Read & (literally) Respond – Week 4: Intercollegiate Crosstalk

In keeping with this week’s Twitter Mega-assignment, we’ll be reading up on the work of your peers from around the country. All of the links provided are to classes who will either be scavenger hunting alongside your, or who are about to embark on that selfsame journey in the near future.

The other participating schools (instructor’s handle in parentheses) and their hashtags are below. All are posting this week unless otherwise noted:

  • University of Memphis (Carrie Brown-Smith @Brizzyc) #J4801
  • University of Oregon (Suzi Steffen @SuziSteffen) at #J361
  • Lehigh University (Jeremy Littau @JeremyLittau) at #J230
  • Drury University (Jonathan Groves @GrovesProf) #DU221
  • Brigham Young University (@cressman) at #comms238
  • American University in Cairo, Egypt (@KimFoxWOSU) at #AUC202 (Starts school after us so will be doing it a little bit later)
  • Southern Methodist University (@jbatsell) at #j2380
  • Grant MacEwan University in Alberta, Canada (@KarenUnland) at #J256
  • Valencia College (@KenCarpenter) at #vcj
  • Auburn University (@AuburnJProf) at #J2310 (will do a later week)
  • Texas State University in San Marcos (@cindyroyal) at #mc4382s

There are three parts to this assignment (15 points in all):

  • Retweet (5 pts) at least five posts from students at these other schools. They can be scavenger hunt items or something else relevant to the course. It is preferable that you add some of your own (brief) perspective where possible, so you’re adding to the conversation.
  • Respond (5 pts) to at least five separate posts from students at these other schools. This is different than retweeting – you’ll need to make contact and open up an actual conversation.
  • Post (5 pts) an overview of the Twitter experience – with specifics regarding the scavenger hunt and inter-school interaction – in a comment to THIS post. Post a link to that post here, and share that post via Twitter with the #WVUblogJ tag.

All these things must be completed by noon, Monday, January 30.

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18 Responses to Read & (literally) Respond – Week 4: Intercollegiate Crosstalk

  1. This is going to sound ridiculous, but this Twitter homework was actually kind of difficult for me. I know that as a journalist in this day and age I’m going to have to be able to work with and adapt to all kinds of technology, but it’s hard when you first get started. I’m still not completely comfortable with all the workings of Twitter, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. As far as the scavenger hunt went, I was really thankful that we worked in pairs (not just because I don’t have a smart phone, but also because I didn’t have the slightest clue as to how to work Twitter when we got started). So, Matt had essentially took care of the Twitter aspect of the scavenger hunt, while I interacted with the people we interviewed (which is something I really enjoy doing).
    I did like checking out what the students at the other schools were posting. It was cool checking out photos of their campuses and getting to see the nifty things they experience every day. Also, I received fairly quick responses from the students whose posts I commented on. Twitter is definitely and quick way to contact people for a little bit of information, especially if you don’t know them personally (or well enough to have their contact information).
    But that being said, I still think that there is a lot of completely useless information that filters through on Twitter. Since I’ve gotten a Twitter account, I’ve pretty much left my Twitter feed up on my computer screen and hundreds of Tweets have been Tweeted. Some of them have been very interesting and have prompted me to check out the link, or look for more information. But a lot of them are completely pointless, or just don’t make any sense to anyone but whoever posted it and maybe whoever they’re with. But how can I complain? I’ve already done that; I’ve already become caught up in the “right here, right now” mindset of Twitter.

  2. Ben Scott
    The Twitter experience of this caliber was something completely new to me. I thought it was really interesting to connect with other people from all over the planet through a single tag. I am only used to using Twitter to follow my friends and to Tweet various things I find interesting but now I see that it can be used to make wide-scale connections. I think it’s amazing that I can tag a word or two (or an entire sentence) and I can find people that have tagged the same things. One thing I really enjoyed about the interaction with the other schools is that there seems to be a lot of similarities between the WVU Campus and other Campuses.
    I could really see these similarities during the scavenger hunt we did with #WVUblogJ. Seeing pictures from around other campuses I have never been to was very interesting to me. I saw old buildings, beautiful scenery, and fanatical fans, all things we have at WVU. I think seeing how similar we all are really has the potential to brings us all closer together. I think Twitter is a great tool built on bringing society together as a whole.

  3. greerhughes says:

    The Twitter scavenger hunt was actually pretty fun. I’m fairly new to the University, so I got to see a lot of different parts of the campus and discovered things I might not have seen otherwise. I also had the opportunity to take some photos with my iPhone, which ties in with my blog. I imagine there could have been some difficulties for those who are new to Twitter, but it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. There were some issues, however. Candace and I had some trouble getting photos to upload, even when we were in Wi-Fi hotspots. Also, some people didn’t want to get their picture taken or had problems with where we were taking pictures, but these are things you would run into with “conventional” journalism too. Otherwise, the experience was a positive one.

