Blog post 3: A Twitter experience

This assignment is very different from the others. You will need to start working on it as soon as you can!

You should start five days before you write the post, which is due Monday, Sept. 11, at 9 a.m. You may start the required work before you read the articles. START with Step 1 below.

Read the two assigned articles for the week before you start writing your blog post. Each article is quite different from the other.


All steps are required for this assignment. Do all five steps below. Step 5 tells you what to include in your post.

STEP 1: Create a new account at Twitter, or use one you already have. You MUST use your own Twitter account for this!

Read or scan the Terms of Service (feel free to comment on any parts that impress you favorably or unfavorably, but that’s NOT required).

STEP 2: IMPORTANT! Choose at least 10 NEW people to FOLLOW. Make sure each of them is tweeting regularly (check their timeline before you follow them!). These 10 new people must NOT be friends of yours. You can choose any type of person, but NOT people you know in real life. NOTE: Follow individual people, NOT BRANDS or COMPANIES.

You can look here to get some ideas: The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2014. Or you can use any method to find people. Search around with Google for suggestions about how to find interesting people to follow on Twitter.

  • Choose people who seem to be information leaders of some kind.
  • Choose people who are tweeting about non-personal things.
  • Choose people who have a clear topic area and some expertise.

The goal is to use Twitter to diversify your information intake. If you choose wisely, you might find that Twitter is much more interesting than you had thought …

One way to find good people to follow is to try searching on some hashtags for topics that interest you. (What is a hashtag?)

STEP 3: Create a new Twitter LIST with at least 10 Twitter accounts on it, all of which are NOT the people you followed. REPEAT: NONE of these people are among the 10 described above. The people on your list are all new people who you DO NOT follow.

Note: In your list, you may include brands and companies (as well as individual people).

Create and use Twitter lists — this tells you everything about making lists and adding to them. A really neat thing about lists — you DON’T need to FOLLOW the accounts you place on a list. This gives you a way to check up on a topic without seeing those tweets in your regular feed.

People who have a lot of Twitter followers usually are on a lot of lists. To see the lists someone is on, first open the person’s Twitter profile page on the Web. Then click the word LISTS on the far right side of the profile picture.

There are two lists of LISTS for each Twitter user: “Subscribed to” and “Member of.” One shows LISTS that include that user (or to be more exact, LISTS that include all their tweets). These are under “Member of.” You can follow or subscribe to any of these lists.

The other list shows LISTS that person follows. People who are opinion leaders usually have a few of these. You can see the lists they follow AND also follow one yourself. These are under “Subscribed to.”

Professional media people often have a lot of lists that they follow simultaneously, in parallel columns, using an app such as HootSuite or TweetDeck — this is how they keep up with news and events.

If you are already using Twitter, take this opportunity to widen your horizons. Pursue a NEW topic or subject matter that you are NOT already following on Twitter.

STEP 4: If possible, install any free Twitter app on your phone and check it several times during the day, on at least three different days. The basic Twitter app (from Twitter) is fine.

STEP 5: Report in detail on this experience with Twitter. (THIS experience — not your lifetime experience with Twitter.) This is why you need to START EARLY. You need at least a few days’ experience with Twitter before you can write about it.  Compare your results on Twitter to what the authors have written in the two assigned articles. Do ALL of the following:

  • Include your Twitter name AS A LINK in your post — like this: @macloo — I will look at your account!
  • Include a link to the list you made — like this:  Real News Media — and discuss the list in your post.
  • Discuss the activity of the 10 new people you are following.

IMPORTANT! Please bear in mind that this is where students might lose pointsThe comparison with the two articles is a key part of this exercise. You are not required to follow a specific kind of person or group(s), but do write specifically about the kind of people YOU have chosen to follow for this experience.

Your deadline for posting is Monday, Sept. 11, at 9 a.m.

SLUG: The TITLE of your blog post about the articles and your Twitter experience must begin with the word “Twitter” and you MUST add something after that to explain or define your own Twitter experience this week.

If you need any clarification about this assignment, please make a comment on this post. I will answer it here.


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