Read & Respond week 5: Twitter and microblogging

This week is about all things Twitter, so Briggs’ chapter on microblogging fits nicely with a platform where you’re limited to 140 characters or less. You’re probably familiar with microblogging but may never have heard the term. Check out these examples – did it surprise you to learn you’ve been a microblogger for years?

Twitter’s the most widely known venue for microblogging, so poke around in some of these links:

As always, post your response a comment to this post by 10a Monday, February 9.
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19 Responses to Read & Respond week 5: Twitter and microblogging

  1. Sara Wells says:

    I really was surprised to learn that microblogging is just using 140 characters or less- I do that every day! I’ve already created a presence, but I’d love to have more followers. From the first link I related to the fact that you should tweet your beat. I tweet about a lot of other things other than my beat, which would probably be fine, if it was only personal. I use mine professionally, and should keep it that way.

    Live-tweeting is something I need to work on and also retweeting events as they happen. By doing this you’re not only gaining a following, but also giving that following points of view other than yours. I know this source said to use hashtags, but another also said don’t use too many hashtags. It’s probably a personal preference, but I tend to keep mine to one or two per tweet.

    In the scholarly research, they reference j-tweeters. While certainly almost every journalist now has a Twitter, ‘elite’ media may not share opinions on theirs. I do- all the time. I don’t have a boss telling me not to, and usually my more opinionated tweets get more retweets and faorites. Elite media often already have a presence, so they don’t need to (according to the article), but it’s fun!

    I loved the exercises with headlines. In one of my other classes we had to tweet our stories two times and often one did a lot better than the other. I did find it interesting that “check out” was one of the phrases that did the best on Twitter, because we talked about not writing that.

    Using numbers, lists, pictures on Facebook, calling to action, and offering funny, informational lines can be a huge help, and I want to incorporate all of these into my tweets now.

    Probably the most interesting thing I learned from these readings- especially in Briggs- is that breaking news on Twitter among rumors can build your credibility. People want immediate news, and if you are an accurate source, you will reap the rewards. Briggs illustrates that journalists can also use Twitter to find information rather than just share it- you may find a story! In the book, Linda Thomas says that you should always follow people back, and I have a hard time doing that. I’m not very patient with boring tweets. The ease of publishing and consuming have made Twitter the premier place for microblogging.

  2. sjl0693 says:

    Before reading this week’s Briggs chapter and the links above, I did not know what microblogging was. It is interesting to find out that microblogging is basically a tweet on Twitter, or using 140 characters or less. Live-tweeting is something that I have never done but have always been interested in. It would be cool to gain a following by live-tweeting an event like the guy that live-tweeted the soldiers killing Osama Bin Laden because he didn’t know what the helicopter was outside of his house.

    In the Briggs reading, I liked how Briggs talked about Twitter being a good source to find information instead of posting information, because that is what I have mainly used Twitter for throughout the year or so that I have had it. I don’t tweet very often, but I follow a ton of sports people and they are where I get most of my sports new from the fastest.

  3. Renata Di Gregorio says:

    Briggs talks about how using Twitter as a live stream for reporting is something journalists must take advantage of and can actually make things easier- it can happen from one’s phone (journalism from your pocket) and it can help get you out there as a journalist. But more than anything, it’s faster. And part of journalism is about getting information to the public quickly. San Francisco KRON4’s Brian Shields gives an example on page 134 of Briggs’ book that confirms the effectiveness of microblogging as journalism, “We even had a PIO ask one of our reporters ‘How the hell did you know that?’ when we asked for confirmation for something that had first appeared on the live blog.”

    Moreover, “Why Journalists Should Break News on Twitter” is an article title that could be reworded as a question I could answer. Because if journalists don’t break news on Twitter, EVERYONE else will first. And then what is the point of them being journalists?

