College Matching Service (CMS) has been exploring the education value of Twitter. We found a couple interesting resources while researching education on Twitter, or Twitter Education.
Twitter has what is referred to as a “fire hose” of information. With hundreds of thousands of people sending status updates every hour, there is a large amount of data on Twitter that is of value.
To find the education data, you have to perform the proper searches. Once you do so, you can find Twitter users that you wish to follow, or you can save the Twitter search that produces the most accurate results.
Finding Scholarships on Twitter
Recently CMS has been exploring scholarships online. We’ve found that there are very few valuable scholarship resources that are easy to find. The more precise your scholarship search the more fragmented the results become. For example, if you’re looking for classical music scholarships in Colorado, it is going to be very difficult to find something that you qualify for.
What we decided to do was develop a scholarship tool that would help with college homework users by limiting their choices. For example, if you’re looking for classical music scholarships, we allow you to select music scholarships. What people don’t often realize is that most music scholarships offered will also include classical music under the umbrella of acceptable programs. Therefore, by directing our users with the scholarship tool, we often achieve a higher success rate in getting scholarships for our visitors.
Of course we provide this tool free of charge. Our goal is to bring thousands of scholarships into one tool that will allow visitors to quickly and easily find a scholarship and apply for it.
Mashing up content for Twitter
We’ve been coordinating our efforts for scholarships through our Twitter account ScholarshipsUSA. Through unique tools we have developed especially for scholarships on Twitter, we have been posting scholarships on a daily basis to our Twitter account. Every time we post a scholarship to our website, it gets posted to our Twitter account.
We have also tagged this posting with the hash tag “scholarship” which will allow people to find it with a scholarship search on Twitter, Which brings me to my first recommended resource, performing a search for scholarship on Twitter.
Let me be the first to warn you that you may find results where people are simply promoting their “product” and are not interested in helping you find scholarships. If you have ever heard the term bait & switch, that is a lot of what you will find on Twitter.
How do I search Twitter for valuable resources?
Keep in mind there are two ways to search on Twitter, which will Checkout this article by Joshua Odmark that explains keywords on Twitter. Essentially this article states there are two ways to search on Twitter as a hash tag and without.
As you can see, one has a proceeding it, and one does not. Hash tag searches always contain no spaces. For example “Education Scholarships” as compared to “Education Scholarships”. The hash tag version of the search will return far more specific results, and thus far less results. Most of the time when I am researching education on Twitter I search for both of them and compare the results.
Stick to generalized searches on Twitter. Unfortunately Twitter has not perfected the search results just yet. They are working on it though, because they keep hiring Google employees to help them in their real-time search.
Speaking of real-time search, that is EXACTLY what Twitter is. Which means, when you perform the search is absolutely critical if it is a broad search term? For example, a search for “education” returns results minute by minute. A search for “#education” returns results hour by hour.
That means that when you perform the “education” search is critically important, Which also means that to research Twitter properly, you must perform general searches at multiple times throughout the day