About the Assignment
After live-tweeting the readings for the course, and after using Twitter to engage with your future professional community, you will write a substantial blog post (500-800 words: worth 25% of your total grade for the module) reflecting on these two Twitter activities. You will need to embed several tweets and reflect on the impact this writing technology has had on you as a developing digital writer.
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 (more or less) 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 module: first, as a way to engage our readings outside of class and, second, as a way to 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 professional interests.
So, to get this project under way, we are going to complete the following:
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 you 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 #tfw1 hashtag to all “live tweets.”
There is no required number of tweets to “live-tweet,” but I suggest at least 3 tweets per reading so we can start to have an exciting 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.
When to Start
Begin live-tweeting the readings and your work during the week the Twitter assignment is handed out and continue through to the end of your module. Live-tweet for every assigned reading.
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 at the end of week two/beginning of week three:
Required Blog Post due by the end of week three:
(This will be in addition to the six weekly required posts)
At least 500-800 words, with 2 parts.
25% of your final grade!
Include insights you have gained throughout the entire process of cultivating a professional identity using Twitter.
In order to analyze the kinds of tweets the person writes, you will need to embed a few characteristic tweets to break down (analyze) and describe the person's approach to writing tweets. For instance, can you discern the rhetorical stance (the values the writer expresses and toward which audience the writer writes) of the tweeter? How do you know?
Furthermore, what does their follow and follower lists say about them and their interests? For instance, what might we be able to say about someone who has 8,000 followers, but who only follows seven people?