Read & (literally) Respond: Week 7 – 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 and world. All of the links provided are to classes who will either be scavenger hunting alongside you, or who are about to embark on that selfsame journey in the near future.

The other participating schools and their hashtags are below. All are posting this week unless otherwise noted:

  • Auburn University at #AUJclass
  • University of Maryland at #J361JD
  • Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville (Mark Poepsel) at #MC202p
  • Utah State University at #JCOMSocial
  • American University in Cairo at #JRMC202

There are three parts to this assignment (the first two parts MUST use the #JRLweb tag to count):

  • Retweet 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 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 a comment below describing the experience. Yes, you must still read the Briggs chapter in the syllabus for class this week, and if you can integrate that into your post, god bless you, but I won’t require it.

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

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20 Responses to Read & (literally) Respond: Week 7 – Intercollegiate Crosstalk

  1. When it came to JRLWeb tweets from other schools, I was not so much interested in the questions regarding school spirit or clubs. It was intriguing to see everyone’s different perspectives on how they use social media and how they get their news.

    For the most part, I saw that college-aged people used social media for their news. It is quick, easy and informative. Maybe you don’t have time to read over an entire article between classes, but you can surely scroll down your Twitter or Facebook timeline and find out the latest headlines.

    Wholly, it seemed as if the majority of people that were interviewed were pro-social media. I retweeted and responded to a few tweets that described people who feel differently.

    @mandogould tweeted, “Joao Sedycias says “I don’t believe in social media” #MC202P #JRLWeb” You don’t hear that very often.

    @TimTheoTom tweeted, “Social Media plays the role of a distraction of the deeper issues inside ourselves.” -Chuck Harper #MC202P #JRLWeb”

    In my interviews, it seemed as if people viewed social media as an important personal and professional tool. It was pretty cool to see how some people from across the country view social media and how it is used differently.

  2. samanthacart says:

    At the risk of sounding too nerdy, this has been one my favorite assignments at WVU. I really enjoyed the Social Media Scavenger Hunt, and I think the interactive component is what made it so interesting. Long gone are the days of walking around, taking pictures and writing down quotes—that fact that we live tweeted our finds and were able to share them with other schools across the nation and the world was so cool! This is the first time that I have found hash tags to be really purposeful and unique in that they can link people with similar interests (or in this case, assignments) together.

    I really enjoyed comparing the quotes, pictures, scenic spots and opinions of students from other schools to the things my partner and I tweeted. Journalism students generally have a creative side and many of the pictures (even though they were taken on mobile phones) were great quality!

    My favorite tweet came from University of Maryland student Drew Brody:

    @drewDBrody: Did you know the characters in the muppets are based off of people Jim Henson knew at UMD? #JRLWeb #J361JD pic.twitter.com/juPiDz3Frl

    I was not surprised to find that as digital age journalists, we all had similar ideas, garnered similar quotes (especially about social media use, how we get our news, etc.) and enjoyed similar spots on campus. I thought the most interesting tweets to read were the ones that shared little known secrets about other universities (almost every school has a ghost story) and how those universities demonstrate cutting edge research or learning. Salma El-Saeed from American University at Cairo tweeted a quote from a professor about cancer research:

    @salmaelsaeed: “I’m starting an experiment about combating cancer using new techniques. It’s very new research.” #jrmc202 #JRLWeb pic.twitter.com/Rdthd6kBC1

    Overall, this was a very unique and rewarding experience.

  3. A social media challenge that involves Twitter (#1 source for microblogging as we learned last week) and other familiar colleges and their journalism students was definitely an important and interesting challenge to get into.

    First off, I was not expecting to be linked to other colleges through the hashtags but it all makes sense now, why we used the #JRLweb! Secondly, this was a great way to connect to other journalism students and see how they are using their Twitter social media challenges and what they have to say about it.

    For the most part, no journalism student participating in the #JRLweb and social media challenge was distant. Everyone has short, simple, informative tweets and students from the different schools all have a few things in common. Tweets about school spirit and pictures about someones favorite place to eat or study on campus is an easy way for one journalism student to connect to another from a different campus!

