vrmc spring 2012 twitter assignment

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 locates you as a researcher writing an article about your topic and a grad student
  • 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 personal web site or the course blog
  • add a photo of yourself or something that you feel represents you or your project in some way
  • follow @billwolff, former Writing Arts professor @christateston, and everyone in the class:
  • follow other (current and former) Masters in WA grad students on Twitter:
  • Follow the vrmcs12 list (to be created)
  • Any tweet that is about class in any way should include the #core2s12 hashtag.

Live-Tweeting Readings and Assignments

(This portion of the assignment is stolen and modified from Mark Sample at George Mason University, who stole it from Zach Whalen at the University of Mary Washington.)

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 #vrmcs12 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. It will also create for a more nuanced Storify that you’ll be creating. 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 #morris), and so on. This is important because we want to be sure we know which text you’re tweeting about.

Begin live-tweeting readings starting with readings for week 2 and continuing throughout the semester as long as there are readings to tweet..

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