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 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 7.
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18 Responses to Read & Respond week 5: Twitter and Microblogging

  1. Ok I am now feeling overwhelmed: Twitter, Pininterest, LinkedIn, etc. It seems like one could have a full-time job just keeping up with all of these social media platforms. I joined Facebook last summer, so I am playing catchup on the social media scene. Briggs and the other readings do provide incredible insight and data to support their points. I completely agree that Web (Media) 2.0 will be more transformative than 1.0 was in the late 1990’s. The obvious reason is that both the news gathering technology AND the publishing platforms have reached a point that they are both affordable and understandable enough that the average person can utilize their capabilities. What is also important is that the (social) media platforms are being used by the general public, so this isn’t case of only a highly specialized segment of society as the audience. I am a bit concerned over the rumored announcements that Twitter is going to be changing its policies (increasing or eliminating the 140 character limit). I think brevity is one of THE most underrated qualities of language, Operating within a limit actually increases creativity rather than stifling it. One last point is that I am currently watching “American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson” on FXX. I cannot help but think what the coverage of this incredible trial would have been like with today’s technology and social media platforms. Has it really been 20 years?

  2. emilyeisenhuth says:

    All of the websites seem to revolve around the same facts that putting a catchy title that attracts to you and not just your audience will then interest other people. I like the different ways it talks about getting your blog seen with just words that seem very popular on each website. At the same time, at least right now, I won’t be doing giveaways or downloads, but doing those, I think you have to be careful. A lot of people don’t want computer bugs to slow down their computer so if you aren’t a known store or brand I don’t think people will be downloading anything from you.
    I thought it was interesting on the website how they said on Facebook to self-reference yourself but not on Twitter. I wouldn’t have guessed that would attract more people on Facebook when saying “I” but it makes sense since I feel like more people are noisier on Facebook. For any social media, questions seem to attract to people and they like to take tests and compare to other people they know. From Craig’s recent response in this chapter, I agree that if Twitter increases or eliminates the characters it will defeat the purpose of Twitter. People will start using it like Facebook and going on there for the majority of the part to complain or talk about their day without getting creative.
    In Briggs, he mentions that it may be better to do the news at the location or tomorrow morning. That is very important because you want to grab your audience and you being there will get information faster. In journalism you want to the be the first with the information and being at the location observing can get you what you need.

  3. davidstatman says:

    In the Briggs chapter, Briggs points towards mobile reporting as a revolution in and of itself in the field of journalism. The advent of smartphones means that reporting on events isn’t limited to the office. Someone can report live from the scene, and produce live content posted directly to Twitter or another social media. Mobile journalism has made the field much more dynamic and individual – as Briggs puts it, a single reporter with a smartphone can do almost anything an expensive television crew can do, maybe more.
    Microblogging via Twitter means that anyone can be a writer or a reporter and build their own voice and brand, and they can do it from absolutely anywhere. Breaking news happens in real time, and it’s happened because of the new social media advances that come from the new generation of the Internet.

  4. audriek says:

    After viewing these sources I was surprised to find out that before the worldly known ‘Twitter’ was created, the Internet offered multiple microblogging sites alternatively.
    I also extended some research on microblogging and found that Tumblr, which I used to personally use, in addition to “12 seconds” fall under the category for “microblogging.”
    Some of the links provided, espeically “How to write the “perfect” microblog headlines” in this weeks assignment was interesting because it shows that by rearranging just a few words as well as incorporating adverbs and verbs over nouns and adjectives, your tweets are bound to recieve more action. Additionally, if you are asking for something like retweets, follows or just to check out a blog with a link provided to do so, chances are people will if the topic interests them because the destination of the website is already incorporated in it and is just one click away!
    As Brigg’s mentions in this chapter, not only has the world gone mobile but so has journalism. Building on the previous chapter, technology is always advancing and journalism needs to keep up with that to stay updated and current.
    “Mobile technology is the ultimate liberator in modern journalism: the one thing that allows us to leave the desk journalists have too often been tied to,” Briggs says in this chapter.
    One other thing I learned from this chapter is that it is wise and encouraged to report while you’re out and about. In this case, that pertains to microblogging like Twitter! It gives everyone, not just journalists and reporters to actually report through these social media platforms.

