week 6 – twitter, cont’d

  • Housekeeping
  • Week 6 reading/Q posts
  • More on Twitter ecosystem
  • Discussion : Twitter/Facebook/Blogging
  • Lab exercise: exploring Twitter


  • Reading, question posts update
  • Next week: Monday assignment will be posted Sunday; Wednesday assignment will be posted Tuesday

More on Twitter ecosystem


  1. What specific challenges do writers face when allowed only 140 characters to communicate? How does writing good tweets (define what this means to your group) translate to good blog writing?
  2. What role do blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube (et al) play in how you are learning about the 2012 elections? How important are official sources (media, candidates, watchdog organizations)? What is your response to negative messages in this “personal” space?
  3. In the beginning, there was Blogger. Then Friendster begat MySpace which begat Facebook. How have these digital social networks been influenced by blogging (and vice versa)?
  4. Misinformation — accidental or deliberate (gossip, propaganda) — is as old as human communication. How do we gauge “truth” in an era when we all can own publishing presses (blogs) and TV studios (our phones) and news wires (Twitter)?

Your Reading Questions

  • What does Twitter have to change to effectively compete with Facebook, to the extent that Twitter could overtake Facebook in Social Networking popularity? [Added: why might Twitter chose not to compete head-to-head with Facebook?]
  • What separates FacebooK from Twitter, i.e. why use one over the other or why use both?
  • Twitter Lingo: What is the most used Twitter “language” a newbie should know?
  • What do you think life would be like if Twitter came before Facebook?
  • How might voter turnout be affected by the more widespread use of biased campaign blogs during this year’s presidential elections?
  • When the distinction between professional journalism and civilian reporting is becoming hazy, what information can be taken at face value? How can we differentiate between trained professionals and the everyday opinion?
  • when someone new starts following you, how do you decide if you will follow them or not?
  • Looking back at human history, it seems the speed technological evolution has been slowly increasing. If, in fact, all of human history operates in an exponential curve when it comes to technology–with each succeeding technological leap happening with fewer and fewer generations in between–what will happen when the curve reaches a near vertical? That is, what will happen when technology begins to increases significantly within a generation?

Lab Exercise

  • Using Twitter search and Topsy (filter for Tweets) discover something about the current Republican campaign for president that you didn’t already know. In a comment on this post — describe what you searched for and what you found — be sure to put the names of the two team members in the comment.
  • Try your hand at writing a “historical tweet” — pick a real or make-believe figure. Post as a comment (put team member names in the comment). What would make a good background image for the tweet?
  • On your course blog, reflect on how your perception of Twitter has changed (or not) since taking this class. How might Twitter enter into your course project? Post before leaving class.
Leave a comment


  1. 1. They are forced to have ‘abbreviated’ thoughts and details that may be important may be left out. Also, they may be forced to use improper grammar and ‘slang’ to cut down the word count which lends itself to being misunderstood. Writing a good tweet means being able to get right to the point in 140 characters. Good ‘tweeting’ may translate into good blogging because you have to be able to attract an audience with a limited amount of words. Good bloggers do that in a sense when coming up with catchy titles.

    Jasmina, Dana, Katie, Benjamin

  2. Front table: Megan, Charles, Tim, and Andrea.
    The challenges are that the limited amount of characters does not allow for background reasoning behind posting the tweet.
    What we feel a good tweet is; states your opinion and has a link to provide background that the 140 characters does not allow, if further exploration of the subject or issue was desired. A good tweet is relevant and has a good title that grabs your attention and the same characteristics apply to good blogging.

  3. Define a good tweet: Creating a full well rounded concise thought, within these constraints. Specific challenges: Self editing while you post, short hand genius. No frivolous bullshit, no filler, still remain entertaining by maintaining relevance, use AWESOME #hashtags!

    Chris Ainsley, Chris Cullen, Meme Ellis, Glenn Smith

  4. Ben

     /  8 February 2012

    Challenges: For writers, there is no real challenge because they are, after all, classified as writers. It forces them to be creative and to follow other journalistic practices in being brief, yet powerful–like headline writing.

    Good Tweet: A balance between universally readable and as impactful as possible.

    Group members: John, Graham, Ben

  5. It can be difficult to convey the full message concisely while trying to insert key words that will make the tweet easy to follow. You have to make sure you say everything you need to in a short space. Good tweets can help you write concise blog posts that grab attention in the introduction. Good tweets use popular keywords which can be translated to grabbing blog readers’ attention with popular key words. Kim, Zach, Doug, and Kort

  6. Ava, Cheryl, and Emilie-
    It would be difficult to express a complicated thought due to space limitations;
    Twitter space is more like a headline, so that is why it’s good for blogging.
    A compellinmg, attention-getting, and succinct topic, that someone would want to read.
    Tweets could be used as a teaser…”a tweaser”

  7. Blogging opened the door for micro-blogging and made viewers interested in what people are doing/thinking instantly. Myspace and Facebook have taught people about blogs and have served as a jumping off point to inspire people to create their own blogs.

    Chris Ainsley, Chris Cullen, Meme Ellis, Glenn Smith

  8. 3. MySpace actually instituted blogging by having a “blog” section. Facebook also allows you to “blog” by having a “Notes” section which allows a long entry. Also, many people do not have a lot of time or WANT to spend a lot of time on blogging and therefore feel like they are publishing SOMETHING by putting daily status updates on their facebook pages. Social media networks have influenced blogging by getting people used to saying what is on their mind and stating their opinion while receiving feedback.

