Read & Respond week 5: Microblogging and Twitter

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. Many of you have been doing it for years – did you know?

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

Finally – don’t skip this step! – you need to get ON Twitter. You’ve got three things to do:

  • Create an account if you don’t have one (or want to use a different one for class), and make sure it is public (not hidden).
  • Follow me (@thebobthe) so I can follow you back.
  • Tweet something useful to our class to our course hashtag #WVUblogJ

As always, post your response as a comment to this post (and finish your Twitter duties) by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, September 11.



14 Responses to Read & Respond week 5: Microblogging and Twitter

  1. alexaciattarelli says:

    Alexa Ciattarelli – R&RW5

    “Gone are the days of journalists passively publishing information that is simply read, viewed or listened to,” says Ellyn Angelotti, a digital trends and social media faculty member at The Poynter Institute.

    Blogs used to be the most effective way for journalists to connect with the world around them. But, as Journalism Next, by Mark Briggs states, social media platforms changed that.

    Twitter, along with other platforms, allows journalists to capture their audiences interest in a few short characters.

    But, it’s not a piece of cake. There are some tips:

    – Tweet your beat. Tweet about the topics you cover. If you are a sports journalist with a Twitter handle for the New York Yankees, don’t start tweeting about Sephora make-up in your off time.

    – Put your audience in your tweet. Use the word “you”, use action verbs, use mentions to prompt users to engage in your post, use visuals. According to the BufferApp blog article, visuals get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs.

    The second you start posting like a robot, you will lose the attention of your audience. If they feel involved in your tweet, they are more likely to react.

    In today’s day and age, everyone is on their phones using social media.

    If you are a journalist, break your story on twitter. Someone is more likely to see your tweet while scrolling on their lunch break, than searching google for articles on this topic, or that topic, or that person.

    Social media editor Chris Hamilton, from the REPORTR.NET article says, “We’re fortunate to have a technology that allows our journalists to transmit text simultaneously to our newsroom systems and to their own Twitter accounts.”

    So get used to what Briggs and social scientists call “ambient awareness.”

    And besides, this habit of microblogging is extremely important.

    Microblogging comes from Internet Relay Chat, Short Message Service, and instant messaging.

    It is a combination of all three, made by Twitter.

    Briggs says, “In the past, a user had to wait for a news organization to publish a story on a breaking news event such as a plane crash.”
    Imagine waiting until September 12, 2001 to know to avoid the World Trade Center due to crashing buildings? No! That’s crazy.

    So utilize your resources, tweet what the world will find interesting, sell your story, use your hashtags, and follow the rules of microblogging. You just might watch your blog take off.

  2. Ryan Decker says:

    As Chapter 4 pointed out, smart phones and mobile apps have completely changed the ways reporters can report on the news. Instead of needing a ton of equipment that each has one main function, a reporter can make multiple different types of reports just by using his or her cell phone. This is especially helpful when, as it says on page 136, deadlines are “Right now.” As great as smartphones are, laptops continue to be an essential part of a reporter’s arsenal, as they can edit photos, write more eloquent stories, and just simply have more capabilities than if they were using just their cell phone. As far as getting content on social media, though, smart phones have made it extremely easy.

    Two of the best ways to grow the number of followers for both your Twitter account and your website is by live-tweeting what you’re, and tweeting a lot about what you write about, as well as by using hashtags, so what you’re tweeting about can be found more easily. (Guidelines) Writing the correct headline is also important. Just a small change in words can cut the number of views and clicks you get in half. (bufferapp)
    Similarly, as the article pointed out, it’s best for your tweets to be informative yet entertaining, as well as to try to encourage a response.

  3. The microblogging chapter in Briggs is directly related to the blogs we run in this class. A lot of the points were good, but I though the marketing and building your brand section was pretty useful. It is not enough to create your blog and post every so often. The success of your blog is not just dependent on the content. Like we talked about in class, it does not matter how good the content is if no one sees it. It is weird to think about marketing and journalism inter-connected this way.

    I am conflicted with the “Perfect Social Media Link”. While I think it is awesome that they have posts down to a science, it kind of takes away from the social aspect. Stats show the right time to post, what kind of content, and the proper way to engage viewers. With that kind of information, we seem not too far from computers being able to generate social media on their own. If a bunch of calculated posts are made by computers interacting with each other, is it really social media?

