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, February 5.


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

  1. Rebecca Toro says:

    Last week I accidentally read the chapter on microblogging. Based on the Briggs chapter, I learned that it’s a useful tool to get quick, short information out on the web. As stated before, I find out a lot of news through Twitter. I was at work the other day and got a Twitter notifications stating that Beyonce was pregnant with twins. It was information that quickly spread all over the web. The article on, How to Write the Perfect Post, provides infographic explaining what is best for certain social media platforms. Facebook, is positive, informative, should provide a photo and a link. Twitter asks for call to action, short sentences, punctuation, responses and retweets. Todays millennials are constantly connecting through social media and microblogging is the perfect for this generation.

  2. Cara Devenney says:

    I think social media is important in our generation today because so many different news outlets of all sorts, accommodated to social media so anyone can access any information, anywhere. I remember being in high school and the only social media that existed was Facebook and Twitter! Instagram and Snapchat were definitely not a thing. Anyways, I never had a Twitter before so this will be my first time using it, so I am slowly (but surly) figuring everything out! I like how Briggs gives a step by step process on how to work Twitter, because it has helped me tremendously this weekend on getting to know Twitter. I also like receiving the e-mails telling me what people are tweeting based on my searches or interests.

    I think Twitter is great especially for journalism because you can share a picture, articles, tweets, and videos with a click of a button. It is super fast and convenient and I also like how it is basically straight to the point. I know when I am watching the news or even Sports Center, I constantly am seeing reporter’s Twitter tags or they may show what person(s) of interest tweet after a big game or situation.

    After reading how to write “perfect” microblog headlines, I learned that it actually matters. You have to think of something creative that you know will catch the reader’s attention. I personally have a hard time coming up with such a strong microblog headline in general, so I am hoping this class will help me improve that as well. I think it is actually pretty neat that you have to come up with a “one-liner” to grab attention because it also brings out your creative side as well!

  3. Twitter and other forms of microblogging are essential for the modern journalist and any writer. I’ve promoted projects I’ve done via twitter, but I’ve never given much thought to the details.

    As Brigg’s describes in his blogging/microblogging chapter, how you tweet is important whether you’re with a brand or your own brand. He says to ask the questions: “What are you reading?” “What are you thinking?” “What are you doing later?” “What are you liking on Twitter?” and “What can you ask or answer?” before tweeting. Creating tweets in response to these questions helps content creators engage with their audience.

    Headlines also make a big experiment. The Buffer Social article reemphasized what our guest lecturers taught us. The experiment they did further proves that you must grab your audience’s attention. The suggestion that maybe the standard workday was incorrect is more intriguing than the history behind it.

    It’s important to keep in mind that each form of social media is different and can require different forms of promotion on each one. The SocialMediaToday infographic really helped me understand the basics of creating a successful post for each major social media outlet.

    It can be uncomfortable to promote yourself, but it’s vital to getting your voice heard.

  4. Journalists are expected to maintain a twitter page along with all other aspects of their work. Twitter is popular because real time news can be delivered. Readers don’t need to wait for coverage and it helps to train journalists by requiring them to write a news pitch in only 140 characters.

    When tweeting, it is important to build a network. Briggs mentions that this is best done by following relevant accounts. One of the links provided says that the biggest turn off to readers is boring tweets that don’t entertain and inform. It is up to the tweeter to write to capture the readers’ attention with short, witty and informative tweets. Tweets can be improved with hashtags that offer context and according to the readings, posts including photos are more desirable.

    I really found it interesting that there is a list of 20 most re-tweetable words that make readers more inclined to retweet a post. Although, I laughed a little when two or three of those were actually using the word “retweet” which seems obvious.

    Overall I think twitter is a great way to push out content. It is short, quick and allows for readers to navigate through news that they want to find by allowing the use of hashtags and by allowing users to follow pages they find interesting or journalists that they enjoy receiving news from.

  5. Haley says:

    In the Scientific Guide to Writing post, I thought it was interesting that the author suggested to test your blog headlines on Twitter. I use Twitter for my internship and my own for personal branding and never really thought of this. I do know that posts with images gain on average more link clicks, but I had never thought of putting images up that explain rather than show. I have written top 10s before, but I like that they explain the strategy behind putting the digit at the beginning of the post.

