About the Assignment
Blogging is when people publish their ideas for a (mostly) unknown audience in posts of any length. Twittering (or micro-blogging) is when people publish their ideas in a much shorter format to a known audience. The Twitter tweet (the name of each post) is 140 characters long. Just as with blogging, one cannot fully grasp the medium without engaging with it. So, we are going to engage it over the course of the semester as use it, first, as a way to engage our readings outside of class and, second, connect to people who are in fields or have a general interest in areas relating to our research project. These connections will lead us to learning more about our topic from more diverse means than we could have ever thought. It will also provide us with the opportunity to interview someone associated with our research topic (a requirement of the assignment).
So, to get this project under way, we are going to complete the following:
- create a Twitter account that is not anonymous and has as short a username as possible (short usernames save precious characters; just as with Facebook, Twitter values authenticity; you will not gain followers and people will not let you follow them without authenticity; if you already have a Twitter account with an pseudonym for your username be sure your real name is associated with the account)
- create a professional bio that is consistent with what is stated in your other social media spaces; don’t be flip
- make your account open for anyone to follow; having a locked account essentially tells your audience that you would rather not know who they are and results in them not requesting the your follow approval (if you are concerned about spam and/or who is following, in the Settings enable the option to get an email whenever you have a new follower; this will allow you to see when someone follows and to Block them if necessary)
- add a link to your professional web site
- add a photo of yourself or something that you feel represents you or your project in some way
- follow @billwolff, @jcourtzy and @rowanuniversity, and everyone in the class:
- Follow the iwsf12 list
- Any tweet that is about class in any way should include the #iwsf12 hashtag.
- tweet an announcement of each of your blog posts including the link to it and #iwsf12 hashtag; when tweeting be sure to use a URL shortener, such as http://j.mp. I suggest the following accepted format: New blog post: “add post title” include URL to the post #iwsf12 Comments welcome!
- I encourage you to experiment with one of the many Twitter desktop and mobile apps (such as Tweetdeck), which are overwhelmingly useful for organizing and posting Tweets.
Live-Tweeting Readings and Assignments
Reading and working on assignments are often perceived as a solitary experiences but in our networked society it need not be. In order to help us all engage with the texts and our activities outside of class, and create a collective experience of our workings, I would like you to “live tweet” as you read and work on assignments, posting to Twitter whatever comes to your mind as you read the texts and work on the assignments. By “whatever comes to your mind” I mean things that are about the text and/or what you are working on. Try to limit tweets like, “This article is boring. #yawn,” as such tweets will make to look foolish and show little thought about the text itself. You should @reply to other class members frequently so that we can begin discussions about the texts and what you’re working on outside of the classroom and then continue those discussions when we meet in the classroom. Add the #iwsf12 hashtag to all “live tweets.”
There is no required number of tweets to “live-tweet”; but the more you tweet the more engaged the class can and will become in a dialogue outside the class. Do, however, be sure to make it clear which reading or assignment you’re tweeting about. This can be done in the content of the tweet or by using a hashtag for an author’s name (such as #wesch), and so on. This is important because we want to be sure we know which text you’re tweeting about.
You may also find it fun and worthwhile to live-tweet class meetings. Though, be careful not pay so much attention to Twitter that you are missing out on discussions.
When to Start
Begin live-tweeting the readings for week 5 and continue through the rest of the semester.
Engaging with your Future Professional Community
Twitter is an excellent medium for expanding your professional community, and to engage with people in your future field. Future employers are going to expect you to know how use Twitter for professional purposes so this is an opportunity to start doing that.
The following is to be started the week of 10/18:
- You are required to tweet at least 3 times per day. This is in addition to your “live-tweets.”
- Of those 3 tweets per day, 1 must be an @reply to or an RT of someone in your professional field. Twitter only works if you begin replying to people. That is, the only way to truly build a professional community is to actively engage with members of that community. As directed above, start following people in your field and begin having conversations with them. Tweets are not blow-horns; the goal is not to shout stuff out into the void. Rather, the goal is to have conversations that are meaningful in a variety of different ways. So, in your tweets, be sure to regularly @reply to people and RT tweets, as well.
- begin following people in your professional field. To help fine people, use: Twitter Search, Listorious, Twellow, Google, and by seeing who people follow. You can also check out these two posts: Top 100 Edu Tweeters and 100 Professors You Should Follow and Learn from on Twitter. There is no required number of people to follow, but if you are using Twitter effectively, by the end of the module I suspect you will be following upwards of 75 people (or a 75 more than you currently follow).
- choose 1 person in your professional field outside of class and compose 1 blog post in which you analyze the list of people who they follow; what does their follower list say about them and their interests? (This will count as one of your 2 weekly required posts and should be located within the goals of the blogging assignment.)