on the cheap and sleazy side (www.cheapandsleazy.net)

Words and Pictures by Jill Driscoll, CSR (TX), CBC; XHTML by G.D. Warner

Twitter for Captioning? Really?

Yes, Really!


Recently Jill Driscoll sent me a quick e-mail. It read:

"I am attaching the article I wrote about twitter as a captioning aid. If you can use it, feel free! I wrote it over a year ago when I still had a Blackberry, but the info is still good.

PS Kind of miss my Blackberry."

Well! Twitter and captioning? How does that work?!?

I mean, (*ahem!*) Why yes, Jill! I'm sure I can use it! Thanks!

Oh, and Jill has gone back to working in court these days! I'll have her update her bio in the not-too-distant and see what's what.


You hear a LOT about Twitter on the news and just about everywhere these days.  At first, I just rolled my eyes and thought, why do I need another silly way to keep up with who is eating what and when?  That's what Facebook is for!  However, I took the plunge and set up a Twitter account and have come to realize that it can be an invaluable aid to captioning.

Twitteriffic icon

Twitteriffic icon

This article is going to show you how to use Twitter to make you a better captioner!

First things, first!  If you haven't already done so, you must set up a Twitter account!

It is really as simple as going to Twitter.com and clicking on "sign up now."  For those of you who want to read a little bit about the process of signing up for an account, HERE is more information!

Once you have an account, you are ready to get on with the business of Following! I don't spend a lot of time "tweeting" about my sandwich or other exciting moments of the day, and I don't follow a lot of sandwich tweeters, either.  However, we're not limited to that!  If you haven't noticed already, almost every Web site you look at to prep for your news, sports, entertainment, has a place -- usually on the home page -- where you can click on the Twitter and/or Facebook icon.    Here's an example at www.cbsnews.com:

CBS News Website

CBS News Website

You can see at the bottom of the window here it says, "Connect with CBS News" and then it has the Facebook and Twitter icons.

CBS News Connect Window

CBS News Connect Window

You can choose to follow all of these organizations on either client, but I prefer Twitter so that my Facebook page can remain more of a social sandwich-update type of place.

As you surf the Web looking at all of your favorite captioning prep sites, you can find the Twitter icon on each.  When you click on the icon, it will take you to the twitter.com page and from there you can choose to "follow" the person/site, etc.

Once you have a list of folks you follow, then what?  Well, you can go to the twitter.com page and see the updates there, but most people use what are called "Twitter apps." There are desktop applications for Twitter that will send a little pop-up in the corner of your screen whenever there is a breaking news update.  I keep this on my desktop that I use for internet ("internet computer") and not on my captioning computer, because I don't want to be distracted by little bubbles of information wafting in on the corner of my screen.  However, I do see them out of the corner of my eye on my internet computer and many times I have seen some announcement before the news anchors stop the presses for the "breaking news."

There are a lot of great applications for Twitter for the desktop (uh ... doesn't have to be a desktop computer, of course!  Just your desktop on your laptop or your desktop.  Oh brother!)  The one I am currently using is Digsby.  You can research "Twitter for desktop" and you will get plenty of potential twitter clients to choose from.   I prefer the ones that have the pop-up notifications.

My favorite way to receive my tweets, however, is through my Blackberry.

As there are Twitter apps for your desktop, there are Twitter apps for your Blackberry or iPhone (or probably any smartphone).

That's just another google away to read about the different choices and choose the one that you like. I use SocialScope Lite.  I get my Facebook updates and my Twitter updates through it and I LOVE it.  It is a little different than most apps you can sign up for because you have to send a request to them for an account and wait a few days before you can access it.  In this day of instant gratification, you may not be patient enough for that.  If not, there are plenty of apps you can download and begin using on your phone TODAY!

Here's a list of JUST A FEW of the people and sites that I follow on Twitter that I find helpful:

Twitter Account Description
@whitehouse The Whitehouse
@PressSecSteno Writers Group Another great group for us stenographers. Dictation, forums, texts, etc.
@thedailybeast political updates
@msnbc_politics political updates
@TMZBreakingNews celebrity updates
@NASA space program/astronaut news
@NHL latest news from the world of hockey. Really helps you keep up with some of the more prominent names and games
@ABC network news updates
@JohnKingCNN his personal tweets about breaking news/news
@CNNbrk breaking news
@One_News_Page more news updates!
@espn sports updates
@nikegolf specific tweets about golfers Nike sponsors
@BarackObama the president tweets!
@BreakingNews uh ... yeah, breaking news!
@NEWSJUNKIEPOST more news updates
@CBSNews network updates on breaking news/news
@NASCAR since I don't follow the sport, this one is really helpful for spelling names of races, racers, sponsors, etc.
@InsideEdition more celebrity news updates


I like to follow political writers and comedy writers. It is So Fun to have access to their commentary during political "season." It is especially hilarious and fun to follow along with the Twitter timeline and watch the debates at the same time. Way better than sitcoms!!

If you decide to get "on the Twitter" and need some help with it, just shoot me (Jill Driscoll) an email at jilldmail (at) gmail (dot) com.

Or ... @jilly451