Blog/Social media (30% of your grade):
This part of your grade consists of your own personal blog andTwitter use. Some of this grade is about hitting your marks on assignments, but some of it in the socialmedia area is my own
subjective evaluation. I will let you know if you’re coming up short. Blogging andsocial media will be much more entwined this semester than it has been in the past. In short, you’re
supposed to find an online community, contribute to it, and amplify othe
rs’ contributions. This takes work
and is considered an every-day activity in this class.
The best way to describe this work: “
Lots of work with little structure. Make up format as you go. Welcometo journalism in 2013.
You’ll choose a beat for your blog, some interest or passion. This won’t work well unless it’s a topic you inwhich you have some interest, and you need to know a little bit about it too. You’re going to write,
produce, curate, and converse in this area all semester, so you better like the topic. All topics should be
cleared with me before you begin. Your work on this will start in week 2 of the semester; you aren’t
required to do this during Thanksgiving week.
The social media requirements for this portion of your grade
not all of these are doable depending on
your topic, but I want to see some evidence that you’re participating. Also, we’ll be learning some of thesetools (such as Twitter lists) as we go, so I don’t expect you to do all of these right away. But pay st
rongattention to the social media units in September!
Finding hashtags for the communities in your interest group.
Build social tools to help you follow news and information in this topic such as Twitter lists. Followpeople who are important, interesting, or useful on your topic.
Participate in social activity such as chats on your topic’s hashtag. If there’s some local version of
this, maybe consider a Tweetup.
Curate news in your topic area via Twitter
Curate blog posts in your topic area via Twitter
Build a social profile in that reflects your being a part of the community. This means considering a
Google+ and Facebook page presence that publicizes your work and hosts new posts. I don’t
want you to pick random social tools, but rather ones that make sense for your topic. Pinterest,Instagram, etc. might make sense for you but not your classmates. I want to see some thoughtput into this.
Phase 1: September
2 blog posts a week, minimum 200 words. Try to keep it below 500.
Phase 2: October
2 blog posts of your own, plus a “week in review” roundup post that highlights
the best content in your topic that you read in the past week (again, keep it short
list, links, shortdescription). When this is working well, the social tools bullet point above will feed you all kinds ofgreat reading in your topic.
Phase 3: November/December
Everything in September/October, plus a multimedia post perweek. Maybe play with a video post embedded in your blog, or try your hand at a podcast.
Each post should be tweeted out with a Social Media Optimized (SMO) tweet, a link, and thehashtags in your topic area.Evaluation standard: By the end of the semester you should be a valuable member of the communityattached to your topic of interest. You should be writing, producing, following, tweeting, sharing, and
replying. You’ll be graded on content production as well as my sense of how plugged in you are to thecommunity around your topic. This is somewhat subjective on my part, but I’ve been doing thi
enough to be able to tell whether you’re putting enough effort into building a following and being part of
You’re going to learn these tools on the go. I expect some struggle early on, so don’t
worry about that as much. There is some trial-and-error to this process. Your goal is to test a lot of ideas
and double down on what’s working
. But I do expect you to get better at this as you go along. At the end
of the semester, you’ll generate a report for the class blog on your experience. B
e looking at data aroundyour retweets, replies, and blog traffic as you go along because this will be useful in your self-evaluation.
I’ll be evaluating you based on what you produce, but also about your position in the community. Are you
a valued member?
Do people find you useful? Are you sharing as much as you’re producing?