  5. amdewitt94 says:

    This post is right up my alley. I LOVE Twitter. I spend way, way too much time on it and I am not proud to admit that I have been put in Twitter jail more than once in my years. My entire blog is about social media’s impact on marketing, but it more so focuses on Twitter. Microblogging – as I did NOT know it was referred to – is for all purposes. We can post about our day, such as an online diary. We can write jokes, or just tell others funny things we saw that day (for instance, during the snow storm, I saw a guy trip down a whole flight of stairs and at the bottom his friends said, “What happened?” and he said “I was just so excited to go out…” – it was so ridiculously funny [he was ok], and I had to share it with the Twitter world). Twitter can be used for class assignments such as we use it, and as my blog focuses, businesses can blog about their daily deals and specials. Social media has become something far greater than I feel anyone could have predicted. However, I do foresee a slight decrease in Twitter’s fanbase this coming week. According to Twitter’s #1 hashtag, which is #RIPTwitter ironically enough, they are changing their settings. We will now have an algorithmic timeline like Facebook, and that has users infuriated. However this, too, shows the impact Twitter and social media have on our every day lives – we are freaking out about a system change. This change will not impact us on a vital level, and yet, we fret.

  6. All of the websites listed seem to point to the idea that the title of your social media posts is vital. You want to have a title that attracts individuals and makes them want to look into the story or post. As mentioned in the Spot On: How to Write the Perfect Post infographic for Twitter, your post should be a call to action, have shortened URLs, use questions, facts or figures to engage viewers as well as have proper punctuation. Your tweet, Facebook post or other social media post may be the main “grabber” for your readers. I know for me personally, headlines and weekly tweets for my blog posts are what I struggle with the most. All the information provided in the websites were really helpful to me. I found it interesting that in A Scientific Guide to Writing Great Headlines on Twitter, Facebook, and Your Blog shows the 20 most retweetable words. Some of the words listed where “retweet” or “please retweet,” which apparently increases the amount of retweets you get. Asking for retweets along with downloads and using action words (more verbs, fewer nouns) has been shown to increase retweets for your work, and I will be sure to implement these specific aspects to my own tweets.

    Looking at the Briggs chapter, Briggs emphasizes how the world of journalism has become more mobile. Instead of carrying around a camera, a laptop, a video camera and audio recorder and more, journalists now have everything they need right in their pockets. Mobile phones allow journalists to do everything they need with only one device. As stated by Briggs, “Today, mobile devices are like electronic Swiss Army knives, arming anyone and potentially everyone with all-in-one media tools that can view capture and publish or broadcast,” (page 137). Journalism is turning mobile because the audience is also going mobile. As a result, journalists have a new deadline of now. Journalists may no longer get away with next day stories about a fire, sporting event, natural disaster or other breaking news stories. The audience wants to know now and they turn to journalists to provide them with the necessary information. This new change is why the websites were focused on how to grab the audience’s attention with the way your tweet, Facebook post or other social media post is formatted. You want to get as many hits as you can while also providing quick information for readers.

    Within the chapter, I really liked how Briggs laid out the two equipment individuals: the gearhead and the light packer. Briggs goes into detail of what the differences are between the two types of individuals and what equipment each one would use. I also like that Briggs went into detail of how to live blog. Briggs recommends using one blog post and updating it as things happen as opposed to creating new posts for each addition to the event.

    Overall, I really liked this week’s Briggs chapter and the websites. I found it very insightful and helpful given that we are journalists in the now mobile journalism world. I know I’ve been a microblogger for years because of my use of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and all the other social media sites. However, using social media for journalistic purposes is a completely different experience and we need to have the knowledge necessary to succeed.

