In digital research we track digital objects and information, and speaking of social media we trace users and their connections. Open source tools and apps are available online to data extraction, and the output files provided by them can be often opened in Excel, Gephi or software like R or RStudio to facilitate data analysis. Throughout this process, we should be attentive to ids, and knowing how to identify and better use them to assist research practices. I have some basic suggestions about using ‘identifications’ that are exposed in different stages of digital research, for example, either in monitoring or analysing social phenomena such as political collective activism.
i) Monitoring stage: when adopting screenshots, always name your image file with its correspondent id. It facilitates further consultations and it also helps in checking over time changes regarding users engagement. Below you can see two screenshots and their tweet and reply ids in pink.
ii) Data analysis: when analysing your data set you can always use ids to improve in-depth content analysis, for exemplo comments on Facebook Pages or searching for a user activity on Instagram.