And the tweet goes on…

Tuesday, Joy Mayer will come to class and lead a discussion about social media and how it’s being used (and misused) by journalists.

Before you come to class, we’d like you to read two things: This cool thing that Jessica Hische created called, “Mom, this is how Twitter works” and this excellent piece by Mallary Jean Tenore for Poynter called “10 Ways Journalists Can Use Twitter Before, During and After Reporting a Story.”

They’re both quick reads. And even if you’re already a Twitter pro, you will likely find them fun and thought-provoking.

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21 Responses to And the tweet goes on…

  1. Hannah says:

    I’m disappointed that the first link leads neither to buffalo meatloaf as a hover-over promises or the intended story as the text lead promises.

    So I guess this is a heads up that the link is broken as well as a request for a working referral to that recipe, too. 😉

  2. jhhsmith says:

    As an avid Twitter user, I found the second link to be a great guide for new ways to use Twitter. Part of my internship over the summer was to tweet about about the news that our magazine published. Much of our news was found online and I think it would have been a useful tool to create Twitter relationships with the members of our society/readers in order to see what they would like to read about in the future. Twitter is a great way to instantly connect with the audience and the second article is great proof.

  3. Wait, I had no idea about half the stuff on the “Mom, this is how Twitter works” link…this is embarrassing. Very enlightening piece, suffice to say. I guess my social media skills could use a bit of sharpening. Who knew putting the @ mention at the beginning versus the middle of a tweet made it not show up on people’s feeds (depending on who you/he/she follows of course)?

    The second link was also fascinating–the most interesting part for me was the possibility of searching by location using Twitter’s advance search. Reminds me of the twissourian page. It’s interesting, because in my Finance 2000 class we were discussing how Facebook stocks astronomically jumped last weekend, and people had the opportunity to earn millions of dollars. I asked him what he thought about Twitter stocks, and he basically said it was a dying website whose potential was basically spent, or at least at it’s peak. I disagree with him, because it has already been around successfully for years, and the interface and ideologies just mesh so well with today’s news culture. So I guess once that changes, Twitter might be of no use anymore, but I can’t see that happening for awhile. Interesting stuff.

    p.s. Great job hyperlinking and having the links open into new windows! It doesn’t go unnoticed 😉

  4. If you click on the link from the e-mail notification, it does indeed lead you to a recipe for buffalo meatloaf. But strangely, the links on the actual post will lead you to the readings.

  5. Xiaonan Wang says:

    It seems that Twitter helps journalists in almost very step of news production. But we still need to think another way that Twitter might also ruin our work in 10 ways. I think an important thing to consider while twitting is that we need consistency in maintaining our professional identity. We should be cautious enough to clearly differentiate our professional and private identity online.

  6. Karee Hackel says:

    Reblogged this on Karee Hackel and commented:
    Most major news outlets now have their own Twitter handle. This allows for rapid dispersal of the news and for their readers to consistently be updated and informed. Twitter has definitely taken the media world by a storm, but like Mallary Jean Tenore said – some journalists have yet to utilize Twitter in their profession. For so many individuals, Twitter is the first place they turn to in order to receive their daily news and that is why I believe it is important for journalists to have a strong presence within the Twittasphere. By doing so, they can build a relationship with their readers, strengthen their credibility , share their stories and other related information, gain information, and ultimately – improve their skill as a journalist. However, I definitely believe the importance of maintaining your professionalism as a journalist on Twitter. If you are a journalist that is utilizing Twitter, you should do so in a way that has a clear and definite differentiation between your professional and personal life.

    And, I totally sent Jessica Hische’s website to my mom. She’s going to find her site so helpful!

  7. Hannah says:

    As a self-admitted and wholly-opposed-to-rehabilitation social media addict, I’m happy to see Twitter getting the attention it deserves. In my opinion, it’s a great middle ground between the free for all that is Facebook and the self-contained/self-righeous bubble of Google+, which is really the only thing Brad Pitt could use ( and I’d still find unattractive.

