Optimising Twitter for Political and Security Risk Analysis

Gathering and managing relevant and up-to-date information is one of the key competencies needed in political/security risk analysis. With the advent of social media sites such as Twitter, the collection and management of information is becoming easier by the day. How to optimise your Twitter usage for gathering relevant breaking news is described below. This can be used for risk analysis purposes or any other job in which up-to-date global, regional or local news is required.


I have chosen to use HootSuite as a platform for managing my social media sites, but there are many other choices such as TweetDeckSeesmic, etc.


  1. Sign up for account at http://hootsuite.com
  2. Add you Twitter account and or other social media accounts to Hootsuite
  3. Go to these Twitter account’s lists: @LutzBarend & @BarendLutz 
  4. Subscribe to the lists you want (you can also look for other interesting lists)
  5. Go to you Hootsuite Dashboard and add streams for the lists you want to follow

* You can create your own lists or find other lists that are more specific to your interests online. My lists are just broad lists that I have created by looking at what other people are following on Twitter, but they will be updated as I find more useful tweeps.

* If you are still unsure about this process you can look at this presentation for further clarification.


The final product will look something like this.


In addition to Hootsuite there are a number of other sources that make online data more manageable:

1.     TwitterMap

You search for keywords and it shows you where tweets containing those words come form on a map. (Search for words such as fatalities, clashes, protests, strikes)

2.     TrendsMap

This site shows you a global map of trending topics. I think it provides a bit too much information, so the one above might be more useful.

3.     Alchemy API

Lastly there is a demo program which analyses news articles and extracts the useful info. This is just a demo, but you can add a web link and then it extracts all the details automatically.  For example try adding this link: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/60398/World/Region/Iraq-attacks-kill-seven,-inmate-detonates-explosiv.aspx

I am sure that everyone has a specific methodology which they prefer for viewing and collecting information. I have found that the method described above works well for me, but if you have another method or comments/advice on mine, please feel free to let me know.

Article by Barend Lutz – Political Risk Analyst | Digital Media Specialist at red24

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One thought on “Optimising Twitter for Political and Security Risk Analysis

  1. […] sources, not all Tweets are equal, and one has to be careful with what one believes. However, optimising Twitter with the help of social media manger programmes and proper twitter lists can help you to weed out […]

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