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Posts tagged ‘twitter’

Who are the most influential EU think tanks on Twitter?

On this last post from the series on EU Think Tanks and Twitter, Luca Barani focuses on the main challenges to measure how influential is an EU think tank on Twitter. It presents a small case study on the communication activities of the Brussels Think Tank Dialogues, an influential annual policy forum.

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The EU think tanks’s tweetosphere

On this second post of the series on Think Tanks and Twitter, Luca Barani uses Twitter Analytics to investigate which are the most powerful EU think tanks on Twitter. He analyses their activity, number of followers, offers insight on their effectiveness and trust, as well as their level of influence.

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How established is EU Think Tanks’ use of Twitter to broadcast their policy messages?

This is the first post from a series on Think Tanks and Twitter, by Luca Barani. The series focuses on the main challenges and opportunities Think Tanks face when addressing their ideas through social media. In this post, a comparison is made between the outreach of the tweetosphere EU think tanks compared to US-based think tanks and other countries such as Canada and the UK.

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Vine in 60 seconds: An introduction of Twitter’s video app for think tanks

Today I'm giving a short presentation at IDS on Vine -- a short video sharing service for Twitter -- to our Digital Communications Peer Group. And while I hope it's useful to others working here, I thought it might also be of interest to others working in other think tanks too. I figured that the only way to present on vines was to actually create some -- so below you can find my presentation: Vine in 60 seconds.

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Tracking real-time impact through Twitter

Twitter has proven to be a useful tool in measuring impact, particularly when it is used in real - time. The LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog provides a case of successful research impact measurement with this social media platform.

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ODI’s award-winning online strategy explained

The ODI digital strategy, first outlined in a series of blogs for, was awarded Online Strategy of the Year 2012 at the prestigious Digital Communications Awards, held in Berlin on Friday. ODI beat off competition from multinational corporations and specialist digital agencies to claim this major award. This post is based on the speech give to the jury and explains very succinctly what the strategy is and where/why it has worked.

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Tips for academics on using social media

Salma Patel at the LSE’s blog Impact of Social Sciences has put together a quick and practical list of tips for academics who want to have a stronger online presence, particularly for their research.

She first indicates that academics create a LinkedIn profile for themselves, and connect with all of their contacts who also have LinkedIn profiles. Creating an profile is also helpful. Then she moves on to Twitter, and suggests that if this social media proves to be too difficult or complicated to understand at first, individuals can attend Twitter workshops, or ask a friend to help them out. LSE also has a guide to Twitter.

It’s important to create a Twitter account under your real name, as you will be identified more easily. A profile can also be written.

Start following people on twitter. Again you can find followers using your email address. Another really good way to find followers is to find someone on twitter who has very similar academic interests to you. Now look through who that person is following, and follow those people.

Twitter chats are also addressed, and a small list on the 10 ways researchers can use Twitter, in case you’re stumped on what to tweet about, is also included.

Blogging is also a great way for academics to put their research out there. However, there are a couple of things to consider, such as the name of the blog, tricks on how to come up on search engines such as Google, which host to use (like WordPress or Blogspot, or university blog providers). A website name and hosting can also be purchased, and costs around  £10-£20 a year.

Other engagement tools mentioned are curation tools such as Delicious, SlidesShare, Pinterest, Bundlr, Storify, etc.

Finally, academics can contribute to existing blogs in their fields, like the  Impact of Social Sciences Blog or The Guardian Higher Education Network, as well as other platforms.

Tracking research impact through Twitter

Cameron Neylon of the LSE blog Impact of Social Sciences has recently written a piece on the possibility of tracking research impact via Twitter. Monitoring the way how research influences policy and how professionals use the studies they’ve read on their day-to-day practice has proven to be difficult for a number of reasons: professionals don’t usually write new research papers citing the work they’ve used as sources; identifying said sources can be tricky because they may be several steps behind from the new study; and sometimes researchers aren’t even aware of their work being used because they are so far removed from its practical application.

