from the first day of the conference.

Fortunately, the MStanoeva had the foresight to create a twitter archive (using Twapper Keeper) to capture all of the tweets directed to #Congress11. Using this archive, I was able to locate and obtain the 200 tweets I had missed due to my poor timing. The lesson here is to schedule more frequent extracts rather than trying to anticipate the patterns of activity. While some people are very persistent and conscientious in their use of twitter (for example retro-tweeting: taking notes offline and then tweeting them when wi-fi is available) most people only tweet when wi-fi is easily accessible. Like the AERA compilation, if anyone is interested in the tweets for CSSE 2011, I am more than happy to share it upon request.


Over the 5 days of CSSE (May 28 to June 1) there were 1,733 tweets to #Congress11 with most of the tweets being shared on Monday (447) and Tuesday (440). The top five contributors were @awatson8381 (95), @ColetteB (85), @Researchimpact (73), @Caitlinkealey (59) and @SSHRC_CRSH (50).

Of all the tweets that were sent during CSSE, 73 were retweets (tweets that included the text “RT”). The user @Fedcan was retweeted the most (11)  followed by @researchimpact (6), @FredTourism (5) and @ITNurse (5). Although advertisements and promotionals had the highest frequency of retweets, the research finding that captured the most attention was from @firstnationbook’s tweet that

“First Nation’s youth are more likely to go to jail than graduate high school”.

The majority of the 353 tweets that shared a website link used Bit.ly (162 tweets) followed by t.co (38), yfrog.com (32), ow.ly (22) and twitpic.com (18). The links that were most frequently shared were:

    Finally, there were 29 different twitter clients that were used by CSSE registrants with the majority of tweets submitted from twitter (732), tweetdeck (286), blackberry (200), hootsuite (63) and echofon (57).

Although CSSE was from May 28th to June 1, the larger Congress continued until June 4.  Over these additional 3 days Congress participants continued to be incredibly active on twitter. Thank you to everyone who attended CSSE for the opportunity  share in the experience from a distance.

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