    What interested me most was the idea of social media and how we use it. I think this question/challenge part is more relevant since this is a challenge about being a journalist and connecting through Twitter. I read a good variety of quotes on how social media is growing, becoming a reliable news source, and so on. Our generation uses social media all the time, for entertainment, work, business, advertising, journalism, basically anything. This tweet from @Sarahyousri is one that interested me and if there was a full interview/story I would have already read it:

    Dr. Galal Zaki, JRMC “No one ever thought that the media would start a revolution & change history” #JRMC202 #JRLWEB

    I find this quote by this professor a little different than the rest of the social media revolution/generation tweets I have read simply because what does he mean by no one? I am sure that 30 years ago people did not see social media being so effective on the corporate world but it has grown rapidly. I think we are in the prime, or maybe only beginning of the social media revolution and more is to come. I hope there will be more job openings and jobs created that have to do with social media because that is a tool that our generation uses to its advantage. I believe that now, many people do see social media as a revolution and only expect it to grow more.

    Overall, this experience was fun because we got to share information about our own school with others and see similarities and differences. Also because this challenge incorporated many of the same questions and messages (like the idea of social media and our generation) it was interesting to see everyones take on it, including young journalists like ourselves and other schools professors answers. It’s also really cool that so many students and schools participated in the same social media challenge.

  4. ebuchman5 says:

    I second Samantha on this one, I actually enjoyed this assignment more than I thought I would. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to expect (mainly about how random people would feel about me posting their photo on Twitter), but I actually found everyone to be very receptive and willing to help, which was great. My favorite part is the connectivity with other schools across the country, and in Cairo, Egypt. I’ve wanted to travel to Egypt for years, so one of my favorite parts was seeing their posts about the scenic spots on campus and the little-known facts. Things like that are what set universities apart from one another. I found it interesting that almost each campus has a ghost story, and the University of Maryland’s campus was absolutely beautiful! I wish I could have seen more photos of the American University in Cairo! I really enjoyed learning about all the different campuses, and how they are both similar and different to WVU.

    A text from @katieswago from Utah State University really intrigued me. She tweeted a photo of Jason Raddatz, who said he uses Facebook to get his news because he doesn’t have TV. I found this absolutely shocking! Especially as college students, because we don’t know life without tv, I couldn’t imagine getting along without it now. While I don’t have much time to watch tv, I do especially use it when there is a major, breaking news event. Second to that, I use Twitter for news.

    Overall, I wasn’t surprised with most responses saying people use social media for news. I feel like with most people from our generation, that’s the norm. We haven’t really grown up without the internet and instant connectivity to news and other information.

    Overall, I enjoyed this assignment quite a bit. I think it’s a great idea, not only as a way to connect journalism students across the world, but it gives all of us a different perspective on life in different parts of the world, which I consider to be an invaluable lesson.

  5. I absolutely LOVED the Twitter scavenger hunt. At first I was unsure, but everyone on campus was very receptive and willing to participate in our project, beyond that, I discovered that people want to be heard. We always talk about this in our journalism classes, but I was expecting on sentence answers to our questions. That was not the case, everyone we asked for a quote had a great opinion and an extensive quote. While this posed a problem, it made me think more creatively, this is where my idea to use Instaframe came in. At first I tried to vine a few responses, but some people had such a strong opinion that even Vine couldn’t express their voice. So instead, I wrote the quote in the notes section of my phone, took a screenshot and used it as a photo to avoid the 140 character limit.

    One of the coolest things about this assignment was the fact other schools participated as well. This was the selling point for me. At first when I heard Twitter scavenger hunt I was not excited nor did I want to participate, I felt like it was just something else I had to do for a grade. I’m an active Twitter user I’ve used it for news reporting, so I know how it works. But once I found other schools were participating, I ended up loving it.

    One of the more interesting tweets I found was this one from Chase Christensen:

    “3 Social media, “both emphasises and trivializes major issues and individuals.” #jrlweb #jcomsocial #BackToTheFuture pic.twitter.com/RVHXvD9whr”

    How true this quote is. People use social media for many things, but this quote emphasizes that regardless of purpose, social media is effective.

    Another interaction I enjoyed was the sharing of each campus’ ghost stories. In addition, I was unfamiliar with our own ghost story here at WVU, so that was interesting for me to read as well.

    Overall, I learned a lot about our campus in addition to other campuses. I made new connections and gained some new followers with journalism students from other schools. These connections are important because it connects me in my future career path. I’ve also noticed some of the students I chose to follow post some interesting things that I can use for myself and pass along to journalism students here. For example, this tweet from Michael Fulhage of Auburn talks about Snapchat and the privacy of the app:

    Think your Snapchats are really private? Think again (following up on #j2310 class discussion today): http://www.zdnet.com/snapchat-names-aliases-and-phone-numbers-obtainable-via-android-api-say-researchers-7000019992/ … #AUJclass

    I found it an interesting piece of information that I passed on to my followers. Several of my followers shared the tweet and commented on it creating further discussion building more connections. It’s amazing that something as simple as one tweet can create a huge network and community. In addition, I gained some very valuable story ideas for my WVU News students, just by simple starting a small conversation with someone to get the quote I needed for this assignment. Building relationships on our own campus should not be overlooked. It’s awesome to connect with people around the world, but this assignment really taught me not to ignore what’s in my own backyard.

