Social Software

Monittering Twitter – The Obama Inauguration Experiment

Obama Inauguration Monittered Tweets
Obama Inauguration Monittered Tweets

In my prior My Five Ws of Twitter in less than 10 minutes (video included) post – How to follow section, I listed as an amazing tool. Now, I’d like to show you a recording I made on Inauguration Day to illustrate that point.


How I monitored

  1. I went to and looked for the hash tags (#) that folks were using to mark their tweets; “inauguration”, “inaug09” and “obama”.
  2. Opened in my Chrome browser (simply because my blog theme matches it)
  3. Replaced my previous keywords in each column heading for the hash tagged terms I found in step 1
  4. Just for fun, I played around with the “Tweets within …” setting and entered “10 km” of “Washington, DC”
  5. Preferring a more global perspective, I cleared the “Washington, DC”

The tweets were coming through so fast, it was sometimes just a blur.

How I captured

  1. I quickly opened up my Camtasia 6.0 Recorder and choose a custom area setting of 1024×768. I knew this would be too large for my blog and too large for youtube, but there was so much content flying by that I figured I’d deal with that issue later.
  2. I started recording on 2009-01-20 at 11:46 ET
  3. I could see a few tweets coming in remarking how impressed some where that Twitter was handling the load and didn’t crash yet.
  4. Things slowed down around 12:12 ET for me and then nothing was coming in.
  5. I stopped recording and saved the file – which takes awhile for a recording that long.
  6. I then removed two columns from by clicking the minus sign “-” at the bottom right hoping to improve things
  7. I started recording again changing my capture area setting to a more youtube friendly size (640×480) even though I couldn’t get things lined up nicely with my Monitter columns
  8. The second recording went from 12:33 ET to 13:13 ET.

How I tried to post to YouTube
This didn’t go well. I tried playing back my recordings and recapturing them in smaller area and uploading them. At first I got tripped up by the note on the upload page that tells me I can upload up to 1 GB. But there was no warning about not being able to upload videos more than 10 minutes. It took a few nasty error messages & trips to the Help to find that one out.

Then I thought I had it all figured out. I had played back, re-captured in 640×480 screen size, split into 10 minute files, uploaded a few files. And the playback was awful. I Googled, Helped, tried viewing in high definition, tried embedding here with various “width” and “height” values. All for not.

See for yourself. Here’s my inadequate 3-column version and a fruitless skinnied down attempt. All you can tell is the speed of tweets. And going to full screen is illegible.

How I finally published with the original quality

Camtasia Screencast Option
Camtasia Screencast Option

Sometimes the best solution is just too obvious. Techsmith, the makers of Camtasia are also the providers of Screencast. Nothing says “phew” like a good integration.


I quickly and easily uploaded my two large originally produced MP4 files with a click of a button. If I only realized that two days ago! In any case, life is good again. And even better if I just saved you a few days of headaches, or, enabled you to get that video published that you may’ve given up on. One more thing, Screencast has an free account option – which is what I went for. There’s a few limitations but I figure I can always upgrade later if need be.

This is it
Since its a large video, another browser tab, or, window will be opened: Obama Inauguration Tweets

While I would’ve preferred the potential traffic generated from YouTube, Screencast is my choice when quality large resolution is required.

I hope you enjoy watching the tweets go by. Please let me know if you can see yours. My two attempts were not captured.