    However, Briggs brings up that tweeting without confirming anything isn’t standard journalism, “Sharing what’s essentially notes with an audience makes some journalists uneasy,” (Briggs 131). And that does bring up the question of what then separates journalists from regular people tweeting information? Another difference, mentioned in “Normalizing Twitter” brings up that Tweeting “contests the journalistic norm of objectivity” because a study revealed that journalists’ opinions are sometimes mixed into their tweets. I think the only way to solve that is for the journalist to be careful about not being biased and to make sure the information is correct before tweeting it. Other than that, the advantages mentioned above seem to prove Twitter is more useful than not.

    “A Scientific Guide to Writing Great Headlines on Twitter, Facebook, and Your Blog” gives useful advice such as to make lists, use digits and use them at the beginning of headings, and to use more verbs when creating posts. The “use more verbs” part was my favorite because it seems sneakily innovative. I didn’t really need the Facebook section because while I maintain a good appearance and have my account on private, I don’t consider it a part of my professional media appearance. The same goes for “Spot on: How to write the perfect posts” referencing Pinterest, but I plan on opening an Etsy account soon so perhaps this one is more useful, but still seems somewhat odd to me to put in this article because Pinterest is not where I think to go to get news.

  4. paigeczyzewski says:

    Briggs’ chapter on microblogging is my favorite so far for multiple reasons. First, earlier this week I had a follower on twitter who was talking about AIM instant messaging, so I thought that was a little ironic to be mentioned. Next, I found that when Briggs’ was discussing reasons why twitter is important, I realized that I really do like twitter for most of the things he talked about. It gives you updates immediately and people always have the human interest factor going. They want to hear about what’s happening right there on the scene, and better yet, they can possibly see it with twit pics. Lastly, I really was a bit clueless on how you can search on twitter. That was pretty valuable information.

    As for the additional links, yes. I am surprised to learn that I have been a microblogger since high school, but that really does make sense. Therefore, I feel silly for not having noticed that before. Two links that I enjoyed were twitter’s actual guidelines and Widrich’s suggestions on the “perfect” headlines. I found it very interesting that twitter was ethical enough to say that you should credit sources. I definitely applaud that, and Widrich was helpful because I struggle with headlines. I want them to be corky and fun, but sometimes they just have to be straight up fact without wit. I’m happy to learn I should focus on using more verbs.

  5. I never really considered tweeting to be microblogging. After reading the links provide, however, it makes sense that Twitter could be considered a microblog for individuals. Doesn’t mean you’re not telling people things, just because the post is short.

    In reference to Briggs’, I think it is extremely useful for journalist to break news over Twitter. For me personally, I get almost all my news from Twitter. Briggs mentions how the Twitter stream can help a journalist. I believe it can too. It can help establish someone’s identity and you can become a reliable “follow” on Twitter due to you breaking news or tweeting news. Of course, there are consequences to breaking news on Twitter, sometimes it can’t be conformed it’s wrong and that opens up a whole other can of worms.

    The one link mentions, “Moreover, tweeting the news can add to their credibility as a trusted news source, especially if Twitter is awash with rumour and speculation. A message from a journalist at the BBC or Sky News is likely to be considered as a trusted source, potentially drive audiences to the website or broadcast outlets.”

    Twitter reaches such a large audience and it’s a useful, quick tool for journalist to report news to the vast majority.

    It is surprising that I’ve been considered a microblogger for years, but I’m looking forward to being more than that on Twitter and being one of those journalist who is able to have a social media presence and report news from my Twitter.

  6. First of all, I am very surprised to know that I have been a microblogger for nearly 5 years now. I guess I always thought that 140 characters is too short to be consider blogging. Maintaining a good presence on Twitter is extremely valuable to a reporter. I get at least 90% of my news each day by simply scrolling down my Twitter feed. As Briggs mentioned, Twitter gives you updates instantly and lets user know breaking news as soon as it is happening. This kind of connectivity helps to build your credibility as a journalist and helps to get your name more out there.