Neylon mentions an example of a research article on HIV status, domestic violence and rape, reaching a practitioner community, which he found via Altmetric, a web app that helps track conversations around scientific articles online. The article was tweeted by several accounts, particularly by two South African support and advocacy groups. This example shows that it is possible to identify where research is being discussed and by whom.

It is possible, however, to go further than this:

More recently I’ve shown some other examples of heavily tweeted papers that relate to work funded by cancer charities. In one of those talks I made the throw away comment “You’ve always struggled to see whether practitioners actually use your research…and there are a lot of nurses on Twitter”. I hadn’t really followed that up until yesterday when I asked on twitter about research into the use of social media by nurses and was rapidly put in touch with a range of experts on the subject (remind me, how did we ask speculative research questions before Twitter?) . So the question I’m interested in probing is whether the application of research by nurses is something that can be tracked using links shared on Twitter as a proxy?

The hypothesis is that the links shared by nurses and their online community via Twitter are a viable proxy of a portion of the impact of certain research on clinical practice. This, of course, could be used for other professions as well, by monitoring what research is tweeted, how much it is retweeted and how often.

The Impact of Social Sciences blog also has a guide to using Twitter in university research, teaching, and impact activities.

Enrique Mendizabal:

Michael Harris from New Think Tank has posted and interesting analysis on the use (or not) of twitter by think tanks in the UK. There are also some interesting comments made to the post it self that are worth having a look.

His basic argument is that think tanks are missing an opportunity: they are only using twitter to announce events or publications but not to engage and debate with their publics (peers, audiences, staff, etc.). This is an interesting proposition but it could be argued that this Twitter is not the best tool for this and that others may be better (Nick Scott wrote about this in his posts on Digital Disruption).

Also interesting is that his analysis ‘proves’ that the link between visibility and influence is not direct: they find rather low Twitter presences for well known and influential think tanks. And the RSA may in fact be described as a the ‘least think tank’ of the list at it is rarely participates in active policy influence.
Other interesting results: 71% of the top 300 staff and associates users have less that 500 followers, there are no women in the top 10 and only 7 in the top 50 (although as they point out this may reflect the composition of the industry itself), younger staff may be over-presented as a result of their more active use of Twitter, etc.

Originally posted on Guerilla Policy:

Social media is disrupting traditional media and conventional approaches to public communication. Platforms such as Twitter offer a timely and low-cost way for think tanks to disseminate and discuss their ideas and findings, and potentially to broaden their audiences. Are they seizing the opportunities offered by social media?

A few weeks ago we did a quick bit of research on which UK think tanks had the most Twitter followers (this was for the main corporate Twitter feed). The ‘winners’ were Chatham House (19,320 followers), The RSA (18,597) and the new economics foundation (18,214). There were also some well-known think tanks with surprisingly small Twitter presences, such as Reform (2,357), The Centre for Social Justice (1,881) and The Institute of Economic Affairs (1,383). The full list of 35 think tanks can be found in an earlier post here.

Since then, we’ve also looked at individual think tank staff, fellows and…

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Please help update the think tanks wikipedia page, twitter, delicious, etc.

Another request for support in updating the Wikipedia page on think tanks. I could do it (and have) but it would defeat the purpose of Wikipedia  if I did it alone. Can I encourage you, avid onthinktank readers to give it a go. There is also a page in Spanish.

Wikipedia is still one of the main drivers of traffic to this site every day. So online readers are using the site for information about think tanks. Whatever your views on its reliability, the site matters.

Similarly, on the right column of this think tank there are a number of RSS feeds coming out of delicious. Any  document or page tagged with Think Tank , Communications + Research, Knowledge Management, or YouTube videos related to think tanks or evidence based policy.  You can contribute to these lists by adding your resources to the feeds.

And do not forget Twitter. If you find anything worth sharing, please do not hesitate to let me know. Not just information related to the study of think tanks but also announcements from think tanks (new jobs, appointments, new projects, etc.). Just tweet: @onthinktanks and check out the lists and suggest any updates.


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