    Social media is really a useful tool for communication and information. I think Twitter is an important way to get journalists to listen to their viewer, report on the situation, and respond to the viewer when necessary creating a deeper, more meaningful relationship and in turn building trust and credibility.

  6. frostedtsaar says:

    At the start of the Twitter Scavenger Hunt, I was just happy to get out of the classroom. The first few tweets were pretty basic, and it wasn’t until we had about half of our tweets finished – when Dr. Britten tweeted that my partner and I were in the lead – that I started getting excited about the Hunt as a competition.

    I wish I could do the assignment again, actually. After looking at tweets from all over, I feel like I could have done more with mine. Seeing people from the other schools participating in the same thing we were doing and responding and retweeting us kind of hit home the point of the assignment, and how we were using this virtual classroom to connect and expand our personal networks.

    If I could do it again, I wouldn’t care so much about finishing the Hunt first. I would spend more time finding a good little-know-fact, a different club than everyone else, a better scenic spot. At least, for the read and respond, I was able to look at some really quality, top tweets, and could get a better understanding of what garners retweets and favorites on Twitter, a medium that I am still getting used to. It would have helped to be able to see another school’s Hunt responses first before starting ours so that I would have had a better understanding of what we were meant to do. That being said, it was still absolutely a learning experience.

  7. kevinmduvall says:

    My favorite thing about the scavenger hunt was seeing pictures of the other campuses from students. Of course, there are plenty of photos of these schools online, but most are designed to be used for postcards, websites, and other promotional materials. The pictures the Twitter scavenger hunters posted were more candid; rather than just showing me what the campus looked like, they showed me a little of what student life on these campuses is like. Even the pictures that just showed places had a “normal photographer” look about them.

    For example, check out this tweet from Elisabeth Gee at Utah State: https://twitter.com/fashion_crime/status/383003098043527168. Her picture shows a view of the mountains at the university. When I look at it, I feel like I’m seeing the view that someone at the school would see; something improvised, not planned and shot like an official university photo would be.

    Twitter is a great platform for this kind of “everyday” storytelling. Since anyone with a smartphone can take and upload a picture and description in a few minutes, users can see snapshots into others’ lives at any point. A bunch of pictures of a guy selling shirts turn into a small narrative of students working on a 90-minute assignment and an hour and a half in the life of a student organization member doing fundraising.

    The only part of the experience I would have liked to be different was interacting with the other students. None of the students at other schools I replied to and/or retweeted replied back. I was glad they favorited and retweeted my replies, but I wanted to get more conversation going. Still, I’m happy to have the exposure this assignment gave me, and more importantly, I’m glad I got to learn more about schools all over the country (and Egypt) and show them some new things about WVU.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      The changes to Twitter have made this assignment a little more frustrating for me as well. We used to get much more robust participation from other campuses, but with the addition of the “Favorite” command (as well as the changes to retweeting on the main Twitter app), conversation seems to have dwindled.

  8. ryanglaspell says:

    Like Tim, I wish that I could re-do the scavenger hunt. I had fun sharing hidden secrets and scenic spots. If I had more time I feel like I would have rushed less and it would have gave me time to observe the other schools, challenging me to seek out cool things to fulfill the hunt. It was also to experience firsthand how applicable Twitter can be in journalism. One girl we talked to said she relies on Twitter for her news. The many aspects of Twitter (hashtags, replies, photos, Vines, etc.) make it prime for info exchange.

    Seeing the other students’ tweets, especially those from further away like Cairo and Utah put some things in perspective for me. You always say in class that we aren’t special, that there are many other people doing the same as us. Seeing all of the students doing the same scavenger hunt as us affirmed that, not in a discouraging way, but in a cool way. It’s cool to know that there are other people seeking out the same information, and delivering it in a unique way. A tweet from Utah that included a picture of the Rockies (I think) made me think about how there are journalism students everywhere with the same goal as me. Also, seeing everyone else running so hard in this hunt kind of makes me want to continue it, even though I’m not scavenging anything listed. Hm, I guess that’s what journalism is.

