Here’s to social media friends new and old

Lately I’ve been doing a bit of social media training, at my own council as well as a few others. Today was in a different environment with the comms team at Creative Scotland.
As well as actually using social media they were interested in measuring sentiment. This ties in nicely with the media monitoring and media sentiment development work I’ve been doing at South Lanarkshire. The social media side of things was going to be my next piece of research but the session at Creative Scotland forced me into early action.
They seemed to take on board the options I suggested and they are the same ones I’ll be testing myself.
Unless you have a budget the size of Nike’s or Coke’s there doesn’t seem to be one tool that does everything. Cue loads of you telling me there is 🙂

But that’s the thing I was keen to get across today – I’m no expert, every day’s a school day with social media because the landscape is constantly changing. The other thing is that none of the stuff I share is original thought – it’s all gleaned, mostly for free from the online social media community. Open, transparent collaboration was a hard thing to learn when I dipped my toe into the social media water but you have to learn it quickly and it’s what makes social media so compelling. I’ve made some great real-life friends who started out as avatars on Twitter or Facebook and will probably continue to do so. Some of them have even been at my house for a truly epic dinner party (you all know who you are!)

putting the social into media

Anyway, enough of the sentimentality – I know there are probably great alternatives out there and there are new tools appearing every day but for the meantime this is what I have in my social media toolbox.

  • MediaFunnel – to monitor our social media channels and for the team to publish content on those channels
  • TwitterFeed – to automate tweeting the weather forecast and gritting action to the SLCRoads account
  • IFTTT – to automate many things but mostly retweeting the weather forecast and gritting action from the SLCRoads account to the main council account
  • TweetReach – to see how far mostly hashtags for event travel
  • Tweet Archivist – to see who’s retweeting what, on which devices and much, much more
  • Twendz – to analyse sentiment and conversations around a topic as they happen
  • ViralHeat – to measure social media sentiment
  • Followerwonk – to analyse our followers, identify influential followers and compare out followers with those of other partner organisations to evaluate how best to share information

Apart from MediaFunnel all of these are free or you can have the whizzbang version, either for a one-off payment or buttons every month, and no, I’m not on commission or sponsored (although I’m open to offers!).

Today I have learned:

  • it’s always quicker getting to Edinburgh (express train) than getting home (train that stops at every lamppost)
  • people actually value the training I do – don’t know why this surprises me so much 🙂

Today’s recipe

Carolyne’s Christmas baked ham


Tonight we were on the leftovers from Christmas Day which had been in the freezer. I had the Norovirus over Christmas so this was the first time I’d tasted it and it was a recipe I made up myself so I didn’t know if it had worked until tonight. Everyone enjoyed in on Christmas Day, even the Minis but I needed to know for myself. I served it with gingerbread stuffing but I’ll save that recipe for another time.


1.5 kg unsmoked gammon/ham joint

8 peppercorns

8 star anise

1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and quartered

1 litre bottle full fat ginger beer

Put everything in a large pan, ginger beer last. Top up with water if it doesn’t cover the ham. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Once cooked, remove the ham from the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes. If it’s thick, remove most of the layer of fat. At this point you can leave to cool and it’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of days until you’re ready to bake it.

Honey glaze


200g soft brown sugar

25ml rice vinegar

250g runny honey

1 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground  ginger

1 tbsp soy sauce


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Line a roasting tin with tinfoil. Place the ham on the foil. Make diagonal cross-cross scores on the remaining fat of the ham and where they intersect place a star anise. Pour over half the glaze mixture and roast for 15 minutes. Remove, pour over the remaining glaze and roast for a further 20 minutes, basting it in the juices too. The star anise will caramelise so remove before serving. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.


  1. Pingback: Here’s to social media friends new and old | weeklyblogclub
  2. Pingback: So much more than numbers | weeklyblogclub
  3. Participation Cymru · January 14, 2013

    There’s a couple of tools here that I haven’t heard of before, really helpful post! Followerwonk sounds like it could be very useful…. plus it has a brilliant name! Cheers!

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