  7. Sierra says:

    According to Briggs, journalism is mobile because about half of Americans have smartphones. This allows for regular people like you and me to report news stories faster today than ever before. This is called citizen journalism. Briggs says that mobile news has only recently started to get the attention it deserves and that journalist are starting to use it to their advantage for crowdsourcing. I think that this is great because it can be viewed as a give and take relationship. Mobile journalism gives the control of news and reporting to the regular people but it also allows the professionals to have a base for their stories and may even provide a first encounter element which could make their story more factual or realistic.

    The articles on Twitter were very informative and tie into microblogging and Twitter nicely. I was surprised to find out that even though I don’t use social media that much that I was indeed a microblogger. I was also surprised to find out how much method and skill needed to go into one tweet. One article was basically an instruction manual on how to use Twitter and I’m so glad it explained the meaning of hashtags since I had no idea what their purpose was but I see them everywhere on social media. Hashtags are actually extremely important! Twitter has certainly changed the way things get reported and how far news can stretch with retweets. It has also changed how involved people can get and how fast someone can share their opinion on a news story. All of this shapes the public’s opinion which influences how they react which should then influence how the government reacts and so forth. If you look at it this way then Twitter is extremely influential and can also be detrimental. I don’t know how comfortable I am with knowing that all of society can break down and go into chaos just because of Twitter!

  8. mtshadle says:

    It is undeniable that journalists or any successful professional for that matter need to master current technology, apps, and social media platforms in order to be at the top of their game at all times. It a rapidly advancing and evolving technology based world that is not always easy to do. However, I do feel lucky to have been born in a generation that is very familiar with these technologies from a young age. Briggs discussed the importance of the modern journalist on social media in order to not only put their stories out there at a rate that was once not possible, but also to gather information for stories, see what people are talking about, and engage in conversation. I really like the concept of live-tweeting events to followers because it allows you to really take people somewhere else and creates a sense of excitement and anticipation. I thought it was very interesting that there are statistics available on what goes into making a good tweet and the importance of using things such as hashtags and mentions to your advantage in order to get the most views and followers as possible. I definitely agree that tweeting breaking news adds credibility to a source and therefore causes people to come back to you for information. I also liked the article on how to write a good headline for social media posts because it is something I struggle with and can now reference back too when I find myself stuck.

  9. Microblogging is a perfect platform for millennials. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and their lives, but not everyone has the time to sit down and write a blog entry. More and more people are downloading Twitter everyday, and it’s sort of a shock when someone tells you they don’t use Twitter. The major upside to microblogs, like Twitter, is that everyone can participate in writing short posts that are 140 characters or less.

    Most young people get the majority of their news from Twitter as well. It’s the fastest and most reliable internet medium. When important stories break, Twitter is the first place I check. The trending topics part of Twitter shows the most popular breaking news stories on the internet. News stations usually release stories on Twitter before they release them anywhere else. This relates to Briggs’ idea that journalism is mobile in today’s world. A large chunk of the news we get is online and on our phones.

    Twitter also allows readers to see what friends, celebrities, and even politicians have to say about important issues in the media. It’s so powerful that even average people can have their tweets go viral, with thousands of retweets and likes. I’ve been on Twitter for four years now, and I never considered myself a blogger. But now that I think about it, I’ve been a blogger for a long time.

  10. John Mark says:

    I found it interesting that the Briggs chapter considers Facebook a form of microblogging, but I guess he’s right. I think microblogging is a good concept when done right, but using sites like Twitter and Facebook (especially Facebook, these days) results in a clunky news feed more than anything else. The line between clickbait and real journalism is getting blurrier by the day, and while making a catchy or attention-drawing headline for your tweeted news links is essential, the pressure to just make a “7 thing Mountaineer fans can’t live without” listicle is becoming greater from our digital audience.

    So while the online links posted this week were helpful, I would’ve have liked to see some talk about how to keep your professional and journalistic integrity while still having eye-catching tweets and headlines.