    However, live-tweeting is something I want to improve on. By doing this, you are bound to gain more followers because people want to know what’s going on at the scene. However, as Briggs brings up, I think journalists always need to rememberer to confirm their info or re-tweeting others. This is the part of Twitter that separates journalists from your average, everyday user.

    I found it interesting that one of these links said to use a lot of hashtags, but the other said to use them sparingly. Personally, I try to use at least one in my tweets to help generate more views and shares, but I find it annoying when there is hashtag overloads. From the readings, I also realized I need to follow people back more. I am bad at doing this, but hope to improve. This could help you to find story ideas from people who you may have never thought of connecting with.

    The thing that stuck out to me the most was the headline exercise and learning which words you should and should not include into your tweets. I have tweeted ‘check this out’ so many times before that it is embarrassing. This taught me that I need to be less wordy and get my message across in a more clear and concise way.

    I am going to continuing publishing tweets about my blog posts and hope to incorporate all of theses tips to help build a bigger audience to my blog.

  7. Collen Lewis says:

    Now that I know the actual term for it I’m not surprised Twitter is a microblogging site. blogging can be as vague as sharing information you find interesting, and Twitter does this exceptionally well. The other thing Twitter does well is turn the average tweeter into a possible journalist; Prof. Britten hit on this in the first class with the user tweeting unknowingly about the Seal Team Six strike.

    From a journalistic standpoint Twitter is the perfect tool for developing attention grabbing headlines. With 140 characters every word must be poured over until the tweet perfectly grabs attention and conveys enough information to make the reader curious. The sites on writing the perfect post gave very good tips, especially for tweets, I will be using them all. The analytics showing the maximization of followers through sticking to a beat for around a week was the most useful part to me from these articles.

    In Brigg’s Biz Stone is quoted talking about how he came up with the name saying, “Short bursts of information, something trivial. Everyone is chirping, having a good time and their phones even twitter.” I wonder if he ever imagined how this site would help continue the evolution of journalism.

  8. After delving into this week’s links and analyzing Briggs, one major thing jumps out at me was the difference between our lectures and the Scientific Guide to Writing Great Headlines on Twitter, Facebook and Your Blog. In class, we learned you shouldn’t use words like “check this out” or “check out my blog”. However, the link says that these words are some of the most common ones retweeted. I find myself leaning towards the class lecture, as I feel like “check out this blog” is a sort of cop-out.

    I also found it extremely interesting that I have been micro-blogging for my entire life. To me, it devalues the discovery of twitter, my original misconceptions of twitter’s history have changed. Although the creators of twitter created one of the best vessels to deliver these micro blog posts, the idea has been there before.

    One thing that jumped out about Briggs was the concept of “ambient awareness” and “ambient intimacy”. These concepts say that to be an effective twitter account, you have to communicate and make connections without actually being there. This contributes to what we’ve been talking about all semester, about curating content and contribute to the ongoing conversation.

    People should feel like they know you, without actually ever seeing or communicating directly with you. People feel like they are personally connected to their local newsmen and women, and that is what j-tweeters and j-bloggers should hope to achieve.

    The idea of the ‘real time web’ is extremely simple, but fascinating Tweeting and microblogging has turned the world of blogging into a fast-paced environment. While blogging contributes to the ongoing conversation. Micro-bloggers can add to the conversation in real time, as opposed to taking an hour to make an educated blog post.

  9. For the past 5 years, little did I know, I’ve been a microblogger. What an eye opener. As a digital marketing savvy, I really liked how Briggs explained the power of twitter for marketers.

    “And marketers don’t have to wait for a survey or brand study to see how their products are being received.“

    I discovered that twitter is a tool for research and evaluation. WHY DIDN’T I KNOW THIS BEFORE?! For years, I’ve been conducting qualitative surveys and hosting focus group interviews as research methods. Brigg’s explains that today’s marketer can simply run a search on twitter for a specific product name and read what people are saying about them. A strength to this research method is that majority of Twitter user protect their post.

