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Tweet along with The Archers - Monday 6 Dec

Keri Davies Keri Davies | 14:26 PM, Thursday, 2 December 2010

Archers Twitter application - visual

One of the popular uses for the microblogging site Twitter is when audiences "live tweet" while watching or listening to a favourite programme, such as The Apprentice or Zane Lowe's Masterpieces.

An enthusiastic group of Twitter users already regularly tweet along to The Archers Omnibus every Sunday, sharing their reactions and speculation with other listeners.

We'd like you to give this a try during the evening episode at 7pm next Monday, 6 Dec.

Partly because it's fun, but also to help us.

Because The Archers celebrates its 60th anniversary on 1 Jan 2011, the episode on Sunday 2 Jan will be double length. Archers editor Vanessa Whitburn promises that it will be "unmissable".

We know that many people will want to comment on the special episode, and so we're developing an internet application which will collect and reflect these comments, present them in a graphical style, and record them so that the reactions can be replayed along with the episode.

For the anniversary, we'll collect comments from a number of sources. But to help us test out the application on Monday we'd just like you to comment via Twitter. If you're not already on Twitter, why not join up and give it a go?

So that we can collect your tweets, make sure each one includes the "hashtag" #thearchers

I'll be tweeting along on Monday, so I hope to see you (or at least your comments) then.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer. He can be found on Twitter (in his personal capacity) as @keridavies


  • Comment number 1.

    So, can we start a blog, and if so, how?

    Or do we have to comment only on the blog topic?

  • Comment number 2.

    Keri, I'm sorry to be so dumb, but I don't really get 'Twitter' and I speak as someone who's occasionally used it. For example, I've sometimes sent someone with a 'public' Twitter page (like you) a message on Twitter (a 'tweet', I assume) and I've seen their replies to me on their page, but I assumed that my actual messages, i.e my 'tweets', are invisible to the general public. I don't have my own 'Twitter' page, nor do I want one (I use blog spot, where I can post a much longer piece), and I don't want anyone 'tweeting' at me with lots of trivia. Friends send me email. I certainly wouldn't want to 'tweet live' about The Archers--while I was 'tweeting' my poor old brain would miss some of the dialogue.

    If I, a relatively happy 'silver surfer' who loves Youtube feels this confused, I wonder how others on here might feel?
    I think some (well, me definitely!) might need more technical info! That radio 2 link isn't enough for me.

  • Comment number 3.

    So that we can collect your tweets, make sure each one includes the "hashtag" #thearchers

    More clarification, please? Where would someone send the 'tweets'? To your Twitter page, to the BBC Twitter page or to someone else? Does everyone have their own twitter page once they've signed it to Twitter? (If I've got one, I've never found it!)

  • Comment number 4.

    Twitter is like send a txt to everyone in the world. so to narrow it down a little you use a form of filter. this filter is a # tag aka #thearchers

    this will then allow people to filter out any message you tweet easily from the billions of messages being tweeted at any 1 time. People can create a filter for anything with #thearchers in the message. So instead of just seeing everything they just see the messages containing this tag.

    hope this helps.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes, that is helpful, thanks. But where do I post the tweet?

  • Comment number 6.

    Head on over to twitter.com

    Create an account

    Off you go :)

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be funny, but I still don't understand. I have a Twitter account. I've used it to send messages to people with public Twitter pages. I aassumed my messages were private, seen only those by those people. Are they?

    I don't have a personal Twitter page, so I really don't know where I should post my general #archers tweets.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Nemo399

    If you post from your account with the hashtag #thearchers, we should see the tweets. Unless you've locked your account as "private", in which case only those you've allowed to follow you will see the tweets. If that's the case and you want to join in at 7 tonight, you could always unlock your account for the duration!

    Hope that makes sense

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Nemo399

    About "I don't have a personal Twitter page" - if you have an account then you have all you need. Log onto Twitter, type your message in the box and include #thearchers at the end. People will then see it using Twitter's search function by searching for '#thearchers' - which will then include your message.

    Hope this helps (further).

  • Comment number 11.

    Twitter is a strange concept to get your head around, but when you do, you may well start to understand its usefulness.

    The important thing is that there is no such thing as a 'Twitter page'. Twitter is just a huge database of messages, no more than that. You don't have your own personal page, you don't have a direct line to [insert name of favourite celebrity], nobody is forced to read your messages (although everybody can, see below).

    When you sign up to Twitter, you have a Twitter username (preceded by an '@' to signify the word that follows is a username - mine, for example, is @N_A_B). When you visit the Twitter website, you will see your timeline[1]. Anybody else searching for your username (see mine, for example, by visiting http://twitter.com/ ) will see your timeline. These are the Tweets you have made.

    When you send a message (Tweet), you send it out into the void. Anybody can read it[2], but most won't. When you send a tweet starting with a Twitter username, Twitter assumes that the message is directed at that specific user, but note that the message is still public and can still be read by anybody.

    There are three main ways people will come across your Tweets:

    a - Somebody following[3] you will see your Tweets in their timeline.
    b - Somebody searching for your Twitter username can see your timeline.
    c - Somebody searching for a specific hashtag[4] will see any Tweets you have made using that hashtag.

    In the main, if you want people to read your tweets, you need them to follow you. People don't (usually) decide to follow random strangers. Generally, to be followed you have to be interesting! I must admit that I don't really care who follows me - I'm happy to broadcast to the world irrespective of whether anybody finds me interesting or not, I use Twitter to follow other people who like the same kind of things as I do. This is where the hashtag really comes into its own.

    Anyway, after all that... I listen to The Archers on my way into work in the morning, so I won't be live tweeting in the evening. Have fun everybody!


    [1] The timeline is a specified list of Tweets in time order. The list could be the people you are following, your own profile or the results of a search.

    [2] Not strictly true, you can send a private message (called a DM for Direct Message), but once you've worked out how to do that, you'll have understood twitter anyway, so for the moment, assume that EVERYTHING you send can be seen by other people.

    [3] If you're interested in what somebody has to say, you can follow them. This means that their tweets appear in your default timeline (the view you see when you first log on to Twitter).

    [4] Given the billions of Tweets in the past few years, finding anything useful or interesting could be difficult. Twitter allows hashtags (single words preceded by a '#', such as '#thearchers') to be created. Once an agreed hashtag is in use, it is really easy to find people's tweets on that subject. To see everything people have Tweeted about The Archers today, visit http://twitter.com/ (the browser encodes a '#' as '%23') or visit Twitter.com and type '#thearchers' in the search box. The idea is that you find somebody saying something interesting - after that you may follow them or ignore them, it's entirely up to you!

  • Comment number 12.

    Many thanks to those who've posted the technical information here! I think I understand Twitter much better now. It's obviously not the same as sending people private text messages as I thought! In which case, I'll probably stop using it---doesn't sound like it's for me.

    On the other hand, I think it's good that this new website has opened its doors to 'Twitter' uses and that their comments are being incorporated.

  • Comment number 13.

    Thanks NickB for that very comprehensive explanation.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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