Week 8: Catching Up, Reaching Out, Getting Techie (again)

Week 8, March 2-8, 2016

Goals

The title says it in brief; here are some details.

1. Catch up on a blog essay or two if you are behind.  Also catch up on reading, and use that reading to fuel your interactions (see below). The goal for blogging and tweeting in this class is to improve your abilities to handle both the short form and the long form of election communication, and to really understand the differences.

2. Reach out to a classmate or two who can be a partner or team during the second half of the course.  Talk to each other about which non-profit you would like to work with and then reach out to that local nonprofit to see if they are interested in getting some help with their social media strategy.  The goals for the second half of the semester are to put your listening and learning to practice as an actual non-profit consultant.

3. Getting Techie this week means exploring WordPress further: add relevant widgets, re-design your site if your online identity (avatar) is coming clearer, work out your category and tag scheme by editing posts. Include images if you didn’t and they would be appropriate at this point.

4. Summary and Response #2.  Please read “(RE)Tweeting in the Service of Protest,” the second academic article for summary and response work. You can find this article and the assignment in Blackboard > Assignments.

Readings

I would like to see more evidence that 140 Characters is being read and learned from.   I’d like to see all the class members (re)read sections from 140 Characters (Parts 2 and 3 seem particularly valuable) and post “advice” through Twitter.  Take an hour or two some night and work on scheduling posts to Twitter and/or Facebook (I need to make my own advice on this one).  Doing social media on the fly is challenging; the professionals use a mix of scheduled and live tweeting.

I also recommend (re)reading SMSG; week 9s “blog essay” will be the midterm exam, so I will expect you to be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of both key texts from the class so far.

You will need to read “(RE)Tweeting in the Service of Protest,” in order to complete the summary and response assignment.

Writing

Your writing this week will be

  • any blog essay you need to complete.
  • tweets, tweets, tweets (on Twitter) or post and reply, post and reply (Facebook group). Or combine the two in clever ways.
  • your LinkedIn profile if you have not completed it. Send me a LinkedIn invite.
  • revising your blog.
  • your summary and response to “(RE)Tweeting in the Service of Protest.”
At the end of week 8, please submit a memo to me (via email) that functions as a self-evaluation or your work, that provides me with some data points, and that gives you a chance to make an argument for more holistic (and presumably better) grade than the grades you have been getting post-by-post.   Tell me:
  • About particularly ambitious posts: video posts, audio posts, mash-ups—posts that took considerable time and energy to produce.
  • Reposts or pingbacks you got–signs that others liked your work and shared it some way or other.
  • How many comments you received on a particularly active post, how many in total.
  • How many comments you posted on other people’s blogs, or what other strategies you used for driving traffic to your site.
  • Please also provide a screen capture image or other output that shows me your WordPress Stats: weekly visits, comments, etc..

Please evaluate yourself holistically: did you get more or less traffic and conversation than you expected? What would you say about the quality of your exchanges?  Overall, did you do excellent work, good work, adequate work, or inadequate work to be a successful user of Web 2.0 tools? What would you give yourself as a score out of 50 for “Tweeting, engaging, getting techie.”

Interacting.

I am asking you to be more active on Twitter and/or Facebook.  We haven’t established any sense of classroom community so far, and Twitter is one way we could create community that might also bring others in, our Facebook group is a way we could interact more like a private classroom. But to create community, you have to be creating tweets or posts, you have to be replying to others’ tweets (including favorites and retweets), and you have to be fostering conversations and communities, not waiting for someone else to do it.  These Tweets or posts can be notes from 140 Characters, but those Tweets or posts alone will not create a community.  We have to be willing to share and open up a bit.

Once you have a partner or team, you will need to interact with the organization you have chosen to complete your work with.  Please let me know who you are planning to work with before you contact them.  If the initial contact doesn’t happen until week 9, that should be fine, but please do this before spring break.

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