Week 7: Your public narrative.

Week 7: Feb. 21-Feb 27, 2018.


Reviewing and developing our understanding of what social media can (and cannot) do.  Honing the craft of story-telling.


  • Chapter 10, 11 and Conclusion in SMSG. The chapters on mobile media are important, but the short conclusion is the focal point for returning us to the question, “what can social media do?”
  • Read and watch “Public Narratives: Story of Self, Us, Now”  (public narrative training) and craft a public narrative that is about what YOU want US to do NOW. I strongly encourage you to spend the time necessary to watch the videos.
  • Read chapter 7 in Strategic Social Media: “Best Practices for Social Media Engagement.”  It could be relevant to the “NOW” action that you ask your readers to take.

Write blog essay #6: Your public narrative.
You all told a “story of self” in your first post about your avatar, who you want to be online. Re-read that post and look at what the notes on “Story of Self” and see if you can sharpen / strengthen that story of self.  Emphasize choice points, a moment or two that sharpened your values.  But this time, you won’t stop with the story of self.  You will also think about the values you share with your  audience.  If your story of self, for example, is about a time you made a choice to care for a friend, a child, another young person, you might identify “keeping youth safe” as a value that you share with your audience. That in turn can be pivoted to a “now”:  a call on others to act on behalf of school aged kids in America to protect them from future gun violence.  You don’t want to leave your readers with a “general call” for action however–you need to give them a specific “NOW.”

  • Go to a campus or community meeting event that is responding to the school shooting crisis.
  • Attend a planning meeting for a school walk out.
  • Or, it could be a social media NOW: using a specific hash tag, adopting a Facebook frame, etc.. These might seem like the acts of slactivists, but try them yourself, and recommend them to others.  Movements need to start somewhere.

Those are all pretty obvious choices–I encourage you all to be more creative than my prompt.

Don’t forget to include an image or two, a link or two, categorize and tag the post–do all the same things we have been working on this semester.

If you liked, or simply want to keep practicing, your video blog skills, this week’s assignment is perhaps the one best suited for video blogging.


Use the social media channels we have available to us to workshop the components of your story. Definitely share drafts of your story in our private Facebook group before you go live (or email drafts to people if you want to be old fashioned). Consider trying out some or all of your story on Twitter,  Facebook or WordPress. Remember you can use your WordPress any time you want for whatever work you want–it is your space, not mine.  More generally as a student and writer, remember that you always have this vast feedback system at your disposal when writing: use it, try it, learn from it.

Keep doing the little stuff too: play with your story components via the short forms you have available. Develop your voice. Tweet or retweet with a mission.  Sharpen your sense of avatar through your online actions.

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