Since starting the Scientwists Project a bit over a week ago, I’ve been busy hacking up Bash and R scripts in order to analyze the data produced by the 500+ scholars that I’m following. Here’s a first glimpse of what they’ve been tweeting about, specifically the URLs and hashtags they’ve used.

In total, I’ve collected about 12.000 tweets since January 7th, containing 4.750 different URLs and 1.130 different hashtags.

10 most popular URLs

1. The Shorty Awards

2. Dennis Meadows: The Oil Drum: Economics and Limits to Growth: What’s Sustainable?

3. Björn Brembs: Social filtering of scientific information – a view beyond Twitter

4. BioData Product Blog: Laboratory Notebooks: A thing of the past?

5. Forbes.com: Illumina’s Cheap New Gene Machine

6. A photograph of clouds that seem to resemble Great Britain :-)

7. Times Online: Baroness Greenfield loses her job in Royal Institution shake-up

8. Mr. Gunn: Cell launches a new format for the presentation of research articles online

9. Daniel Mietchen: On the need for a global academic internet platform [ref to Nadja Kutz: arxiv.org/abs/0803.1360]

10. Rebecca Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

These were tweeted between 5 (#9 and #10) and 30 (#1) times. However, tracking URLs is complicated by the fact that many different addresses may point to the same source, especially since people use a variety of different URL shorteners. This is something I’ll resolve later, so for now this fairly anecdotal.

15 most popular hashtags

1. #scio10 (391x)
2. #scidebate (84x)
3. #fb (75x)
4. #science (68x)
5. #technology (67x)
6. #tcot (58x)
7. #orca (54x)
8. #debateanatel (53x)
9. #Glee (31x)
10. #ff (27x)
11. #HeLa (26x)
12. #uksnow (26x)
13. #Haiti (25x)
14. #NetDE (24x)
15. #gov20 (21x)

Obviously some of these are automatically generated (#fb and #ff), but there’s a fair share of interesting ones. I’m expecting #scio10 will dominate the next few days even more visibly.

Hope it’s informative – let me know if you have any questions. :-)

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