    I also found the first link interesting. I like how it explained the power of hashtags.

    “Tweets with hashtags (the # symbol, immediately followed by the subject or keyword related to the Tweet) can increase engagement almost 100% (2x) for individuals and 50% (1.5x) for brands.”

    When using twitter as a promotional outlet for digital marketing, I now know the importance of developing hashtags to build buzz.

  10. I loved this chapter on microblogging and Twitter because I think it’s one of the most important platforms for both journalism and public relations. The Briggs chapter talks a lot about Twitter as a training tool for journalists. It trains you to look for interesting things and then express it in just 140 characters. I was especially interested in a paragraph that talked about newsrooms with social media experts vs. a news room that features all members working through social media. I recently had a discussion with the head of NASA social media about this idea. He was torn about which option works better. On one hand, it would be amazingly effective, both for time and money, if everyone just automatically handled social media, but for any organization, a unified voice, or theme, is just as important.

    Allowing just a few people to handle all social media allows for well-crafted posts and timely engagement, both necessary elements of microblogging. Keeping a social media strategy with a small team also keeps organizations from committing one of the worst crimes in social media, a boring post. Studies have shown that users prefer informative and funny tweets with a positive attitude, and they’ll even engage with self-promotional messages. What doesn’t work on Twitter though is anything boring. Learning what’s worth sharing and how to share it effectively is the key to unlocking the power of microblogging.

  11. tmertins says:

    Briggs’ says that with a character limit of 140, anyone can contribute. But I disagree: If anything, limiting someone to 140 characters forces them to give you the most important information in the fewest words. In broadcast, big words and passive tense are a no-no. The need to be concise is even more important on Twitter because instead of 30 seconds to tell a story, you have 140 characters. Of course, you can continue to tell through multiple tweets, but then what happens when someone chooses to retweet? The context could be lost if the whole story isn’t captured within one tweet.

    Of course in some cases, like the example on page 97, continuing updates are an effective way to send out important information as it happens through multiple tweets. It’s incredible that I can jump on Twitter for a big event on TV, from the Super Bowl to Peter Pan Live, and become a part of the conversation. Although using hashtags and Twitter handles to give context can be helpful, I’ve found that using that extra time to find the correct hashtag typing extra words slows down the conversation. When I see Bryan Cranston as Walter White in a Super Bowl commercial, and I tweet: “HE’S ALIVE,” most of my followers are going to know exactly what I’m talking about.

  12. abdulazizq8 says:

    I thought that microblogging was a term used only between bloggers, so I did not really care what it meant. Now, I am surprised that it goes beyond blogs and that I am actually a microblogger. Briggs says that microblogging is a product of previous services as SMS. I think that SMS could be considered microblogging too because there was the breaking news subscriptions. We used to get (some people still do) text messages about politics, sport and other topics.

    Microblogging is an affective tool, especially with breaking news (as Briggs noted) People would like to know breaking news as soon as possible. 140 characters or less should be enough to say the who, what, where and when. Other social media tools could be used to evaluate the news. Twitter is by far the most convenient microblogging tool.

    I started microblogging in 2011 when I started using twitter. At the beginning I had a hard time in writing my idea with only 140 characters. My way with dealing with that was by writing multiple tweets and numbering them. This way was not that affected because people who use twitter did not want to read 5 or 6 tweets about one topic.

  13. chadkriss55 says:

    Briggs talked about how utilizing Twitter helps journalists report the news faster and better. It makes sense that microblogging is the next movement for the journalism world since the platform can send and spread information faster than a typical newsroom. It makes it easier on journalists since stories and sources can be found through microblogging platforms. All it takes is some button mashing and pressing send for lots of people to see your groundbreaking news or your baked chicken you think can win out on Master Chef.