  9. acampb22 says:

    The Twitter Scavenger Hunt was a different activity than I am used to. While it was challenging at times to find something that matched the item or to approach people (and often getting shut down), it was also helpful in practicing how to condense information into 140 characters. Over all it was interesting to get out the classroom and use something we are so familiar with.

    Using storify.com to lay out our entire scavenger hunt was something I really enjoyed. I had never heard about the website before and thought it was a great tool for using multi media to tell a story. Storify really lets you take the story you tell through Twitter to the next level.

    Reading the tweets from the other university’s scavenger hunts was something I really enjoyed. It was interesting to see their answers to the same questions we were answering. I also like the idea of using social media to connect with other students all over the country. The only thing I really found difficult was responding to their tweets in a way that kept the conversation going and interesting. Also, it was difficult to keep many of my responses under 140 characters.

  10. iamoore says:

    I really enjoyed the connection between people from all around the country, and the world. I think that this exercise was a great example of how effective social media can be and leading to genuine human interaction.
    I had a great time looking at the scavenger hunt tweets. I was able to see how there were similarities between each school. For example a lot of people noted that students get their news from social media and other online news outlets. I also enjoyed how everyone took the opportunity to show off how beautiful certain spots on their campuses are.
    I was hoping for more of a response from the other schools on my tweets, but I cannot be positive whether they had an assignment similar to ours so I wont get too bent out of shape about it. overall I found this experience a great learning tool for how to connect with people no matter where they were. By doing this I feel much more comfortable using twitter for reporting as well as making connections all over the world.

  11. This whole experience has been a strange one for me. Coming into the class, I felt pretty comfortable with social media. The only one I DON’T use often is Twitter. I get confused and overwhelmed pretty easily, so it’s still new to me. I even had problems with simply retweeting someone. (Thanks for the quick e-mail response, by the way.) Even while retweeting, I found it hard to fit in any amount of input to add to the tweet without going over 140 characters.

    Overall, I got more frustrated than I thought I could with Twitter. However, I did enjoy reading about other students from different universities doing the same assignment. I learned about various aspects of their schools that otherwise I would have never known. I hope they felt the same way toward WVU.

    Like other students commenting, I had hoped I would have received a larger response to my comments and retweets. I did them earlier this evening though, so perhaps that’s the reason I haven’t heard back yet. I like the simplicity of Twitter, yet I still find it to be information overload.

    Storify was also something I had not used much. It was fun to add more to the tweets where we would have not be able to otherwise. I enjoyed reading our classmates and seeing how they varied just in the confines of campus.

  12. I really enjoyed this assignment. (Hey, what other major can say they went on a Twitter scavenger hunt?) It was fun running around and grabbing random people to ask them questions about their school spirit and social-media usage. Other than our first photo with a kid who didn’t really know what to say other than he liked to party, the people on the downtown campus were really nice and helpful. Some seemed genuinely interested in the project, often volunteering to be quoted wherever they could.

    I especially enjoyed looking into everyone else’s tweets. The school-specific tweets weren’t too interesting or relevant to me, but the tweets with photos of the scenery (really beautiful scenery!) and the ones that talked about the field of journalism were really interesting. I got some really good ideas like using Instaframe and Storify to further tell the story and go beyond 140 characters.

    What’s interesting is the similarities between all of these tweets. Most kids have a gorgeous spot on campus where they love to hang out, most said they got their information from social media, they all have school spirit (I guess it isn’t just a WVU thing,) etc.

    Overall, I wish I could go back and redo some of my tweets now that I have these good ideas. I saw that some other students commented that, too. Perhaps we can do it again with a different list!

  13. ryanfadus says:

    The experience as whole was very interesting. It was cool to see what was going on at other campus and seeing what similarities and differences they had with WVU. Connecting to the users in Cairo was interesting since it is completely different over there compared to here. Seeing other’s opinions on social media was interesting since it seemed like in the different parts of the country or world everyone had a different perspective on it. Some thought it was great, others thought it would never progress this fast and some felt as though it was doing more harm than good. Getting different sides to an issue is always good and this was no exception.

    The scavenger hunt was fun and by looking at other people’s pictures it was great to see how every campus was different. The tweets that really stood out to me were the ones that people posted about their favorite spot on campus. All of them were really cool and while WVU has some places like them, a few of them seemed even better. I believe it was the one at Maryland that really stood out to me with the water that led up to the building.

    One thing I would have liked to see is what people thought of the pictures my group took. I don’t think we had a single comment or retweet and it would have been interesting to see what other people thought of our campus. By doing this it could end up creating a good conversation as well as good interaction with students from other parts of the country and in one case the world.