    Looking at the infographic under the Pinterest section I thought those suggestions were interesting. Red is one of the most psychological arousing colors and orange tends to engage a feeling of hunger. Since Pinterest is red and many of their pins are food-related this would make sense for red and orange posts to get the most repins. The suggestion about no human faces also makes sense. I’ve been on Pinterest since around 2010 from the very beginning and the only time I personal repin a face is if it a section of the face for a make-up tutorial. I have found sketches of faces work better. The saturation level of pictures isn’t something I would normally think of, but I will in the future.

    I agreed with the author of “Why journalists should break news on Twitter” because we are supposed to be the ones alerting people and spreading information as quick and accurately as possible. Live tweeting and updating might be helpful to the credibility of an organization.

    I do think humor appeals with information definitely the way to go on Twitter. Social media as a whole can be very beneficial to marketers and journalists if used strategically and correctly. We should embrace our ability to monitor posts through analytics instantly compared to print. I like that Briggs talks about your own brand because I think everyone with a social media account is basically branding themselves online. It makes you think more about what you post and how you want to personally be branded.

  6. miaswanegan says:

    I am someone who is guilty of not being the biggest tweeter out there but after reading the chapter in Briggs as well as the articles online, it’s a little inspirational. All we want is for our blogs to be seen more/ have more notice and I agree with these posts when they say that creating engagement can be a great way for exposure. First, in Briggs, it suggests that you follow then tweet later for Twitter (similar to the articles) and then go from there. Although a lot of this is in relation to getting more eyes on your blog or company/ profession, it does work for non bloggers too. Everyone on twitter is hip to using hashtags, whether they are trending at the moment or not but, we don’t use them strategically so having those tips will help. Also having more reading on how to make your headlines better on your blog as well as social media was great information because that is something I tend to struggle with.

    With someone writing an article specifically on why journalist should break news on twitter is great. I couldn’t agree more only because now a days everyone is on. Twitter has become so widely used and I know for a fact that I am one of the people who check for new tweets constantly throughout the day as well as retrieve some news from there.

  7. mglamastro says:

    I really enjoyed this chapter in Briggs as well as these articles because social media is such an important aspect of journalism, advertising and other mass media; it can truly make or break a company or brand. This is because 1) it instantly reaches 1,000s, 10,000s, 100,000s or even millions of followers via desktop/laptop AND mobile (i.e., smart phones, tablets), and 2) it is seldom forgotten. Even when a company or publication “deletes” a tweet, screenshots can still be found everywhere. An example that comes to mind is the hack on Chipotle (restaurant) a few years ago–a hacker tweeted antisemitic phrases from Chipotle’s official Twitter account, which caused a ton of uproar. Despite Chipotle getting a handle on the situation, as well as apologizing, relatively quickly the tweets reached millions of people worldwide.

    Personally, the article with the “‘perfect’ social media posts” infographic really resonated me. I even bookmarked it so I can use it for future reference. This post also emphasized timing of posts, which I have always thought of as super important. A social media post can be perfect, but if it is not posted at the right time, it won’t matter or be nearly as effective as it should be; it will not achieve its full potential in a sense. This is extremely noticeable for me on Instagram. If I post an image to Instagram late in the afternoon (3-5 pm), “liking” will be slow. But, if I post an image mid-morning (10 am-12 pm) or in the evening (8-10pm), it will receive a lot of “likes” really quickly. So, for me timing has become almost intuitive.

    I also think the BBC article “Why journalists should break news on Twitter” article is really relevant. Social media platforms like Twitter, as the article states, consists of a “hierarchical media system in the hands of the few” that “collides with a networked media system open to all.” To cut back on mass hysteria and so-called citizen journalism in breaking news situations, I believe it would be beneficial to all–both journalists and non-journalists–if journalists always tweeted breaking news first. This way, journalists would be getting ahead of the situation and the hysteria, and therefore have more control over it.

  8. Clutter Mama says:

    Although I have studied social media for the last few years, I have to admit that I have really only explored it for classes. Up until this class, I still had the “egg” for my picture on Twitter. I am excited for this opportunity to develop this skill so that I can hopefully have a presence on Twitter. These articles are a great set of references to use when crafting Tweets and other social media posts.
    Social media is no longer something people use in their spare time. It is now an integral part of our society. There are very few business that operate without any kind of online presence. It is obvious that advertisers and marketers have long figured this out. Journalists must embrace it as well because it is here to stay.
    In the article about breaking news on Twitter, Hermida states it perfectly,
    “The guidance for journalists not to break news on Twitter is based on a flawed understanding of today’s media ecosystem.”
    Microblogging is available to almost anyone, so we all, especially journalists, must make strides to use it responsibly. Briggs discusses the 80/20 rule (p. 68), advising 80% of content should contribute to the community in some way, and on 20% should be self-promoting. I think this is a great rule of thumb to keep in mind while posting.

