Monthly Archives: January 2014

Reminders from class 1/29

Due next week: 

1. If you have not already sent me your Twitter handle, please do. The account must be “public” or you will not be able to use hashtags effectively. If you are new to Twitter or haven’t used it much, start getting into the habit of both posting and browsing your stream a little at least once a day. Write down any questions you have about how to use Twitter as we will be talking about it more next week. If you are already an experienced Twitter user, think about some ways to expand and improve your presence and community there in relation to your topic of focus.

2.   Develop a list of at LEAST three other blogs or Web sites that meaningfully address your topic of interest.  For professionals, a blog is often a “hub” for other social media activity occurring around the web. Summarize and evaluate some of the key features of each blog or site using bullet points on your journal blog. Answer all of the following questions: What kind of problem do these websites/blogs help solve for their audience and/or what needs do they fulfill? What do they do well? What could they improve? Can you identify any gaps in their content or features that a competitor could fill, and how is what you could offer different or better? Look at their social media presence and the comments or interaction they get: Are they cultivating an active community around their site?

3.   Do readings for next week and reflect on them on your journal blog.

4.   Start making a habit of following blogs and Twitter accounts related to social media and digital technology, such as Mashable, TechCrunch, ReadWrite, Nieman Lab, or others. Share interesting links with our class. Use a bookmarking service like Delicious or Evernote to save and tag links you think might be useful to you in the future.

5. #JBowl – no, this is not on the syllabus, and we haven’t really talked about Twitter yet. But let’s do it! SuperBowl has something for everyone – hate football? Well,there are always the ads, the halftime show etc. Or, you can use Twitter to express your disdain for all the above things. IMPOSSIBLE for you to watch even a few minutes? Google some of the ads or other clips that will be posted online after/during the game. Some of you have done this before, but it can be an interesting learning experience to actively participate in an event online. Tweet your thoughts/observations using the hashtag #jbowl. Show us “the scene” where you are watching the game. Respond to other folks also using the #jbowl hashtag. Create a Storify of the above…and include a few other tweets you found fun or interesting.

Storify How To: and see slides.

Note:You can ALSO use other more common hashtags if you want to, but those are going to be really crowded on the big day, so be sure you use #jbowl so we can talk to each other. Dr. Willis’s class and maybe some others will be doing this as well.

Sample Storify from the Grammys – yours should include your tweets as well:

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Two reminders

1. Please send me separate, direct links to each separate post you did for each week, if you did more than one. I’m creating a blogroll of all the journal blogs, so it’s not that I can’t find them – it’s just that when I’m trying to track this many students at once, it helps to have direct links so I’m not searching around for people’s stuff.

2. Part of our goal here is to teach you the power of networks – as Shirky describes it when he talks about finding the cell phone. I am more than happy to answer questions, but there is one of me and 16 of you, plus a similar number in my other class. You could try posting some questions on the class Facebook page to see if others had the same issue or could help. Might be quicker. Just a suggestion. I plug away as fast as I can here, but answering 16 individual questions via email takes longer than answering it once on Facebook or even through this blog or the email listserv. 


Reminders 1/22

Good class last night. Thanks for your patience last night as we worked through technical issues.
See below for what is due next week.
Also, just in general, don’t forget that participation in this class involves…social media. Big shocker. 🙂 Join the class Facebook group and use it to ask questions, get/give feedback, share relevant links, etc. Link again is: You can also use the hashtag #SocialJ on Twitter
Photo A Day: I will be setting you up as contributors to the Tumblr as soon as I can, using the preferred email address you gave me in class. You should receive a notification from Tumblr asking you to join the blog as a contributor. This will allow you to post your photo each day. Tumblr does have an app you can post from if you would like.  You can get started taking the photos even before I get the blog set up..some of you may also want to make your own personal collection on Flickr or Instagram or another photo site, though that is optional. Use tags #J7330 and #photoaday Remember, this assignment can engage your creativity – do whatever you want. You can create a specific theme or challenge for yourself, or not.

For next week:

1.    Create your WordPress journal blog, and send me a link to it on email. Create an about me page that has a brief personal bio and photo of yourself. Include things like your career goals, your hobbies, work experience, etc. Ask how many have used. Discuss this next.

2.    In your first post, answer the following questions: What social networks do you use most often? How or why do you use them? What do you find interesting or important about social media (e.g. why are you taking this class?)

3.    Choose a topic of focus for this class, or what journalists might call a “beat.” It is VERY IMPORTANT to choose wisely, so put some serious thought into this. Choose a subject you are interested in and passionate about, personally or professionally. This could be anything from bowling to city/county school consolidation to local bakeries to the Memphis hip hop scene to the aviation industry to a particular company, industry or cause you are interested in promoting and/or understanding. Consider your post-graduation goals, but be sure you genuinely care about the subject. It will be critical for you to narrow your topic as much as possible. Anybody can “use Twitter” or “use Facebook” – it is technologically very easy to do. The trick is to use it productively when you have a specific professional goal. One of your goals will be to develop your ability to create interesting and informative content around a particular subject. But a bigger goal will be your ability to cultivate a community around this topic, to listen to what others have to say and engage your audience.

4.    Write up a short description of this topic of focus or beat on your journal blog. Be as clear and specific as possible.

5.    Do the readings for next week and post reflections on your journal blog. You should do this every week.

6.    Start photo of the day project

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Welcome to Spring Semester 2014

Get ready! Our main hashtag for the semester will be #socialJ

To communicate with JUST our class, use #J7330

More to come as I continue to flesh out this new class blog.