Thursday, 13 January 2011

Organising my favorite tweets in a mind map

I use the Favorite function to store tweets that seem interesting for later reading. This is probably not how the function should be used but I know that many people use it for that purpose.

The main problem with doing so, is that after a while the Favorite list becomes quite long and it's hard to keep track of what I haven't read yet, what is an actual Favorite tweet and what could be deleted.

I started saving interesting tweets in Evernote which is a pretty useful way to do it, but I am not friend with the tagging in Evernote and therefore I created a new mess there which wasn't what I wanted.

I started thinking of how I would like to store my Favorite tweets and my later-read-tweets and came up with the idea that it would be great if it was possible to store them automatically in a mind map. Then I could have them organised in the way I want it and I could design it anyway I think is good for me. But could it be done?

I put a question out on Twitter and right away got a response from Andrew Wilcox (@ajwilcox) who turned out to be quite a wizard when it comes to MindManager, which is the mind map software I use. He guided me on how to get my favorites to a mind map in a simple automatic way.

Here is how I (with much help from @ajwilcox) set it up:
Add your Favorite rss feed to a map
   
1. First you have to find your Favorites rss feed. This is done by using the URL: http://twitter.com/favorites/[insert_your_ID_here].rss so mine would be (http://twitter.com/favorites/mattiaskareld.rss)
2. Copy the URL.
3. In MindManager, open a new map (or an already created map that you want to use).
4. Click the Map Parts tab to the right and make sure that there is a folder called News Feeds. If not create one.

5. In the Tools menu select Macro and then click Add new News feed to Library.
6. Paste your URL and click OK.

7. Go back to the Map Parts tab and you will find a topic in your News Feed folder.
8. Drag it to your map and place it where you want it.


 So now you have your Favorites in your mind map. But unfortunatelly we are not done just yet. Because this feed will not update automatically. Which means that you actually have to remove the map part you added and add it again to update it. And then you get all the Favorites again, not just the new ones. So let's continue and see if we can fix that issue too.

Download and save a macro
1. Download the macro called rss_to_intray.mmbas from the great MindManager resource page Activity Owner.
2. Create a folder called AO in the My Maps folder and place the downloaded macro there.

Add the macro
In MindManager do the following:
1. In the Tools menu, go to Macro and then select Macros
2. Name the Macro (I have named mine Feed updater).
3. Browse and locate the macro you saved in the AO folder before.
4. Place the macro in a menu (I placed it in the Edit menu).
Running the macro
1. Go to the menu where you added your macro (I go to the Edit menu).
2. Refresh the map part using Shift+F5.
3. Locate the macro and click it.
What now happens is that two map parts are added, one called In-Tray and one called rssdb. The first time you run it all your favorite tweets will be added in the three map parts we have added. This might look strange, but it's ok. Go to the In-Tray map part and start sorting your tweets into map parts of your choice.
Now you are basically done. The next time you save a Favorite, go to your map and refresh it and the new Favorite tweet will pop up in your In-Tray.

Conclusion
Setting up this was quite tricky but once I got it done it turned out to be really handy. I can now organise my tweets in any way I see fit. I have chosen to sort them by subject, but the great thing is that you can choose yourself how to sort them.
Before ending this long post I would just like to, once again, thank Andrew Wilcox for showing up with a great solution. I would also like to thank the guys at Activity Owner for the script and for being such a great resource.
Thanks for taking the time,
Mattias (@mattiaskareld)

3 comments:

  1. Cool! I like MindManager and find it a great tool for storyboarding courses.

    Text markers are really good for adding metadata to items such as Learning objectives or approx time for a section of learning.

    Keep up the good work!

    @dbswe

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  2. Very cool. I tried this a couple of years ago and it didn't work. Going to give it another shot now!

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  3. Glad to be of assistance. Also pleased to see that the virtuous collboration with @ActivityOwner happened.

    And thank you for taking the time to blog it. You have created a valuable resource.

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