What is the best tool for spying (AKA researching) on 50 or more students’ use of Twitter

I’m running a session in a week or two for a group of undergraduates. The idea is that we want to get them using Twitter and other social media to build their profile and engage in scientific communication.

I would ideally like to find a tool to track and ideally capture what they all do. Ideally I’d end up with some kind of .CSV data file that I could import into Excel or similar to be able to analyse all of their Tweets over a few weeks. Ideally I’d have some kind of timestamp associated with each Tweet.

Any ideas what tool I can use? Ideally it needs to be free and simple enough for an enthusiastic amateur like myself to use.



  1. Advice from the Career Centre’s, Coordinator, Online Career Development Services follows Tristram:

    “Hmmm, while it is possible to export from Twitter generally you have to be logged into the account to do it, which means he would have to get each student to do the export for you. After they’ve each exported their own timeline, he could then merge each one into its own tab in Excel and generate a pivot table from there to analyse, but it’s a bit time intensive.

    Another approach would be to create a brand new account that follows all the students and no one else, and then use this technique to download his following timeline in one go: http://blog.reyjunco.com/how-to-export-twitter-updates-to-excel

    The second approach is probably the one involving least work. But the downside is that it can only export 200 tweets at a time so depending on how active the students are it might take a couple hours to go through it all.

    Hope this helps. Just wanted to try to return the favour.
    Regards Peta

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