    Reading what words get retweeted most was funny since most were simple words like you and retweet. I’m not sure if saying “retweet this and…” since I feel you’d have to give back some sort of compensation to the twitter people who retweeted you. I also think this goes along with the phrase “check out my blog.” The only way it would work is if a famous person or a huge corporation used that phrase. So from that standpoint, statistics can be misleading in my opinion.

    What I think is more important is using verbs instead of adjectives when creating tweets. If you say your link is cool, super, awesome, sweet, or any sort of positive adjective, people will most likely think you’re a liar. If you use verbs that don’t involve the word very, people seem to be more tempted to click on the link and find out for themselves if the blog is cool, super, awesome, and/or sweet.

  14. Karly Marie says:

    Who would have thought than when Twitter launched in 2006 that it would become such a useful tool for journalists? Microblogging has become a way of journalism. As Brigg’s mentions it is not only a way for journalists to breaking news, but also for them to keep updated on a story. Citizen journalists have greatly increased since Twitter has taken off. As journalists, we act as the verified source of information.

    Becoming an active member of the microblogging community is very simple. It is very important to have a presence on Twitter. Live-tweeting big events, retweeting, and hashtagging allows journalists to become active members and gain followers. Retweeting allows your followers to see what you are reading and what you find interesting and newsworthy. Hashtagging opens you to a whole world of people who have yet to follow you. These tools are very useful when it comes to running a successful microblog.

    I find the hardest part of microblogging is staying within the 140 characters. If you were to tag someone or post a link, those characters disappear very quickly. I found the links that taught what goes into a good tweet very helpful. The one link found that the most valued tweets were informative, funny, and encouraged conversation. A lot of thought has to go into microblogging.

    The Scientific Guide was also very interesting, they found so many different things that make a microblog more successful. For example, researchers found that using more verbs and adverbs than nouns and adjectives leads to a better tweet. It’s amazing how powerful 140 characters can be.

  15. Before reading this chapter I never really knew what made a good tweet actually good. I am not one who tweets heavily so have not commonly live tweeted an event. However, I have done it before when covering a house fire that blocked off a street for a few hours. I believe by doing that I was able to tell a complete story while conserving the amount of words I used. I was also able to get live pictures posted immediately as the fire continued to burn. It is definitely a habit I should develop.

    Briggs defines what type of events a reporter should or should not tweet about. I have typically tweeted about any story I cover, this is vital to building a presence and gaining followers.

    So after the reading this week I have realized what I must do to improve my twitter use.
    1. Pick which stories are twitter worthy
    2. live tweeting is my friend
    3. Pick my words wisely
    4. link to people who I gained information from.

  16. cposey32014 says:

    I honestly had no idea what microblogging was until I got into the Briggs chapter and he basically says I have been doing it my entire life. Briggs says that it is a combination of instant messaging, text messaging, and Internet Relay Chat. I have probably been instant messaging and texting for 3/4th my life at this point. I also never thought about how you can reach on twitter and the massive tool it can be for journalist until I got further into my college career.

    This is the second time I have looked at the best practices for journalist from Twitter. It is easy to forget the tips they give you, but they make so much sense. What other social media giant has given you the inside scoop on how to best use their site to promote yourself and the news? What I find interesting is the link says you should make the most of hashtags, and I think that’s a great idea. Just like in our blogs, if you hashtag something that is trending you can bring up what everyone is saying, not just that journalist. It can offer a lot of insight even if you aren’t in the area where the breaking news is happening.

    I also like that Twitter tells you to share your source. It gives you more reliability. When thinking about Twitter, microblogging, and blogging knowing what your source is just as important as writing the blog or tweet all together.

    The thing I’ve learned this week is that I’ve been blogging most of my life, just not in the traditional way that I am now. I hope to incorporate these Twitter tips when I am out on the streets working my beat in the future.