    As awkward as it may be to respond to strangers about things at their school, there is still a small amount of anonymity with Twitter, so it takes some of the awkwardness away. All of us have the common bond of being journalism students, and it seems like others doing the scavenger hunt had a good time doing it as well. I’m sure this will continue to be a good way for students to develop an understanding of Twitter, and how we can all connect across the country.

  4. erinfitzi says:

    I had fun on the Twitter Scavenger Hunt. My only wish was that there were more posts to respond to with the different hashtags. I have no problem being friendly with strangers and it was neat to see different takes on some of the similar Tweets myself and my partner were doing. I wanted to follow along with some of the other schools doing the scavenger hunt and I was sad to see that there was nothing when I would type the hashtag in. To the people I did respond to, they were nice and just as interested in the things that I had posted (I was moderately surprised). I even followed a few people and got a few follow backs out of the responds.

    It’s really difficult putting a quote/photo and some info with a hashtag into 140 characters. I failed at some points to do so and managed to forget silly things like #WVUBlogJ. But, I guess the good thing about Twitter is that a person could go into my Tweets and see the content that way. 140 characters really puts into perspective what’s important to know and what might not be. While it wasn’t the easiest thing to run around campus trying to find new/different things than my classmates, it was fun and I ended up learning a bunch about the different areas I visited.

  5. Ali Young says:

    I had to get a Twitter account early last semester for my WVU News class due to the fact that it’s a popular form of social media. I know many people prefer it over Facebook, but I would have to disagree. From what I understand, the main purposes of Twitter are status updates so didn’t Facebook already provide us with that? I enjoy looking/scanning through pictures without having to constantly click on links to open a new window. In addition, I think retweeting can be confusing. I’m starting to get the hang of it, but it has yet to become my top priority for social networking. When I read the news, I utilize sources such as MSN and CNN. In my opinion, Twitter and Facebook contain a lot of pointless information that I don’t care to read as much.

    When we did the scavenger hunt last week, I thought it was an interesting assignment. As other students have been saying, I had trouble uploading tweets from my smart phone, but besides that it was neat experience. My favorite tweet that we were required to have was “the most scenic spots on campus.” Mary and I posted a picture from Woodburn Circle because we are always frequenting Martin Hall. The buildings are so beautiful and lit up at night. In addition, I got to see some interesting pictures that other students posted from across the nation. There is one photo that I retweeted of a girl standing in front of a waterfall in Texas. It’s very enticing and makes me crave summertime. Also, there is an alumni center on the Lehigh campus that is magnificent. I love history so I enjoy looking at historical buildings. All in all, I think everyone benefited from the scavenger hunt by learning new things about our own campus, and taking information from other students as well.

  6. Mary Power says:

    I love twitter. I’ll admit it. I’m an addict. The reason I put off getting on it for so long was because I knew my ability to be nosey and want to know everything is already fed well by the monster that is social media- I was attempting to avoid another distraction from my school work.

    I wish Ali and I had been able to post- I feel like it would have made this experience so great. I have like interacting with strangers, and think that the amount of time people spend complaining that our generation doesn’t know how to communicate is ridiculous. Just because we do it differently doesn’t mean we are unable to communicate.

    The other schools interaction was great also. I love the concept of the storify stories and I’m going to try to figure out how to apply it at some point in either this blog or in other aspects of my jschool curriculum this semester.

    I wish I could have responded, interacted, and contributed more to an overall conversation. I was in Pocahontas County, WV this weekend and just didn’t have the ability. There are still some places in the country were there is absolutely no reception, and this town (were my next blog idea is coming from) an hour from any service for any cell phone carrier besides AT&T.

    I did get a response to my response to someone else’s tweet (say that five times fast), which is just cool. My responses also made it into storify stories of students from other schools. I loved the interaction and the exposure to other campuses from this assignment.

  7. I’ve had a Twitter account for a while now, but I have not really focused a great deal of attention or effort to developing my Twitter presence. I’m much more comfortable with Facebook, and my following is already significant there, so I suppose I have just stuck with what’s been easiest. My general opinion of Twitter was that it’s best for people that are already famous, and the few Twitter “success” stories are simply anomalies.

    From this assignment, I learned that Twitter is a much more open social network than Facebook. The public nature of Twitter makes it much easier to interact with people that you don’t know without being, for lack of a better word, a creeper. On Facebook, you generally have to add someone as a friend to strike up a conversation or to discover common interests, which can be awkward and uncomfortable. On Twitter, I can stumble upon someone I don’t know through a retweet or through a hash tag, and I can comment on their thoughts without invading their virtual personal space.

