Enlighten has embraced the microblogging tech du jour Twitter with an account for our latest additions. Launched on the 9th of June, EnlightenPapers has posted nearly 400 updates and garnered an eclectic collection of followers.
As the EPrints wiki notes, setting up Twitter for an EPrints repository is “dead easy” and the necessary code is available from http://wiki.eprints.org/w/Twitter.
We saved this code to a file called
twitter.pl and dropped it into the
Links to Twitter from Enlighten
We have added a “Follow Us” section on Enlighten’s home page (like EPrints Files) where we have clustered the various RSS feeds which EPrints offers with a link to Twitter.
The RSS and Twitter links have been added to the
default.xml template and are displayed in all of the record and browse pages.
Just because we can, should we?
Are we just hopping on the microblogging bandwagon? Just because it is so easy to drop the code into EPrints should we really be tweeting our latest additions?
My personal opinion is yes, one of the underlying principles of Enlighten (and I think EPrints) is the effective re-use of our content. We need to be able to push our content to wherever our users happen to be. If they happen to use Twitter then that’s where we should be.
Using WordPress, we have now been able to take advantage of the Twitter widget which provides a realtime reflection of the content being added to Enlighten.
A follow-up question is, can we do more?
Andrew Preater, Web Applications Manager at Durham University Library has done some further work with the code to manage titles over 140 characters in length. Andrew’s code truncates the title, inserting […] to ensure that there is enough room for the url and then including a
More specific hashtags, for instance by faculty e.g.
#enl_educ could provide an opportunity for users to search for more appropriate content.
There has been some discussion about Twitter on the EPrints mailing list [EP-tech] Eprints files twitter.
Traffic – Early Days
According to Google Analytics,
twitter.com is now the 4th most popular referring site to Enlighten for the period from the 9th of June until the 14th of July.
A number of other UK repositories are tweeting and this is by no means a complete list, it is just a number which we have looked at:
- Nectar Research [Repository]
- Durham Research Online [Repository]
- White Rose Repository Online [Repository]
- EPrints Files [Repository]
* With apologies to the memory of Frankie Howerd