    Jasmina, Dana, Katie, Benjamin

  9. Question #3.

    MySpace created a blog that got its followers be the existing friends or social network. MySpace the comments and other peoples pages were more important while Facebook is more about where you are and what you are doing. These websites also influencing news like the creation of the CNN ireport. Social media sites are similar to blogs in that they are reverse chronological order for posts and time stamps etc.

    Megan, Charles, Tim, Andrea

  10. Ben

     /  8 February 2012

    Facebook, et al., all use elements of blogging, whether status updates, tweets, bulletins, etc. If it involves people, and if it is a network, people will talk. Share buttons, like buttons, etc., are now routinely used in blogs, and blogging sites have widgets to connect with the network, and cross-posting.

    We are John, Graham and Ben.

  11. Ava, Cheryl and Emilie –
    Blogging put the information out for the public to see, and the social networks applied the synchronous communication to blogging.

  12. Social media sites can act as a mini personal blog. People’s profiles are now shown in reverse chronological order, they can link posts to other people’s pages like a ping back, people constantly update their profile with “relevant” topics, and track public opinion through comments. Social media has influenced blogging by increasing blog exposure through another source. Kim, Zack, Doug, and Kort

  13. Twitter Exercise: We searched for “Mitt Romney” using Twitter search and learned (through his twitter account) that for $5, one lucky supporter will get to meet the man himself and spend a day on the road participating in campaign activities.

    Historical Tweet: I would never say “Let them eat cake!” -Marie Antoinette with a background of a pink cake with a guillotine slicing through it.

    -Chris Cullen & Meme Ellis

  14. New to Me:

    From Reuters via Topsy: Trump endorses Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential bid, reported on 2/4/12.

    Historical Tweet:

    “A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.” – Abraham Lincoln

    Chris Ainsley & Glenn Smith

  15. We searched for “Republican Presidential Campaign” on Topsy and we learned that the Bunny Ranch in Nevada has launched a “Pimpin’ for Paul” campaign.

    Dana, Benjamin

  16. Ava and John –
    We researched Twitter and discovered that Mitt Romney was asked to lead the Olympics 10 years ago. He is happy that Utah is bidding for the 2022 games. We found on his Twitter Feed.

    “I was honored to have been asked to lead the Olympics 10 years ago & am delighted that UT is thinking about bidding for the 2022 games.”

  17. Cheryl

     /  8 February 2012

    Cheryl & Emilee looked up Santorum and found out that Rick has 7 children. On Topsy, we found that santorum= ass & #epicfail. Cheryl discovered that people swear on Twitter.

  18. @RayGarton
    Little known fact of the day: Some conspiracy theorists maintain that Newt Gingrich and Susan Boyle are the same person.

    Zack and Kort

  19. We went onto Topsy.com and Twitter and searched for “Romney” and discovered that:

    Romney promises to get more aggressive with Santorum! (Topsy)
    Rick Santorum has now won more states than Romney has and spent 30 million less doing it.(Twitter)
    Santorum says he’s running as conservative alternative to Obama, not Romney. (Twitter)
    In a possible gaffe, Romney said today, “I like poor people. Just not the way they smell.”(Topsy)

  20. Kort and Zack
    Eggs on a stick, really?

  21. Me and Dougie Fresh learned this on Topsy: CNNPolitics tweeted:
    @JohnKIngCNN reports that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney will receive Secret Service Protection “within days”. #CNNElections we think that’s a little ridiculous.

    molly wilson @flmolly tweeted that:

    MSNBC’s incessant playing of the clip of Romney singing “America the Beautiful” is their conspiracy to make us all hate Mitt! #stop

    Haven’t seen it, but we’re assuming it’s horrible. #WishWeHadSoundInClass

  22. Ava and John – Topsy Search

    Miss this? Mitt Romney supported and donated to Planned Parenthood, financially invested in birth control… http://t.co/s5cQNeLS #TPC

  23. Ben

     /  8 February 2012

    Searching “Republican Campaign” in Topsy, we read an article on campaign songs throughout modern Presidential elections. Besides being quite amused, bemused, and giddy George McGovern choosing “Bridge of Troubled Waters” for 1972, but Newt Gingrich choosing “Eye of the Tiger” for the current cycle. Newt the Tiger.

    We be Graham and Ben.

  24. Posters: Charles & Megan

    Via Topsy: searched “gop finance” @chuckberetz tweets that Romney has a Swiss bank account http://t.co/jYEvrGlZ
    Via Twitter: searched “republican campaign” @GottaLaff tweets “Miss this? Oregon Senate Republican candidate fined $29,900 for campaign finance violations http://dlvr.it/19YP4d #TPC”

  25. Tim and Andrea

    Republican campaign:
    We searched for “republican”, We didn’t know that Mitt Romney was the governor of MA. (Twitter)

    “Romney still leads all candidates in the delegate count, but Santorum has now won more states and achieved it with a fraction of the millions the Romney campaign has spent on advertising”(CBC News, 2012). (Topsy)

    Historical Tweeter:
    (George Washington just finished a meal at an expensive restaurant) “Wow, a free meal for being the President? Next thing you know they will start making money with my face on it!

  26. Glenn Doom

     /  8 February 2012

    Historical Tweet (re-do)
    @AbeHonestly (Abraham Lincoln) Freed the slaves. Can’t wait to see whitey try to cook and clean. #hilarious
    Background: Lincoln looking defiantly skyward amid sea of dead Confederates.

    Glenn Smith, Chris Ainsley


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