  14. zvoreh says:

    I really did enjoy this activity, how can you not like something that gets you out of the classroom. Unfortunately my phone died halfway through class, but I tried to help Whitney Godwin my partner find interesting places and people.

    It was interesting to see others experiences with this project especially the American university of Cairo, and the university of Maryland, (gotta love that pool).
    I found myself retweeting and responding to ,a lot comments on social media, and scenic images.

    I gotta say this is why i like being a journalism major, hands on work , and real life experience in the field.

  15. dkrotz says:

    Looking back on the Twitter scavenger hunt, I find that I have gotten more out of it since completing the assignment and getting to see what students on other campuses are talking about. I think it’s been a really cool experience to see other people from around the world taking part in the same assignment and how easy it was to access the information from this scavenger hunt using Twitter.

    I was very interested to see what people at other campuses thought was interesting and was also eager to see the scenic shots of the other campuses. I was jealous to not have palm trees like American University of Cairo and not have the huge mountains like they do at Utah State.

    At first, I didn’t really think of this assignment as a way to connect to people, but since completing it I have realized that it was easy and fun to be able to cover these topics and basically report on things around campus using Twitter. I think it would be really neat to see a conversation between our class and these other classes continue throughout the semester.

  16. cricha18 says:

    I definitely didn’t expect to spend our class period doing a Twitter scavenger hunt across the campus, but honestly I should have seen it coming and looking back on it I’m able to see more potential in Twitter. I’m guilty of not really utilizing my Twitter account to post things but I’ve noticed that Twitter can be used to tell a story. Not counting the Storify assignment we had to work on, but people can really tell a story using only 140 characters. I didn’t’ realize this until after the assignment was finished and I looked back at all of the tweets from my fellow classmates.

    When we were assigned to view tweets from other students at other universities I really felt like I was learning a lot about where they go to school. Thanks to the way they used Twitter with the pictures and caption there were times where I felt like I’ve visited there, but I hadn’t. Through the use of #JRLWeb we (WVU students) were able to connect with the other students from universities like Maryland or Utah State and that was pretty cool.

  17. karleapack says:

    Normally not being allowed to even touch our phones during any class gets you really excited to do things like this. I’ve always used Twitter and enjoyed it, but never had this much fun with it. I learned so much about WVU that I didn’t know. Who knew you could tell such great stories with so few characters? Getting to roam around instead of sitting inside a classroom was my cup of tea. I’m way to ADD for class sometimes. I’d honestly love to do this again sometime, of course with different tasks.
    Searching the hashtags for the other school’s was really neat, as well. Knowing that we were doing this all together made me feel really close with people I’ve never even met. Even though I can’t say that I particularly “like” it, I found it awesome that these schools seem to have just as much school spirit as we do. I thought it was such a great idea how some of the students used Instagram videos to capture moments during their hunts–never even thought of that.

  18. rachelwvu says:

    This assignment really challenged us to be creative, yet informative! The more interesting the tweet, the more feedback I received. It’s more difficult than it seems, but that’s what’s necessary for social media news. I think I get it now! It applies to what we’ve been learning this semester–stay objective with a hint of personality!

    I found the Auburn and Maryland tweets to be more interesting than the other schools. I did include every school in my retweets and responses; however, it was a pain to read through some of the school’s feeds. Cairo was the the biggest challenge to find a tweet to say something about. I’ll blame it on the vast cultural differences. I also noticed they were very to-the-point with their tweets. To be a well-rounded journalist, I guess I need to gain a better understanding of other countries and not be so critical.

    A student from Maryland tweeted about the Chabad Jewish organization. Like me, he included a picture. It was cool to see the differences in the “Sukka” they constructed.

    All in all, I feel more comfortable with Twitter now!

  19. I have a feeling a lot of people haven’t used Twitter as a journalistic tool, which is somewhat alarming. It was good to see people using mobile to engage their audience, but I sensed a lack of sophistication in some of the posts. I think if we did this same challenge at the end of the semester, the content would be much more comprehensive.
    I’m hoping that more people start to use Vine or Instagram video to make quick, easily digested mobile videos. People are absolutely bonkers about good Vines, and the clips are perfect for our short attention spans.
    I hope that over time, people become more comfortable with Twitter as more than just a personal soapbox. There is so much potential with social media that goes wasted, and it’s unfortunate when I see up-and-coming journalists missing this outlet for engagement. Our class is better than the average, and I’m glad we continue to improve, myself included.

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