    If I had friended a random person from Lehigh University, for example, they likely would have given me a “do I know you” and then blocked me when I gave them “you don’t, but let’s talk.” On Twitter, it felt perfectly natural to start an interaction, and I doubt that the people on the other end feel any differently.

    This has really opened up my online world, and I think that it’s going to change the way I develop my brand online. I wish, however, that I had learned this lesson much sooner, but such is life, right?

  8. Anan says:

    I should say this Twitter scavenger hunter thing really cheered me up, this is the most interesting assignment I ever had before. It’s of great fun to walk out of the classroom to talk to others, find interesting things, take photos and post while we take instead of sitting in front of a computer and typing the thoughts in our mind. I almost explained how we have this blogging class and how we finish the assignment with the journalism students around the world to every Chinese friend in WVU that I met in these days. They all thought that was so amazing, as we never had such experience in China.

    Social media is the way to make people have interactions with both our acquaintances and strangers. That’s also what we did in this intercollegiate Twitter scavenger hunt. When my partner and I were searching for the sources on campus, first it was a little bit hard to find the right people to ask questions. But later, we first analyzed the person we wanted to talk by observation to decide whether he or she had time or whether he or she had such experience to answer our questions before asking them directly. On Twitter, I saw lots of cool photos, interesting spots and different opinions from other journalism students around the planet. I responded to them and talked to the other journalism professors.

    I really hope we can have more hunts like this

  9. thecoalfist says:

    The Twitter scavenger hunt was hugely entertaining for me. For some reason, I really enjoy talking to strangers and don’t feel uncomfortable doing that (unless they’re offering me Popsicles from their cellar). The scavenger hunt afforded me the opportunity to talk with a bunch of random people and learn things about the University I was previously unaware of, which was really cool.

    Besides being entertained with the one-on-one social aspect of the hunt, I enjoyed following other schools’ responses and seeing what their students were coming up with to respond to a similar question set. I saw some beautiful pictures from campuses I have never been (and probably will never be) to, so it was like stationary traveling, if you will.

    Although the hunt was fun and entertaining, it was incredibly difficult to post a photo, quote, description and hashtag in 140 characters or less. Oftentimes, I was given a great quote but had to condense it, and I feel the person’s words lose some power in that way. Still though, I got to meet some cool people, learn some neat things and share it with other schools, so the experience as a whole was worthwhile.

    The immediate payoff of the hunt was evident as well, as I gained followers and starting following more people almost instantly after the hunt was over. Thanks to the hunt, I have a larger “fan-base” and can reach a wider audience now which will lead to more “effective” tweets. It proved that Twitter can provide instant, open interactions with people from all over the country, and that is just awesome to me.

  10. amarie1025 says:

    I thought it was an interesting assignment once it got closer to the end and we were able to interact with others that were doing the scavenger hunt for the same purpose.

    When my partner and I began it was fun and we tried to think of different places around campus that not other classmates would think of, so yes at some times I found it challenging. Besides that it was a great experience all around. I thought it was cool that we didn’t do it with another class in the J school but we actually did it internationally.

    When I had to respond to the other student on twitter it was silly to me at first but life is all about networking and making connections, what better way to utilize twitter? It was definitely fun and I hope there are more activities like this in the future.

  11. I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of this assignment when we started it, but now that it’s over I have to say I really enjoyed this whole Twitter scavenger hunt/Tweet-Up with the other schools.
    It was a really interesting way to kind of make connections with these other students that you don’t know but, by looking at their tweets, you find out that they have a lot of the same interests you have and you start talking to them a little bit.
    I was a little apprehensive about doing this (and I really hope I don’t come off too terrible here) because, since my job is to tweet a lot about sports, I was a little worried that tweeting about things that could be looked at to people outside of this class as really random would end up turning people away from following me – which would’ve been fine.
    But I ended up finding out that the people following me were interested in this stuff too, so it was just a really cool way of interacting with people and connecting with them in a way that you usually wouldn’t get to do. I had a great time doing this and it’s something that could definitely be done later on to help me further improve the brand that I’m trying to make with what I’m doing as a journalist.

  12. Now that the scavenger hunt/ Twitter homework is done, I can say that, that was one of the most fun assignment I have done. The scavenger hunt was a creative way to teach students all about the many uses of twitter and how to use all of these. I have been on twitter for a while and love it and use it multiple times daily. Before I used to use it just for recreation, but now I have been using it for a lot more reasons. I now get pretty much all of my news from there. Twitter is a useful tool for everyone, especially journalism. Journalist can use twitter to reach out to a lot of people immediately. This has changed how breaking news is covered.