  4. While reading Briggs, it was interesting to find out that those who are into reporting on the go, are usually divided into “gearheads” and “light packers”. Personally, I think a light packer has more chances to capture a moment on the go, when everything around is happening very fast. Gearheads definitely have an advantage in putting out better quality content, although I learned from Briggs, that actually when it comes to taking pictures and posting them on Twitter and other social media, the composition, lighting and overall quality isn’t crucial. The standards for mobile reporting are different, that’s why “good enough” pictures and videos work in this case.
    When I was reading the articles on how to make tweets and their content better, it was interesting to find out that while coming up with twitter headlines, it’s better to use more verbs and fewer nouns.

  5. jayrudolph says:

    As it says in Briggs chapter 4, “It’s only natural that a device that has changed the way we live and think about information would also change the way we do journalism.” This constantly changing world of Twitter and Journalism are both very important in today’s society. As a blogger/journalist it is extremely important to stay on top of what is going on and the technology being used to display the world’s information. Briggs also says, “The revolution has already hit journalism and created a whole new field: mobile reporting.” This is what all the links were talking about with Twitter. The best practices for journalist article said this about the new generation of reporting “The team analyzed thousands of Tweets from more than 150 news brands and individual reporters around the world, determining four specific areas of focus: tweet your beat, use hashtags for context, @ cite your sources, and share what you’re reading.” They found some ways to make your Twitter reporting better that will help transform your live reporting.

  6. Beyond Craft Beer says:

    As Briggs mentions, being an on-the-go journalist has many positives. Packing light and immersing yourself in the moment can be move effective than setting up a camera or recorder to capture what just happened. However, gearheads really do produce higher quality material, but lightweights provide raw emotion, which I gravitate towards the latter myself. Also, I found it really interesting how one of the links suggested testing out headlines for your tweets or blog posts. Tweeting 2 very similar headlines with the same link attached and waiting for activity to follow is a brilliant idea that many journalists might be hesitant to try.

    Using your hashtag that is relevant to your beat is crucial in a successful social media presence. Just randomly tweeting information with no place for it to all gather is not effective. It’s like throwing a bunch of files in the air and assuming they will all fall in their appropriate folders. Tweets won’t organize themselves without a consistently common hashtag to group them together.

  7. lmalexander1 says:

    Microblogging is something that is used today with all the social media that is at hand, and Briggs stresses this. Twitter is a huge venue for microblogging, especially for journalists. People want the news fast. If they read a tweet from a journalist that comes out faster than any news station, they’ll want to follow that journalist and they will check their Twitter first for updates on breaking news, building their popularity and credibility. Journalists can use hashtags when Tweeting about the event so when people type that word in the search bar, their tweet will appear to them. journalists need to break the news on Twitter to get the news out to their audience as quickly as they can. Hermida’s blog post does a great job of helping readers understand all of this.

  8. crcottrill says:

    A reason why microblogging is so popular according to Briggs is “ambient intimacy” or maintaining a constant connection via social media. This works particularly well for the world of journalism, because by utilizing guidelines for formulating effective news tweets, we can form that connection with our audience. Getting them to turn on those post notifications is a major goal. This really matters in today’s world because as the text says, Twitter is a platform that has a simplicity which caters to the fast paced world.

  9. smarino92 says:

    Really what this week is showing me that people don’t have attention spans so we must cater to that. People want to see pictures, to see as few words as possible, and obviously they want things to be compelling. Fast news can be great news if it’s done correctly, and as journalist or a writer in general that’s where the skill come in. I’m a big believer in being in the moment, not observing everything from the screen on your cell phone, I think the best stories are from people who get to know the situation, not just standing there speculating. We still need to talk to people, we still need to make those human connections, that’s what makes a story personable and something an audience can relate to. It all goes back to community, just like the people you surround yourself with are going to have similar interests same goes with people on your social media pages. The big thing I think is learning to tailor to audiences, and even though the internet is filled with people with different opinions there’s always finding that niche that makes people wanna keep coming back, they might like what you write about, they might just like how you write. Today’s news stories though need to be concise and compelling, because sadly people just get bored too easily.

  10. michalalynn says:

    “Their deadline is always the same: right now.”
    This quote from the Briggs reading really struck me as important because it’s the truest of statements about the way journalism is going today. This chapter makes a great observation about mobile journalism and how it is affecting the journalistic landscape. It really wasn’t that long ago that in order for a news event to be covered fully you would need to send out a multiperson news crew. Nowadays, one reporter can cover a live event with a cellphone and an iPad thanks to apps like Twitter and Periscope.
    The readings about how to successfully use twitter as a journalist were helpful when thinking about how to utilize twitter. I never really thought about how important it was to share what we are reading with our readers. When we find something great and share it, it helps our fellow journalists get readers they might not be reaching.
    A final impactful thing from the Briggs reading was the comment about getting readers to come to the site to find out the news and having them come back to get the depth and understanding. That’s the overarching goal of mobile journalism-not only to get readers to come to your site for the breaking news but to get them to come back later in the day to learn how to interpret the breaking news.