  9. All these read and responds are making me think so far into platforms and technologies I use everyday. I am starting to learn more about them then I probably would have ever researched on my own so this is getting very interesting. Briggs explained microblogging’s rapid growth through the fact that it is “the ease of publishing, combined with the ease of consuming.” Twitter has made microblogging so popular that it isn’t even referred to as microblogging anymore. We don’t realize we are microblogging when we are because we’ve come into microblogging through the fun of Twitter. Between all of the readings, I have basically come to a conclusion regarding the best way to use Twitter for promotion and captivating audiences’ attention purposes. “Best practices for journalists” explained how important strategic hashtag use is and that live tweeting keeps readers connected to what your interests and topics are. Social Media Today’s article focused on making sure your tweets have a direct call to action and punctuation where necessary. Then Briggs said, to be relevant and timely, informative, instructive, and reflect your personality in your posts are some of the best practices. I think all of those suggestions are strong ones. I think those are all things that can help bloggers microblog their way to more views and engagement from their audience.

  10. Laura Andrea says:

    The importance and impact of Twitter is undeniable and their role in journalism and news is vital. As Briggs mentions in the chapter, Twitter and other microblogging platforms, have created a live web which allows us to consume news as it’s being made. Not only does this keep the publics more informed but it makes the information more easily verifiable. It makes news outlets accountable for what they are posting and how they are posting it. A couple of this week’s articles are about how to create the perfect headline for these platforms and they show how a single word can change the range of the story’s reach. Every single word we use in both our headlines for articles and the posts in which we share them have tremendous impact on how they are perceived. These platforms give a voice to the people to call out when journalists are doing a subpar job and an opportunity for growth and change.

  11. lindseybaatz says:

    The article from buffer is really helpful, and I bookmarked it for future use. I found it interesting that “blog” was one of the most retweetable words.It was also interesting how numbers should be used in blog titles. You should use digits instead of spelling out the number, and you should also put the digit at the beginning of the sentence.

    Briggs suggested that 80% of content should be about the community, and 20% should be about you. This coincides to what we have learned so far in class. As we continue learning, I am understanding this rule even more.

    Social media has become a science of it’s own. You really have to test and experiment with different strategies.

  12. The Buffer article reminded me of what Thomas McBee spoke to us about when he visited at the beginning of the semester. I also really appreciated the infographics in the social media today article, particularly because I help create a lot of the content for the Eberly College’s social media, and it made me feel good to see some of the thing we’re doing in those graphics.

    I also agree with the article suggesting that journalists break news on Twitter. I get most of my breaking news headlines through AP News and NYTimes notifications, but I often check Twitter to see what others are saying/sharing, and tend to read the article that seems to be floating around the most. I’ve also found myself following journalists who live tweet or whose names seem to pop up on my timeline frequently, so I also agree with the establishing credibility comment.

    The article about what makes a good tweet said that the worst thing a person can do on Twitter is being boring. I think that’s interesting, especially because I sometimes struggle with trying to make a release we’re promoting sound interesting while still being brief, to fit it into 140 characters (it’s usually about a physics professor). I also wholeheartedly agree with the comment about using too many hashtags–two is plenty, in my opinion.

    I’m not sure this fits into what Briggs describes as building a network, but at work I like to use TweetDeck to create columns with different hashtags and keywords. For instance, I have a “#wvu21” column so we can watch for people talking about being accepted into the University, and be able to congratulate and engage with them. I have “wvu eberly” so that I can watch for people talking about the College, and I have columns similar to “wvu chemistry,” “wvu philosophy,” and “wvu forensics” to see what people are saying about the different majors we offer. I’m not sure if this counts as a network, but it helps to organize different mini communities around the University.

  13. ashleyconleyyy says:

    Social media is so incredibly important in today’s society. Almost everyone is on social media, creating one large melting pot of people talking about different things pretty much as soon as they happen and sharing a variety of thoughts online for the world to see.

    After reading the piece on Why journalists should break news on Twitter, I came to the conclusion that there’s a thin line when deciding whether or not you should “break” news on Twitter. Of course it’s always great to be the first to break news, but what if you’re not accurate because you don’t have all the facts right away? You have to make the right decisions in a short amount of time. This is one of the hardest parts of being a journalist, especially when it comes to social media.