    As the Hische piece mentions, there’s some degree of privacy with @mentions — a feature I was actually unaware of until now. (Thanks, Katherine!) What’s better for journalists, though, is their referral power. Being an avid reader and closet voyeur, if I see a conversation taking place via @mentions, I’m going to click through to read the whole thing. Facebook has a similar feature called See Friendship (né Wall-to-Wall) that can show you every single time your ex has poked his new girlfriend, but I find that the stuff I really want to find, conversation, is way too bogged down in Farmville notifications and tagged photos from SpRiNG bREAk*~* ’11 BbY to be coherent. Twitter has taken public discourse, stripped away users’ complete life stories and created a viable tool for interaction, research and, yes, even self-promotion.

    I found Poynter’s list of proposed Twitter functions equal parts disturbing (1) and exciting (2) because:

    (1) I’m surprised that my background in elite digital sleuthing (ok, Facebook stalking) will actually come in handy, as suggested by tag tracking, regional searches and extensive digging. But where’s live tweeting? I know Poynter championed live blogging last year, but when you’ve got a big event, much like a big sandwich, it’s a lot easier to consume in small bites. I like the tips 10,000 Words put out (

    (2) I already engage in some so-called journalistic behavior, like adding commentary to headlines, attempting (and failing at) collaborative storytelling, tweeting about the reporting process and Publicizing every blog post I write to my handle. Granted, I’m tweeting to an audience of 20, but 20 beats the hell out of zero, right?

    I have an addendum to the multiple handles thing, though: Don’t limit separate accounts to different topics. Create them for different facets of your life, too. For example, I use a private handle to get the crazed hashtagging out of my system before turning to my “professional” account as a public mouthpiece. Contrary to popular belief, I think it’s ok to tweet about what you had for lunch or the woes of using a public restroom so long as those aren’t the panties you choose to hang outside your window.

  8. Nina Pantic says:

    I don’t know if I’m the only person who feels this way but I found the Jessica Hische site extremely confusing. I have a Twitter and couldn’t tell you half of those technicalities and rules. It’s like social media is so natural that I just create an account and wing it. There is definitely a generational gap since my mom could never pull that mentality off. I just don’t think of social media in such a broken down, literal manner… the website actually threw me off!
    I also found this link called “Twitter for Newsrooms”, It’s interesting that Twitter has created it’s own section just for how to use Twitter in the news and it definitely shows how prominent Twitter is to our society’s media intake.

    • danburley says:

      Nina, I can see what you mean. I visited several of Hische’s sites and felt bum rushed by graphics and linkage. She is a masterful website designer, so much so that I’m confused by all of the options when I visit her site. Too many bells and whistles when I just want to tweet.
      I did appreciate the crash course in tricks of the Twitter trade. I had no idea the placement of a follower’s twitter handle in a tweet had any bearing on who sees our conversation. I also really enjoyed her Twitter/Facebook comparison. I’ve been searching for an easy way to describe the simplicity and selectability of Twitter compared to Facebook. “Opt-in/Opt-out” works great.

  9. Nicole Jones says:

    I liked the idea of using Twitter to advance journalistic work, especially as a way to let readers get a behind the scenes look at reporting, like the Poynter article suggests. However, I can see some drawbacks to it. Not everyone has Twitter on their phones. For those people, Twitter is a bit of a hassle. It’s something else you have to remember to use or check when you’re at a computer. Plus, with the character limit, you aren’t left with room to say much. I think it’s a great tool, but it should be used more for community engagement before or after a story rather than for reporting news.

  10. anlixiao says:

    Talking about social media, it is amazing that the Chinese “Twitter” (we call it Weibo) has done a lot of contribution to the society last year in China. People helping homeless kids, doing charity, having eyes on some democratic issues and discussing heated topics (though sometimes censured, but the censorship I think is much looser). However, sometimes, we(at least me) waste a lot of time on social media…

  11. chrisroll13 says:

    First off, I’m glad you enjoyed the meatloaf. I’ve never really been fond of the stuff, but I concede there has to be a good recipe out there somewhere.

