Sort of In-Class Assignment: Tweet or Liveblog the State of the Union

January 25, 2011

In lieu of lab today, we’re going to engage our social media skills in real time. At 8 p.m. tonight, President Barack Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address, which will be broadcast on pretty much every major network. You will be covering it. Your out-of-class in-class assignment is to either tweet or liveblog the State of the Union address. Depending on the option you choose, here are your instructions:

Option 1: Twitter

  • If you don’t have a Twitter account, you’ll need to create one (it’s easy – go to their site).
  • You must send me your Twitter handle to follow. If you don’t want me following your main account, create an alternate and send me that. No handle, no credit.
  • Although personal reaction is a big part of Twitter, tweets should not be all opinions (e.g. “Right on!” or “That’s stupid.”). What can you add to the conversation? Can you provide links or data that support or contradict the statements being made? What can you add to ReTweets? Try to make your conversation valuable.
  • There is not a set number of tweets you must make other than “enough.” Two is not enough. Use your judgment.
  • Experiment with hashtag (#) topics. The #wvublogj tag isn’t required, but you might see what tags others are using (e.g., #sotu for State of the Union).

Option 2: Liveblogging

  • To liveblog, you’ll need to continually update a single post with the latest developments. It’s typical to place the latest updates at the top. For example:

8:15 p.m. – Stop clapping already!

8:01 p.m. – The clapping begins.

  • You’ll need to identify the time of each Here’s some guidelines for how a liveblog works.
  • You must send me a permalink to your post to receive credit.
  • Although opinion is definitely part of blogging, your goal should be to add to the conversation as well as provide your immediate responses (e.g. “Right on!” or “That’s stupid.”). How can you enrich the conversation? Can you provide links or data that support or contradict the statements being made? What connections can you make?
  • A few links would surely be helpful. Try to make connections others might not think of.
  • If you can’t make the time of the address, you’ll need to find a re-broadcast online and liveblog it (use the points in the video as your time stamps, e.g., 0:00, 0:12, etc.). This must be posted by noon on Wednesday, January 26.

Once more, you must send me either your Twitter handle (e.g., @thebobthe) or liveblog permalink to receive credit for this assignment. Experiment with your chosen medium and see what you can do!


Social Media Challenge #2 – Talking Back

January 25, 2011

Last week you built and annotated a blogroll to follow in your own blogging pursuits. The Read-Write Web isn’t simply about taking what you need, however – you also have to become part of the conversation. This week you’re going to make your voice heard.

Part 1: Start talking! – DUE: All comments made by Noon, Monday, January 31

You must post at least 10 substantive comments to the blogs you read (I will only count one comment to an individual blog). The majority of these should be to blogs in your blogroll, but some outsiders are acceptable. Be sure to include your email and blog address when you post, or it won’t count!

To verify your work, you will provide a printout (yes, a printout) of each comment (one page each is fine, so 10 pages total) and turn it in at next Tuesday’s class.

Note: A substantive comment goes beyond saying “Great ideas” or other spammer-speak to build on and extend the conversation. Run with their ideas! This brings us to part 2 …

Part 2: Keep the conversation going – DUE: Noon, Monday, January 31

Since the blogs in your blogroll are all aimed at your focus, you should be able to synthesize several of the ideas they present into something new that takes their ideas further. For this assignment, you will construct a blog post that brings together posts from at least three members of your blogroll and says something new about all of them.

Mail me a link to your post (not your main blog page) and a one-sentence description to the contents of this post by the due date.

Note: Although some summarization will be necessary, that’s NOT the point of this assignment. Instead, you must build an original discussion or argument upon these others’ ideas. Be sure to link as needed in order to give credit where it is due.

And in the meantime …

You’ve already been updating twice a week, so now it’s time to start optimizing those posts. It’s easier to post on weekends because you’ve got more free time, but it’s also easier for no one to read those posts because they’re enjoying their own free time. For the rest of the semester, then, each week (including this one) your required two weekly posts must fall on two separate weekdays (Monday – Friday). The majority of these posts should be in line with your focus – some deviation is natural as your ideas develop – and your posts must fall at least 24 hours apart (no posting all at once to get it out of the way).