  11. EmilyGMartin says:

    One of the things I took away from the Twitter chapter of Briggs was how important Twitter has become. Twitter is one of the most versatile websites in existence, as it allows it’s users to do virtually anything they want. Users can chronicle their daily thoughts, share funny videos, use it to make posts for homework, or get their news on the spot. This also makes it a good tool for journalists. Because almost everyone has a smartphone these days, journalists can now provide breaking news and live updates while on location, which saves them time from having to go back to the office and it saves readers time from having to wait until the story is published the next day. This also allows for people aren’t journalists to become “citizen journalists” and report the news on their own. In today’s society, we want everything right now, and Twitter allows for that.

    Not everyone is necessarily a fan of that, but it is unlikely that we will every revert back to the newsroom, journalist only news deliverance. In the “Why Journalists Should Break News On Twitter” article, there was a quote that I found to be particularly interesting.
    “Some would like to turn the clock back to a simpler time, when all power resided in the newsdesk, only star reporters got a byline, and sharing information with outsiders before the presses rolled or the bulletin began was a sacking offence.
    But it is almost certainly too late for that.”

    I agree. Twitter has become the future for journalists and it will most likely be around for a long time, until the next innovation comes around.

  12. pmlilly says:

    Like other people have said it is usually pretty shocking to most people when someone does not have a twitter. Sadly until a class I took last semester I did not have a twitter so I have tragically fallen behind in the twitter and social media world. When I say this it may seem silly but it truly did help me, it was the article a simple set of guidelines by twitter. People think twitter and social media is common knowledge to everyone but it is really nice to see a suggested way of using it.

    It is obvious how huge twitter has become and it really is a great way to get news out there just because it is instant. Which is cool but also like you have talked about in class, this is also a bad thing because fake news stories can get a lot of attention. which is really bad but at the same time you can fact check most things on twitter with a quick google search. So I think it is a good thing for news stories to break on twitter, but you need to be skeptical while you are on twitter and other social medias.

    I also thought it was informative about what goes into a good tweet. It didn’t say much but the little bit of information it did say was good. It is funny the worst thing you can do is be dull on social media, even if you are informative. It is kind of funny that being funny is the biggest draw on social medias. It makes perfect sense though because people just want entertainment they don’t really care about anything else, which is sad but pretty much true from what I’ve observed.

  13. Briggs offers an optimistic perspective on microblogging, noting its numerous advantages for both journalists and business. He really hones in on Twitter and the app’s ability to serve as an information platform in addition to its roll as a communication tool. Twitter closes the gap between news sites and social media by giving journalists the ability to retweet links to breaking news in real time. This creates a system of faster, more transparent communication. Additionally it creates an open forum for discussion allowing other users to add to real time news.

    Briggs brings up some similar points to the online sources when discussing how to construct a good tweet. The text suggests being informative, including links, being instructive and begin timely are good guidelines to follow when connecting with followers. Some of the online sources dig deeper by advising users to tweet at times of high activity or even using humor in your tweets.

    Twitter has undoubtedly become more than simply a tool for people-to-people communication, but a platform for a diverse range information. I agree with Briggs that microblogging is a tool that journalists should take advantage of. More and more people are receiving their news via social media, creating a push fro more journalistic activity on Twitter.

    Besides social media’s “news-worthy” qualities, Twitter is a great additional platform for bloggers to expand their brand. Tweets can help a blogger convey their voice, values an personality in a short 140 character message. Options to include multimedia also give bloggers viral flexibility with sharing new content with their readers.

  14. What I took away from the readings is what a busy world it is as a mobile journalist. I didn’t realize there was a term for that, but I did know what microblogging meant. There are loads of mobile programs to help journalists make stories that are innovatively engaging and creative. Another important point from Briggs is that journalism comes first. You don’t let your cool gadgets dictate what direction you go in. Rather, you make decisions on how to apply technology to the direction the story is taking you. The importance of social media goes beyond just what journalists create. It’s also useful for finding sources and finding what’s happening as it happens. I enjoyed the supplementary articles because there was a lot of information about how to make your social media more visible and effective. Mobile reporting has completely changed the game in journalism. News is instant, so journalists need to work quickly to stay current. Yesterday is a long time ago. There’s obviously a wrong and right way to do this because I can see how the pressure of this changing field can cause some mistakes and accidental misinformation. It’s important to keep a clear code of ethics.