  17. Mike Marsh says:

    Briggs discussed ways in which microblogging is so popular. He explains that some people are tentative when it comes to actual blogging but essentially anyone can contribute 180 characters. This makes me think about everyone on twitter who without even realizing it, by sending out 4 or 5 tweets a day they are doing there own microblogging. With social media apps like Twitter being so popular, there is a diverse group of microbloggers that is growing very quickly.

    This goes along with another point in the chapter when Briggs uses a quote from Paul Bradshaw explaining why Twitter is useful for student journalists. Bradshaw’s quote makes the point that using Twitter trains you to always be aware of interesting things around you, which is a valuable skill for journalists. If you are in the journalism field having an eye for a interesting story is similar to the way someone would go through their daily routine and gauging what could be a catchy or relevant tweet post.

    The chapter also talked about how social media makes marketing and building your personal brand as easy as ever. Briggs makes the point that social media enables an aspiring journalist to showcase their talents in ways that weren’t previously possible. Also the whole interactive aspect of social media provides microbloggers and “twitter journalists” ways that they can engage with their audiences.

    The links also had some interesting information. In the article about how to write perfect microblogging headlines it was cool how they look at research and was able to determine the effectiveness/ineffectiveness in headlines when it comes to using nouns/verbs/adverbs…When it comes down to it, the data showed that verbs and adverbs had higher CTR’s than noun heavy headlines. This makes sense because action words are something that can put an image in your head and at the same time make you more likely to be intrigued by the story. I also learned the things

  18. Logan Barry says:

    In this week’s Briggs chapter, I learned what microblogging actually meant. In simple terms, it is basically just a tweet, or a post that contains 140 characters or less. Event though I rarely ever post information to twitter, I know a lot of people that do, and I was surprised to find out that what I have been seeing people post for the past several years has all been forms of microblogging. The idea of live tweeting is really cool, because of the impact it can have on society if it;s done correctly.

    Another cool things that Briggs talked about in this week’s reading was how not only is Twitter useful for posting information (microblogging),but how it is also useful for finding information as well. Before I started using Twitter, I would normally watch television or go to websites such as MSN in order to find and hear the news. No ever since I have begun exploring Twitter and what it can offer, I have increasingly started to use that instead to find my daily news that’s going on in the world. In my opinion, it’s easier, and it provides you a link that you can click that will take you to the story. Also I think it does a good job at weeding out the news that might not be as interesting or important than other news, because people are going to be posting more relevant information.

    Another way I use to Twitter to receive certain types of news is for my fraternity and Greek life on this campus. I can constantly see updates and other bits of information that I need to know in regards to my fraternity. And it makes it a lot easier for authorities within the Greek life to just post information to Twitter, rather than using cellphones, email, or even Facebook in my opinion.

  19. logan barry says:

    In this week’s Briggs chapter, I learned what microblogging actually meant. In simple terms, it is basically just a tweet, or a post that contains 140 characters or less. Event though I rarely ever post information to twitter, I know a lot of people that do, and I was surprised to find out that what I have been seeing people post for the past several years has all been forms of microblogging. The idea of live tweeting is really cool, because of the impact it can have on society if it;s done correctly.

    Another cool things that Briggs talked about in this week’s reading was how not only is Twitter useful for posting information (microblogging),but how it is also useful for finding information as well. Before I started using Twitter, I would normally watch television or go to websites such as MSN in order to find and hear the news. No ever since I have begun exploring Twitter and what it can offer, I have increasingly started to use that instead to find my daily news that’s going on in the world. In my opinion, it’s easier, and it provides you a link that you can click that will take you to the story. Also I think it does a good job at weeding out the news that might not be as interesting or important than other news, because people are going to be posting more relevant information.

    Another way I use to Twitter to receive certain types of news is for my fraternity and Greek life on this campus. I can constantly see updates and other bits of information that I need to know in regards to my fraternity. And it makes it a lot easier for authorities within the Greek life to just post information to Twitter, rather than using cellphones, email, or even Facebook in my opinion.

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