    In chapter 2 of Journalism Next, Briggs suggests that we ask ourselves “what can you ask or answer?” when preparing to tweet. Journalists should make sure that their tweets are relevant and will be beneficial to their followers. Are you answering an important question? Are you tweeting information that’s necessary and that needs to be known? Are you asking something in the proper way to get the right answer in return? Briggs suggests that these questions will help a future journalist learn the Twitter ropes.

  14. crnolder says:

    In accordance with what we’re discussing this week, I will be sure to keep this post short and sweet. As emphasized in the Brigg’s chapter, concise and rapid posting is an effective tool for journalists and reporters. In the modern information age, where anything and everything is available worldwide within seconds on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, consumers possess a prioritization that didn’t exist when the availability of information was much lower. This prioritization that allows consumers to pick and choose what information they would like to read forces journalists to use different tactics to capture an audience.

    One such tactic is microblogging: posting concisely and rapidly. Microblogging allows journalists to get information out in a quick and engaging way. A major part of microblogging is a strong headline. The Buffer Social article explained the importance of a strong, engaging headline and how to develop one because ultimately that’s what someone is going to read first. A quality blog can be overlooked if its headline doesn’t grab the reader’s attention. Another factor to microblogging is posting often. As the guidelines from Twitter stated, research shows that those who post more often gain a greater following (which in my opinion is a good example of the exposure effect from psychology).

    Being limited to 140 characters or less makes Twitter a prime microblogging platform. In order to post effectively, a journalist must put a lot of thinking and strategy behind each tweet. A journalist must always consider “how can I relay all this information in a way the reader will be intrigued with only a few sentences?”

  15. Social media, and more importantly Twitter, are extremely important to world of journalism and blogging. Personally I became more interested in blogging and following blogs because of Twitter. It is an easy way to stay connected with blogs and to get information about a community you are following.

    Headlines are very important when it comes to social media. A lot of people give criticism for so called “click-bait” articles, but these headlines are what draw many readers in. A good headline is essential to getting a reader to click on a story via social media. It goes back to our speakers earlier in the semester, a headline is almost the most important part of the story. You can write an amazing story but if it has a bad headline and people don’t want to click on it because of the headline, then the story is pointless.

    Twitter is also a great place to gain a network of followers and makes it easier for a story to get clicks and impressions. If you gain a following and you post a story more people will see it and share it or retweet it which will lead to more people seeing your story so it is important to gain a network on social media to help your stories be seen.

  16. zamuhammad says:

    I believe that microblogging has become a social norm in today’s society. On Twitter being limited to 140 characters, each tweet has to be concise. Journalist should break news on twitter because it gets out to the world faster. There are more people on social media to see breaking news post then those who are waiting for it to come out in the Newspaper. Journalist should make their tweet worth reading.

  17. dshedrick says:

    Would just like to mention that I am incredibly disgruntled because my computer disconnected from the Internet when I pressed submit (ON TIME, I WAS ON TIME) the first time on this comment and it didn’t save anything. So, now I will try to remember the excellent points I made on that first failed try. P.S. I hate Comcast.
    When young people of today are polled, most say that Snapchat is their favorite social media platform. Frankly, I do not understand how this is possible when Twitter is an option. Twitter is undoubtedly my favorite social media network; I can spend hours (maybe even days) getting caught up in the endless scrolling. Twitter allows snippets of innumerable diverse voices to be heard, from most timely to least. Mindless thoughts of friends, top news stories, and to the second updates on global events are all at thumb’s reach, a link away.
    For these reasons, it is of utmost importance for journalists to utilize this medium, and there are many ways to optimize their performance. Many of these are explored in chapter three of Briggs and in the online readings for this week. Simply posting on social media isn’t enough to get content actually viewed in today’s oversaturated media; a journalist has to exercise a lot of strategic planning in order for their post to have maximum impact.
    I was really interested in the infographic on the post about how to craft the perfect social media post. I never realized it before, but the criteria suggested for each of the social media networks were spot on – I definitely like and share content that meet those specifications more than other content. Another aspect that was emphasized in addition to the pointed content and headlines was curating a network on social media. Both Briggs and the online reading suggested reposting other sources that posted content that the target audience would be interested in, as well as interacting with those sources personally.

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