  15. tuellkristen says:

    Briggs’ chapter along with the websites provided made me realize how important microblogging is for journalists. While it is more common to see news reporters tweeting to promote their stories that will be featured on the 5 o’clock news, it still isn’t very common to see breaking news or news not featured on newscasts on Twitter. This is changing though. As future journalists, we are starting to be more and more prepared for this ever-changing industry and becoming more comfortable using modern technology and various social media platforms.

    I really found the online readings informative and useful for this class. I often find it difficult to come up with an intriguing headlines for my blog posts when I post them to Twitter. The readings, especially the “buffersocial” article, were really useful for me going forward when I go to promote my posts. I also really liked the final sentences in the second Reporter.net article. It said, “The study suggests the best tweets are informative, entertaining and encourage a response. Quite a lot to pack into 140 characters.” This really resonated with me. If you can’t fit what you need to get across in 140 characters on Twitter, then you need to rethink what you’re writing, and for journalists, that’s really good practice.

    The Briggs chapter really promoted mobile reporting, and I think that’s important for journalists to remain relevant. If a journalist is equipped with just a smartphone, they can basically do anything, Briggs wrote in the chapter, and this is revolutionary. It will make communicating with our audience that much easier when it comes to sharing stories, whether they are local, national, or international stories. Smartphone and Twitter really have no boundaries when it comes to sharing information and that is critical for journalists.

  16. It did not surprise me to know that I have been microblogging for many years now. I made a Twitter when I was in the 8th or 9th grade, so in 2009. I didn’t start really using it until 2011 when all my friends started to use it as well.

    I didn’t find the article about the “Best Practices” to be helpful because I seem to already do all of things listed such as @mentioning, hash-tagging, and sharing what I’m reading. However, I really liked the articles about “Writing Great Headlines” and “How to Write the Perfect Post.” I am definitely going to take away the tons of research on how to engage audience and things that catch the brain. Leo Wildrich, the co-founder of Buffer, said before writing a blog, to tweet about the topic first. If the tweet has a lot of interaction then expand on that topic in a blog. I hope to utilize this method before writing random blogs that only catch my attention.

    In regards to Briggs, I only took in a few things that I haven’t heard before. I liked reading about the sense of community that Twitter creates, and how we as journalists need to adhere to that community. He even mentioned an 80-20 Rule: 80 percent of posts should add something of value to the community, and 20 percent of the posts should be self-promoting.

    My blog, Engaging Entertainment, is focused around social media and entertainment, so I found this week’s readings to be very helpful!

  17. jadenarth says:

    In this week’s reading, Briggs talks about the revolutionary invention of the smart phone. Now, instead of going to a scene and then going back to the office to write a story, journalists can live-tweet the event and get the news to the people in real time.

    All of this week’s links, they discuss microblogging, how to write the perfect post, and when to post that perfect post. Social media is a great tool for journalists because they can cast a wide net and reach a large audience. It’s important to know how to use your resources to their fullest potential. Twitter is the middleman for news organizations and people who use social media, so it’s important if you’re live-tweeting an event, that your information is accurate.

    Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms, so it’s important for everybody to have an account and know how to use it to the best of their abilities.

  18. matthewfergo says:

    Briggs puts an emphasis on mobile reporting because that is obviously where the future is headed. The light-packer journalist he mentioned in the chapter is becoming more and more popular as technology advances and the equipment needed to be a professional journalist has been reduced to an all-in-one smartphone. The common-denominator between all of these articles is the idea of providing information. That is what people flock to, and that is what is in demand. Twitter is a perfect example, but the same can be said of almost all social media platforms. Due to the popularity of these platforms and how efficient it makes breaking news, it’s obvious why even the biggest news outlets like BBC would want their news to be broken on twitter. Publishing a story in print as opposed to on the web in a microblogging setting would just be a waste. It seems the ability to adapt is becoming more and more of a crucial trait. With the rapid expansion of the journalism field, it will be interesting to see how much the industry changes with another 20 years of time.

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