I have been trying to participate in the MOOC MOOC on and off all week. They are relying heavily on twitter as a mechanism to stimulate group interaction and to aggregate information. This is common practice and is done by including a hashtag such as #moocmooc in all of the tweets you want seen by the group.
I noticed early in the week that some of the tweets I tagged with #moocmooc were not showing up in the stream. As the week progressed, more and more of my tweets failed to show up. In order to find out why, I submitted the following support ticket:
Regarding: Search and trends
Subject: Tweets on home page but missing in search
Description of problem: My tweets are being posted and are visible on my home page but are not showing up when I search by hashtag or use “from:andrewstaroscik”
This makes it very difficult to participate in group interactions that are dependent on aggregation by hashtag
Full name: Andrew Staroscik
Twitter username: @andrewstaroscik
Notice, it is not just #moocmooc, my tweets don’t even show up in a search of tweets based on my own username.
After a few less than helpful email exchanges, I received this rather dismissive message earlier today:
a_nace, Aug 16 10:16 am (PDT):
Thanks so much for your email. This article covers common reasons why some Tweets might not be found in search: http://support.twitter.com/articles/66018-i-m-missing-from-search
Please note that to provide the best possible search experience for all users, as well as due to resource constraints, not every Tweet will display in search results. We’re striving to include as many Tweets as possible while keeping search quality high.
Rest assured that your followers will still see all your Tweets and @mentions. The best course of action is to continue tweeting, retweeting and mentioning others to gain resonance amongst your followers so that search results are up to date for your account.
We really appreciate your feedback and I’ve reported it to our team for review.
I am sharing this partly out of frustration and partly as a cautionary tale to educators enamored with the potential of twitter to promote connectivity. Twitter has great promise, but it is not perfect. When I figured out that my tweets were not going to show up in the #moocmooc stream, I felt less connected to the community and stopped following the thread. Not a big deal for me, but it is something educators might what to keep in mind if they are going to rely on hashtags in distance learning. Novice twitterers may be especially vulnerable to exclusion.
For some reason, the twitter filter algorithm has deemed my use of the #moocmooc hashtag as inappropriate.
Funny that the spammers are not having any trouble getting through.
And… none of this explains why “from:andrewstaroscik” gives flawed results.