Social Media Challenge: Twitter scavenger hunt

February 8, 2011

The best way to learn about Twitter is to use it. For the remainder of class today, you’re heading out into the world in teams of two (at least one of you needs a phone with Twitter – I prefer the TweetDeck application for mobile use, but you may use whatever works) to find 10 things. This is part of our Twitter Mega-Assignment. You’ll need to complete the bulk of the assignment by the end of class, but you can have until noon tomorrow (Wed., Feb. 9) to wrap up any loose ends. DO NOT FORGET THE HASHTAG #WVUblogJ

  1. School spirit. Photo and quote from someone (not you or your partner) revealing school spirit (what exactly that means is up to you.)
  2. Eating up. Photo and quote of/from somebody (not you or your partner) at your favorite eating spot on campus.
  3. Professor on the street. Photo and quote from a professor on campus. Ask them what they think the role social media plays in social change, such as Egypt. Be sure you include the professor’s title and department.
  4. Student on the street. Photo and quote from a student. Ask them where they get their news and if they use social media to keep up on the news. Be sure you include their year in school and major.
  5. Academic excellence. Photo and quote that reveals (you are going to have to be creative) how WVU contributes to cutting edge research and/or learning.
  6. Scenic spot. Photo of your favorite scenic spot on campus.
  7. Little-known fact. Photo and quote of something you think many people might not know about West Virginia University, even some of those of us that go to school here.
  8. Fanatic fans. Photo/quote from somebody asking for their thoughts on the WVU/Pitt game outcome, prognosis on the remainder of the basketball season, or other sport of your choice.
  9. Personal favorites. Photo of you and a photo of your partner in your favorite spot on campus.
  10. Extracurricular extravaganza. Photo and quote that exemplifies some of the huge variety of clubs, organizations, etc. available to students at our university.


  • Think like a reporter. Have an eagle eye for the interesting, the important, the relevant, the unique, and the immediate. Double check your facts.
  • Think like a public relations professional. Show other people what’s cool about West Virginia University.
  • Think like a storyteller. You may only have 140 characters in each Tweet, but you can say a lot in a few words or using an image.
  • You may use more than one Tweet for each of the items below. Don’t overdo it, though. Less is more (and don’t forget the #WVUblogJ hashtag!)
  • You will want to offer an introductory Tweet or two explaining what you are doing and introducing your partner. You may use either of your accounts or both. Doesn’t matter as we are using the hashtag to organize the Tweets.

This is going to seem a little strange to some of you, but the goal is to reveal to you the journalistic applications of Twitter. You need to be an observer, a reporter, and you can’t be afraid to accost people on the street for their opinions. You’ll provide perspective and voice, and you’ll tell a larger audience something about your subject (WVU, in this case) – make sure you’re thinking of them!

(Props to Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith of University of Memphis for this fantastic idea)

In-class assignment – Twitter

February 8, 2011

For the first part of our Twitter Mega-Assignment, we need to get to know Twitter. This in-class assignment will get you started (if you’re not already). The requirements are simple:

  • Create a Twitter account (you may use your existing account if you have one) and post it as a comment to the Mega-Assignment page (due in class)
  • Add the Twitter widget (in your Dashboard under Appearance > Widgets) to your personal blog. If you’d rather keep your existing account private, create a separate account for this. (Due by noon, Wednesday, February 9)
  • Find at least 30 people/organizations/whatever to follow (these should include @rww and @mashable – you may also follow your classmates, but not ONLY them) (due by noon, Friday, February 11)
  • Post at least 10 tweets in addition to the Scavenger Hunt assignment (these can be anything, but try to incorporate links, hashtags, and retweets) – at least a few of these should include the #WVUblogJ tag (and be relevant to this class!) (due by noon, Monday, February 14)

That’s it!

Mega-Assignment: Twitter Week!

February 8, 2011

Get ready to Twitter like you never have before! Starting in Tuesday’s class, we’ll be working through an integrated array of projects designed to get you thinking about the connective and journalistic potential of Twitter. I’ll post each assignment individually, as usual, but will also link to them via this post.

In-Class Assignment: Getting Started in Twitter (posted 1230p Tuesday) – 5 pts

For this simple in-class assignment, you’ll get your feet wet in Twitter. You’ll create an account, start tweeting, follow a bunch of people, and experiment with the nomenclature (@, #, RT) of Twitter. Easy stuff.

Social Media Challenge: Twitter Scavenger Hunt (posted 2p Tuesday) – 20 pts

Now that your feet are wet, let’s get them good and soaked. You’ll head out into the world in teams of two (at least one of whom has a phone with Twitter capability) to collect a list of “items,” which you’ll report via Twitter. This assignment requires you to talk with people – it is a class about journalism, after all – and you’ll need to label each post with the #WVUblogJ tag.

Read & (literally) Respond: Intercollegiate Crosstalk (posted Wednesday) – 15 pts

This assignment spans at least four other colleges and universities, with students just like you scavenging for the same list of items. It’s a great way to get to know others, their practices, and their universities … and that’s just what you’ll do. You’ll need to retweet and respond to a set number of students at other participating schools, and you’ll post a comment (to that assignment) summarizing what you’ve learned from the experience.

Total points: 40

Man that’s a lot of Twitter! Oh, and one more thing: Post the Twitter handle you’ll be using (e.g., @thebobthe) to THIS blog post so we can follow along. See you in class!