TwXplorer: Digital Humanities Tool Review

Knight Lab is a joint initiative of journalists and computer programmers to design tools and apps, specially aimed at journalists, publishers and “media makers”. Every tool is open source and delightfully simple to access and operate. Some projects help their users to gather data, others to present it and yet others to analyse and interpret it. TwXplorer (Northwestern University Knight Lab, 2013), the tool that will be evaluated here, gathers data from Twitter according to your search term and presents the results in an aesthetic and comprehensible manner.

According to The Atlantic,

“Information flows through Twitter in dynamic, interconnected ways. That complexity has brought about, from historians, tools to try to capture this stream, and from journalists, tools to try to distill it.

[TwXplorer] does both.”(Meyer, 2013)

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Live Tweeting



Recently, in one of our Digital Humanities modules (Concepts and Collaboration), we were requested to live-tweet the presentations that each group in our class had prepared under the hashtag #uccdh. It was definitely a different way of attending. I felt that the audience was quieter, preferring instead to concentrate on interacting virtually. People could join into the conversation and comment without interrupting the presentation. This later got me on to thinking about the role live-tweeting can play at other events, such as business, concerts, TV shows, etc.

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Facebook Likes: From Showing Approval to Corruption

The Facebook Like button has become an integral part of the Internet as it greets us on countless websites – we can “like” an interesting newspaper article or a recipe on a baking site. Unsurprisingly, many of us click on this button on an everyday basis; the amount of Facebook users that “likes” content posted by their friends at least once a day totals 44%, with 29% doing so several times per day (Smith, 2014). There exist many reasons for “liking” something: it is an efficient means of showing agreement, it affirms something  about ourselves and it can also convey virtual empathy. (Seiter, 2015)

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