    I never thought I would enjoy Twitter, honestly. It really seemed like a time-waster, and as such, I avoided it for years while my friends (and later roommates) talked my ear off about how great it was. Then my TA forced me to get a Twitter account for J2150 purposes. I hesitantly dipped my toes into the water, and was surprised that I didn’t hate it. Since August, I have tweeted more than 1,200 times.

    My problem was that I had assumed Twitter would be a lot like Facebook, and I already had Facebook, so I had no interest in Twitter. It took time to understand that each has a very different focus.

    I think Twitter’s basic appeal is pretty well outlined on their login page: “Find out what’s happening, right now, with the people and organizations you care about.” That’s a pretty powerful tool, but even so, I wasn’t quite sure how it applied to me as a journalist, aside from reading the seemingly endless, sometimes pointless tweets on the list my TA made me follow.

    Over time, though, I got more of an idea of how Twitter could be useful. Granted, I’m still kind of a dinosaur when it comes to my internet habits, but Twitter came in really handy for getting quick news updates, finding out more about what people were talking about with certain topics, and also for getting my own thoughts and questions out there.

    I still have a pretty long way to go before I’ll have a complete handle on Twitter, and its journalistic applications (I say “Bravo” to the AP Stylebook’s revision of “Web site,” by the way), especially as the layout keeps changing. Honestly, “Mom, This Is How Twitter Works” told me a lot of things I didn’t know (who knew the placement of someone’s @username determined the privacy of the tweet?), but I guess the only way to really figure the “interwebz” is by practicing, hitting buttons and hoping for the best. Or, you know, by Googling the correct way to use it.

  12. My only concern about Twitter is Tenore’s suggestion of soliciting interviews through tweets. I would be cautious about approaching potential sources who don’t use Twitter to communicate professionally. I think some sources who equate Twitter with Facebook might consider it unprofessional, and consequently we find ourselves burning bridges before we can even cross them.

  13. bwphoto4life says:

    I’ve had a on-again-off-again relationship with Twitter since I got an account with my first iPod Touch, a graduation present in 2009. Almost three years and I’ve got 113 tweets to my name. Not even as many tiny publications as characters allowed in each.
    But when I do tweet, I actually enjoy the pithiness and the poetry of 140 characters. In the distant future, tweets will surely be remembered as the new haiku. It certainly seems like an art form even in today’s rapidly evolving society.
    I’ve been out of the game for so long the # (hashtag) and @ methods grew to be incredibly vital to controlling the “Twittersphere” you were most interested in seeing. Using these two little symbols is my greatest weakness on Twitter. I’m fast improving after closely reading today’s article and I wasn’t phased by the lingo (or having to read an article about technology addressed to my mother) thanks to the cat humor.

  14. erinfjones says:

    I’ve never understood the appeal of Twitter, but the article “Mom, this is how Twitter works” made it a little less confusing since I know it’s a good idea to have one. I have heard many times that journalists should utilize as many social media websites as possible. What I did find interesting is that Twitter, since it lacks most of the personal aspects of Facebook, is better for professional use. Instead of creating separate Facebook and Twitter accounts, it’s better to keep your identity as consistently professional as possible. Twitter makes it less tempting to post questionable things when the format is less personal.

  15. I am probably one of the only students in the class, who is not proficient with Twitter. I just established a Twitter account at the beginning of the semester, and to be honest, I have not put enough time and effort into familiarizing myself with Twitter. I found the article “Mom this is how Twitter works” to be quite helpful. I understand the importance of Twitter, especially for journalists, but I feel that I have an advantage as a beginner. So many of my friends have Twitter accounts purely for personal use and the professional use is more of an afterthought. I have the advantage to make my Twitter account a 100% professional use of social media. I don’t need to worry about tweets I had posted in the past. Instead, I can have a fresh start with a new social media that I am still learning how to utilize.

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