  11. “It’s only natural that a device that has changed the way we live and think about information would also change the way we do journalism.”
    This quote from Briggs summarizes the idea of the development of social media, mobile journalism, and its progressing technology. I think that looking at Twitter as a journalism portal can be extremely beneficial and detrimental at the same time. anyone can post on Twitter, anyone can read those posts, and people will continue to make up their mind about what they believe. You do not have to be an informed journalist to create information and communicate it to the public, and that is a dangerous thing.
    This particular reading mentions that mobile technology shouldn’t change how journalist collect information, just when and how people see it. The idea in general would be that tweets can be used as the basis for print story. they should not be the sole source of news. Along these lines one of the main reasons that mobile microblogging is so important is that information can be distributed and communicated on the go. That is to say the updates on real life news items can be published anytime or anywhere. this is extremely important for the progression of Journalism as information is being distributed and received that much faster.

  12. Jaz Brown says:

    Chapter 4 was an interesting chapter because it really explored the different theories and reasonings as to why Twitter has become/is one of societies most useful forms of microblogging. “Ambient awareness” is an interesting concept because, as a society that lives in constant FOMO, we would also rather communicate textually, visually and audibly than in person. Especially with my generation, there is this constant fear that you’re somehow missing out on something, thanks to all of the “real-time” social media devices. There have been a lot of social media devices that have surprisingly become popular and progressive, like Tumblr for example, but I’m not sure why Twitter surprised some people. The journalistic route that the app has taken definitely is an unexpected turn, but society is obsessed with sharing personal/mundane/witty/relevant (etc.) information with others so the concept of the app never seemed like it wouldn’t be a success. I like how NPR’s Andy Carvin called Twitter, “…another flavor of journalism”, because it’s truly is. Twitter was never meant to take the place of journalism, but it is the new extension of the practice. It’s ability to produce timely, relevant, informative tidbits of information and “microblog headlines” has helped cultivate the world of journalism into a more productive community.

    The article on called, “Why Journalists Should Break News on Twitter”, has a great quote about the importance of Twitter in modern day.

    “The guidance for journalists not to break news on Twitter is based on a flawed understanding of today’s media ecosystem. It assumes that journalists still have a monopoly on breaking the news…Arguably there is an imperative for journalists to break news on Twitter to fulfill the role as trusted and reliable source of accurate information.”
    I completely agree that the more factual information that is produced through a media outlet, the higher the reader response and overall positivity will be for that outlet.

  13. kameronduncan says:

    As the Briggs text notes, more people than ever are connected to the internet via their personal mobile devices. This means that over the course of the last few years, more and more people are getting their news digitally. These people can get their news from multiple sources, including (but not limited to) traditional news outlets, blogs and social media. Because the way we consume news and media has changed dramatically, so too has the way reporters and members of the media bring us the news. Mobile journalism, which is especially useful for time-sensitive events and situations, is largely predicated on how fast a story can be put out. As the text says: “the deadline is always right now”. This can potentially lead to complications and even mistakes, as it is not uncommon for hoaxes or misinformation to spread because of how easily information spreads on websites like Twitter among others. Often, you may hear news of a celebrity dying or of something happening on campus. This information is difficult to verify but easy to spread, and that can be potentially problematic.

  14. carlyperez5 says:

    According to Chapter 4 in Briggs, “As long as Twitter remains the standard for microblogging, it will also be the standard for mobile microblogging.” Also stated in Briggs, microblogging allows journalists to connect more closely with other journalists and gives them the best sense of what is happening online at that moment.

    I found it interesting that follower growth on twitter is 50% more than average for people who post a fixed number of Tweets in a short amount of time. Using hashtags, citing your sources, and sharing content are also ways to grow your audience.

    Microblog headlines are much more important that I sought them out to be. The exercise “Buffer Blog” provides you with says to first test your headlines yourself. To do this you must come up with two headlines and post each one about an hour apart from each other. The only other step is to examine the data and see which headline created the most views.

    My favorite article had to be the one by This particular post talked about why breaking news should be posted on twitter. They say that breaking news on twitter is likely to create a greater impact. The news is spread more quickly with every retweet.

    Overall, it is very interesting to see applications such as twitter and facebook starting to take a roll in news being spread.

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