  13. Matt Murphy says:

    Until this assignment, I only used Twitter for two things: a newsreel and another way to stay in touch with friends. I had never used it to try to interact with other people whom I have never met. So, it was strange to tweet at someone I don’t know, and even have at least one of the profs follow me back.

    With the scavenger hunt, the only part that seemed strange was asking to take someone’s picture to twitpic. I’m pretty sure that if two guys I don’t know asked to take my picture with an iPhone, I probably wouldn’t be comfortable with that. Interestingly, I think if we did the same project with an SLR camera, that awkwardness wouldn’t exist.

    I guess the last thing that this assignment reminded me is how hard it is (at least for me) to keep track of everything that’s going on in Twitter. Usually, I try to check my account a few times a day, and it’s usually possible to quickly scan and respond to my feed. But, I don’t always have time or capability to log in to Twitter. This past weekend, for example, the West Virginia Uncovered class was in Marlinton for Immersion Weekend. There, cell phone service and wi-fi access points are severely limited, making it impossible for me to check my feed most of the time we were there. When I was able to check it, I would have hundreds of new tweets, and I don’t have time to go through them all. And this is the one thing I don’t like about Twitter: if you don’t or can’t check it for days at a time, you’re going to miss a lot.

  14. Katie Sloane says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this past week’s scavenger hunt! Although, initially, I was apprehensive about using Twitter, I have become a huge fan! I think that this site is a great way for people to get their news, keep in touch with friends, network and say whatever is on their mind. Social media is rapidly taking over the way we communicate with people and how we remain in the know with what is going on in the world.

    That being said, I think that this was not only a great way for us to interact with a classmate, but also with students at various universities. My favorite part about incorporating other schools into this assignment was that I was able to see what other campuses looked like through the photos they posted. In addition to this, reading other Twitter accounts informed me about fun activities that different schools host and other people that I might be interested in following.

    The scavenger hunt itself; however, was much more difficult. For the first hour of our adventure, the photos that my teammate, Bre, and I were taking were not uploading from my phone to my Twitter! It took me three attempts to send each post until they all finally uploaded successfully! Luckily, everything worked out in the end and with just a few minutes left to spare. Talk about working under the clock. Nonetheless, other than those minor frustrations, I definitely did not mind the fresh air over staring at a computer screen in Martin Hall for the afternoon!

  15. Breanne Hill says:

    Wow this scavenger hunt really made me think about WVU’s campus in ways that I never do. I mean, I know which places are my favorites, and I even knew a little-known fact going into the assignment, but with the fast pace that I go through school here I never stop to “smell the roses,” so to speak.

    So it was really refreshing to stop at the Peace Tree by Martin Hall and explain to my partner that it is used annually for an important Native American ceremony. From there, we got pictures of Stewart Hall, the historical tree near my Taekwondo studio, and my Taekwondo studio to show off the most scenic spots and the extracurricular activities at WVU. From there, it was a matter of stopping people on the street, and everyone was friendly and willing to help out.

    We ran into a little trouble with finding a Professor on the street because everyone seemed to be in such a hurry. The first one we found didn’t want his picture taken, and the next professor after that asked us about six times if our questions would be fast. However, he made a great comment about the impact of social media on Egypt (without our prompting!) and gave us a great perspective.

    It was also amazing to see what the others schools did. I got to look at pictures of places that are hundreds of miles away! And yet, they were working on the same exact project. What a way to feel connected!

  16. Candace says:

    The scavenger hunt experience was beneficial to me because I was able to show Greer, who has only been at WVU since August, some neat parts of campus. The random interviewing seemed odd, but maybe it’s good for those who need to get more comfortable doing interviews, man-on-the-street style.

    Interacting with other schools was interesting, though it’s clear that most of us were only doing it because we absolutely needed to. In situations like this, it’s forced. However, I really liked the part of this scavenger hunt where you expose others to important parts of the university. My responses were never to the interviews, but to the photos I tweeted. Students like seeing other universities from another student’s point of view. I particularly enjoyed seeing photos from the other students

  17. Joey Simson says:

    The Twitter experience with WVUBlogJ has been really interesting so far. Its pretty wild to see how much you can really do with twitter. When first starting twitter I had no idea that you could connect the way that you do. The scavenger hunt was a good challenge and definitely tested how many tweets I could do in the fasted amount of time. I didn’t know I was capable of such feats – something that I’m not sure I want to have to test again. My friends threatened to unfollow me, but I think we are back on good terms now.

    The Scavenger Hunt, as a whole, is really a neat idea. Its very cool how we can participate with other schools and see what they are doing as well. I think Lehigh has an upper-hand by using iPads, however. There’s no other option but to level the playing field and disperse iPads to WVUBlogJ as well.

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