This semester, our class will use Twitter as a way to start some of our course material conversation outside the classroom as well as continue conversations beyond the class session.
This infographic will help get you started.
- If you already have a Twitter account that you want to use for this class, great. You’re done. If you don’t want to use your personal account for this class (which is fine) or don’t already have a Twitter account, proceed to step 2.
- Visit Twitter. Click “Sign up now.”
- Enter your Full Name (you can use a pseudonym), User Name (you can choose anything you want, but it is better to choose something short), Password, and Email Address (you can use your Temple email or something else). Create your account.
- The email address you entered will receive a confirmation email. Click the link in that email to confirm the registration process. Now you’re officially on Twitter!
- You have the option to customize your Twitter account by uploading a photo of either you or something else, filling out a brief bio, and modifying the settings. None of this is required, do with these settings what you wish.
IMPORTANT: In your Settings (found in the drop-down menu in the top right of your screen: click on the gear icon to see the menu), you have the option to protect your tweets. Do not protect your tweets! If you protect your tweets, they will not show in the class hashtag list.
You can access and post to Twitter in several ways, all of which are fine for the purposes of this class. Some options:
- The web: You log into Twitter and post things from the internet using a computer/tablet/smartphone.
- A computer Twitter application: You log into Twitter and post things from a software program you’ve downloaded, using a computer/tablet. There are a bunch of free Twitter apps you can download to your computer. Some options include Tweetdeck and HootSuite.
- A smartphone app: You log into Twitter and post things from an app on your phone. There are a bunch of free Twitter apps you can download to your phone. Check your apps store for options.
- Text messaging: You log into Twitter and post things using text messages on your phone. Twitter text messages work like your regular text messages and are subject to your phone plan’s text messaging charges. If you have unlimited text messaging on your phone plan, this is not a huge deal. If you don’t have unlimited text messaging, this will get very expensive and I recommend one of the other options listed above. I don’t want you to have to spend money on this assignment.
How to Tweet
- Type your tweet in whichever client you’ve selected (web, Tweetdeck, Twitterific, text message). Twitter forces you to be concise, as you only have 140 characters.
- Somewhere in your tweet, include OUR COURSE HASHTAG (#MSP4541) so that anyone who searches for that tag will see your tweets.
- For practice, send a tweet with your course hashtag right now, telling us a) what your favorite TV show is, and/or b) why you don’t watch TV.
What to Tweet:
- For this class, you’ll need to tweet a minimum of twice a week asking a question about the course material (readings, media, etc.) before each class session. You can also tweet additional comments, questions, and links as appropriate.
- In every tweet, you’ll need to include our course hashtag (#MSP4541) for your tweet to appear in our feed and for you to earn credit for it. Please read this post by film studies professor Kelli Marshall for an explanation of hashtags, how to use them, and why they are important.
- As media studies professor David Silver states in his blog post “The Difference Between Thick and Thin Tweets,” tweets can be “thick” or “thin.” Thin tweets convey one level of information, and are usually declarative statements (ex: “The reading for today is hard”). Thick tweets, on the other hand, “convey two or more [layers of information], often with help from a hyperlink” (ex: Wondering how a discussion of labor politics fits into the analysis of mobile media history: http://tinyurl.com/9f2zqbk). For this class, post “thick” tweets to keep us engaged and participate in a public online conversation about exciting issues related to mobile media. Here is also another excellent blog post by Kelli Marshall on the difference between thick and thin tweets in the classroom.
The Public Nature of Twitter
- Every tweet posted to Twitter that is not “protected” is publicly viewable to anyone with the internet. Like our course website and blog, our course Twitter feed is a representation of our class. Please be mindful of this when posting. You are responsible for the things you post online in the same way as you are responsible for the things you say in the classroom, write in your assignments, and shout aloud in the middle of campus.
- Things NOT to post on Twitter or our course blog: You should never post someone’s personal information online. Refer to your classmates and others by their online usernames, not their “real” names unless they tell you otherwise. Additionally, hate speech (including but not limited to racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and classism) will not be tolerated and you will face reprimand for this. Disagreement, debate, and critique are great; being jerky is not.
- You can follow people, organizations, hashtags, and other entities on Twitter that relate to this course. Wired, Slate, Social Media News, and TechCrunch are great places to start.
- Twitter Basics
- Twitter Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Use Hashtags
- Why Twitter: An excellent collection of articles on the uses of Twitter in the college classroom.
- Thank you to Kelli Marshall, Alexis Lothian, and Cathy Hannabach for their wonderful inspiration for this assignment and this page of explanation.