Assignment #5: Twitter Scavenger Hunt

It’s time! Every year, our class takes to the streets for a Twitter scavenger hunt. Thus far you’ve probably only used Twitter for personal posting (and some of you haven’t used it at all), but it’s a powerful tool for reporting and newsgathering, and the best way to learn about this is to do it. For the remainder of class today (Wednesday, February 8), you’re heading out into the world in teams of two (at least one of you needs a phone with the Twitter app) to find 10 things. You’ll need to complete the bulk of this assignment by the end of class.

IMPORTANT: To count, each tweet MUST include:

  • A photo
  • The number you are doing (e.g., 1. Joe Smith: “I love WVU”) – Without these, I can’t guess which entry you’re checking off (which means no credit)!
  • The hashtag: #WVUblogJ

So a sample tweet might look like this: “3. Prof. Biggins (Econ): It’s made protesting easier, but also more identifiable. #WVUblogJ”

Restrictions: No College of Media students, and please don’t all mob the same professor. No more than half can come from the same building, so don’t just hang around Evansdale Crossing or the Rec Center – try heading downtown!

FIRST!

Each member of your team must post an introductory tweet or two with a photo of your team so readers (and I) know what to expect. Don’t forget the course hashtag!

And now … the list!

  1. School spirit: Photo and quote from someone (not you or your partner) revealing school or civic spirit (what that means is up to you).
  2. Eating Up: Photo and quote (not you or your partner) from your favorite eating spot or watering hole on or near campus.
  3. Professor on the street. Photo and quote from a professor on campus. Ask them what role they think social media plays in our society today. Be sure you include the professor’s title and department.
  4. Student on the street. Photo and quote from a student (not you or your partner). Ask them where they get their news and if they use social media to keep up on the news. Be sure you include their year in school and major.
  5. Academic excellence. Photo and quote that reveals (you are going to have to be creative) how your school contributes to cutting edge research and/or learning.
  6. Scenic spot. Photo of your favorite scenic spot on or near campus.
    • 2016 rule: No photos of Woodburn Hall. We know! We’ve all seen it!
    • 2017 rule: No photos from the top of Evansdale Crossing. It’s very pretty, but I’ve seen enough of it.
  7. Little-known fact. Photo and detail of something you think many people might not know about your school or campus or city.
  8. Fanatic fans – Photo/quote from somebody asking for their prognosis on a WVU sport of your choice.
  9. Extracurricular extravaganza: Photo and quote/detail that exemplify some of the huge variety of clubs, organizations, etc. available to students at our university.
  10. WVU Weird: The strangest thing you can find. This one’s pretty open-ended, so be creative.

Extras! (for +0.5 each – only your first use gets the extra credit. These must also include both hashtags):

  • Use a microvideo app like Vine to provide interesting/funny/relevant information about your school .
  • Post 3-4 photos in a single tweet.
  • Incorporate other social media in meaningful ways to add value to your tweets.

DUE: You need to make most of your 10 tweets during our regular class time (10-1115a), and your team must be done by 1p today (one or two stragglers are acceptable). You’re expected to use class time to work on this, so if there’s a long delay to your start, it will affect your grade.

A Few Tips:

  • Think like a reporter. Have an eagle eye for the interesting, the important, the relevant, the unique, and the immediate. Double check your facts.
  • Think like a public relations professional. Show other people what’s cool about WVU.
  • Think like a storyteller. You may only have 140 characters in each tweet (actually less, once you subtract numbers, links and hashtags), but you can say a lot in a few words or using an image.
  • You may use more than one Tweet for each of the items below. Don’t overdo it, though, and don’t forget the #WVUblogJ hashtag for each!
  • 140 characters isn’t much. Try using other apps and tactics to allow you to say more.

This is going to seem a little strange to some of you, but the goal is to reveal to you the journalistic applications of Twitter. You need to be an observer, a reporter, and you can’t be afraid to accost people on the street for their opinions. You’ll provide perspective and voice, and you’ll tell a larger audience something about your subject (WVU, in this case) – make sure you’re thinking of them!

Looking Ahead: Storify

We’ll start this next week, but if you’d like to prepare in advance, it will include the following: a) All of your own Tweets, and b) Your top three favorite Tweets from your classmates. In this Storify, you’ll reflect on what you learned and observed from the experience.

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