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At the end of last year we released RETweet for all our newsletter subscribers (sign up to receive future offers and news). It was a great success allowing you to see your constituents’ Twitter feed directly from within The Raiser’s Edge. Now, with the release of RETweet Professional, you can search for any keyword, user or hashtag just as you would in Twitter. RETweet Professional brings you all the features of RETweet but also allows you to find out who is talking about your organisation and your mission. From the feed, RETweet Professional will look up the constituents using a fuzzy search , allow you create you own constituent if it cannot find it or you can search in RE using the regular search screen. The application gives you the option of connecting a Twitter user to a constituent and once you have done that you can save their tweet as a notepad. You can also set up a “love” attribute for use within RETWeet Professional. You can assign a value directly from the application and it will save onto the constiteunt record without you having to open it up.
Track the conversation that people are having about your organisation directly from within The Raiser’s Edge. Social media has been brought one step closer to your organisation.
Download RETweet Professional Demo (includes RETweet)
 On a technical note we are forced to do a fuzzy search as the only two identifying fields that we retrieve from Twitter are full name and location. We split up both of these fields into first and last name and city, state and country. For the location we attempt to see if the values we have assumed are in the code tables. If they are we know that we have assigned the values correctly. If they do not appear in the code tables then we do not assign the values on creating a constituent. When searching we give each term a weighting. Only constituents that match the last name or the first five characters of the organization name will ever appear in the fuzzy search results. After that each of the other terms’ weighting are added up to determine which results appear in the match. City and the full first name (as opposed to the person’s initial) are given a higher weighting so matches based on those values will appear more prominently.
I have been working on a new version of RETweet which will be released soon. In that version we are allowing users to create constituents from Twitter users. The amount of information that you get from Twitter about the Tweet and the person that tweeted is very limited. The real name of the Twitter user – and it is not always a real name – is given in one field so it could include the first and last name (this is the most common where it is not a Tweeting business). To make this more useful the application reaches out to a webservice to determine the gender of the person.
The webservice takes the first name and returns gender information and which countries the name appears in. The web service is biased towards European and Western first names but does claim to cover some countries in Asia too.
This could also easily be integrated as a VBA solution so that when you save and close a constituent record, if the gender is unknown the VBA code reaches out to the webservice and populates the code. Here is some sample code that shows you how this is done. This is done using .NET as it is considerably easier to achieve than in the native VBA environment. It would, however, be easy to make a call to a COM visible assembly from the native VBA client to call this method.
' Determines the gender of the person by looking up useing Thomas Bayer's webservice. Private Sub SetGender(firstName As String, constit as CRecord) Dim xdoc As XDocument Try 'Here we retrieve the XML document from the REST web service xdoc = sendXML("http://www.thomas-bayer.com/restnames/name.groovy?name=" & firstName) Dim result = xdoc.<restnames> 'if there is an error then the gender cannot be found If result.Descendants("error").Count > 0 Then Return End If 'This is not an ideal check as a name can be both male and female 'but for simplicity we assume this is not the case If resultresult.<nameinfo>.<male>.FirstOrDefault.Value.ToLower = "true" Then constit.Fields(ERECORDSFields.RECORDS_fld_GENDER) = "male" Else constit.Fields(ERECORDSFields.RECORDS_fld_GENDER) = "female" End If Catch 'If there is an error due to the web service we catch it here and don't bother the end user. End Try End Sub Private Function sendXML(ByVal uri As String) As XDocument Dim request As HttpWebRequest Dim response As HttpWebResponse Dim reader As XmlReader request = HttpWebRequest.Create(uri) response = request.GetResponse() reader = XmlReader.Create(response.GetResponseStream()) Return XDocument.Load(reader) End Function
Look out for our new version of RETweet. It will include this and a lot of other new features!
We are really excited to release our latest free product RETweet. Setup a Twitter phone type, add Twitter addresses to The Raiser’s Edge and for each constituent that has one and then follow their tweets directly from their constituent record.
Follow their activity, check out their followers and who they are following. From this connect to Twitter to easily respond their tweets or click on their links.
We are offering this plug-in for free. Indeed it was offered for free to all those of you who signed up to our newsletter as a big thank you before the holiday season. If you missed our newsletter then sign up now and we’ll send you a link. For everyone else you’ll have to wait until the new year. If you want to have a preview then check out the screencast