ThinkUp keeps track of your social media

Visualizing Data

After the first crawl, insights are immediately available by clicking the ThinkUp logo in the top left of the screen. ThinkUp will inform you about your most popular posts, your most loyal fans, the rate at which you are posting compared with previous weeks, and much more (Figure 9). If an insight has an icon on the right of its title bar, you can click it and unfold a detailed description (often in the shape of a graph) that contextualizes the data.

Figure 9: Keep track of the number of lists your Twitter feed gets included in.

By clicking on Old-School Dashboard at the bottom of the page, ThinkUp brings up its old interface (Figure 10), which contains charts, the number of retweets, and other data not available in the Insights interface. Presumably, this data will gradually be incorporated into the new interface in later versions.

Figure 10: The old ThinkUp interface is still available and contains extra data not shown in the new Insights interface.

Another way to access your data is to take it directly from the ThinkUp database. The encoded_locations, for example, contains all the locations that ThinkUp has been able to find, along with longitude and latitude; the users table contains names and handles Twitter users that you follow; and so on. Each field is described within the tables, so working out which column holds what and how to cross-reference between tables is pretty easy.

Once you have had ThinkUp running for about month or so, you will start to see things that make sense (Figure 11) and the insights will help you become more effective at delivering content. You will be able to determine how to focus a story for maximum effect, where your readers are located, and the level with which they engage. ThinkUp even helps you work out the best time of day to publish your news.

Figure 11: The Time of day chart tells you the best time to publish your content.


ThinkUp is an excellent way to keep track of your social networks and can be invaluable at helping work out what you're doing right and where you're failing when trying to reach a wider audience.

That said, ThinkUp has some serious rough edges, especially in the documentation department. Most of the manual is old and refers to things that very often are not true anymore or to document interfaces that changed way back. Often essential steps required to get things working are not mentioned at all and can only be found by digging deep into the project forums [2].

However, ThinkUp's development is brisk and ongoing, it has an active community, and it is used in high-profile institutions and companies (see the "ThinkUp Membership" box). If you're interested in the clout you have in social media, maybe you should use it, too.

ThinkUp Membership

In this article, I set up ThinkUp to run on my own server. If you prefer to run the software on ThinkUp's servers, you can become a ThinkUp member [3] and spend US$  60 a year for one account (Twitter and Facebook) or US$  120 per year for five accounts (Twitter and Facebook). You can even sign up with ThinkUp Executive for a custom solution if your needs are "more advanced."

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More