Twitter as a (mandatory) journalistic tool

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool For class on Tuesday, Jan. 26: After reading the assigned portions of Briggs Ch. 2, post a 100-to-150-word comment on this post answering this question: How did the chapter change the way you think about how you use (or don’t use) Twitter as a professional journalistic tool? Be honest and specific. This is worth 5 class participation points and is due no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25.

14 thoughts on “Twitter as a (mandatory) journalistic tool

  1. This chapter made me think in more detail about twitter. I always sort of treated twitter as more of a professional outlet but I never considered the idea of microblogging with it. When I would tweet earlier I would never be really engaging in it and I never thought of twitter as a back and forth with an audience or a way to find story ideas. When I used twitter for my high school’s newspaper I never thought about how journalists should create a human touch with it. Now I see how successful news sources on twitter individualize each post and the individual reporters circulate posts as well.

  2. I found this chapter really interesting… When I first started using Twitter, I used it as my personal “diary” per say, and would tweet about what I was doing, feeling, eating, whatever! Now, I realize as I become closer to having a professional career, I should probably use Twitter for more professional reasons, like tweeting about the news, what is going on in my career, and anything else that is affecting my personal life in a professional way. I realize that, as much as I liked being able to “vent” on social media, its more important to present myself to the public in a professional way.

  3. For me, I have always used Twitter to find interesting stories to read, or to keep up with breaking stories, unless assigned by a professor to use it otherwise. I’ve never thought I’ve had anything worth sharing, but after reading this chapter I see how simple it is to build a community through microblogging. Because tweets are so short, it is less intimidating to find something worth posting. I also liked what Briggs said about using it to find possible sources for a story and figure out how the public feels about certain things. Twitter is much more efficient than knocking on doors and placing random phone calls. Finally, what also stood out, was what Briggs said about keeping it personal. Twitter is a way to connect with your audience in a way that hasn’t been available in the past, so keeping your account in line with your personality is important.

  4. This chapter about twitter definitely helped me grasp how I should be using twitter. Throughout high school, I used a private twitter to mainly communicate with friends, similar to a Facebook status. However since joining the journalism school I have tried to use my professional twitter, but have never really felt as though I knew how. I found the 80 – 20 rule from the reading very helpful and smart. I have not promoted my recent stories as well as I should. I also think I could contribute more to the twitter conversation, other than just a retweet or an article link. This chapter helped me realize I need to spend more time reading my twitter feed and searching for more inspiration and opportunities to engage from the people I follow.

  5. I thought that the Tracy Records story was very inspiring. It is hard to believe that her and her husband were able to quit their day jobs to rely on salaries from their blog. Before I read this chapter, I considered blogs to be a hobby or creative outlet. I never imagined that a blog could be so lucrative and in demand. I guess the reason I never followed blogs for “news” was because in my mind I assumed the author’s had a subjective approach to news or information. I could never tell what is real vs what is fabricated or opinion whereas if I visited a verified news channel I would automatically trust them. I’d like to spend more time building the blog I created (for SMU assignments) and post more original content. I also need to create a Twitter presence.

  6. Learning about Twitter from a journalistic approach allowed me to appreciate the platform from a different angle. I have always considered myself a more visual person and therefore refrained from using Twitter as a means of social interaction. I never realized the large impact it had on the communications industry and how journalism has benefited from its features. The fact that Twitter has been a key player in the evolution of blogging to microblogging shows how useful it is as a way to output information quickly. Twitter has compressed the world of blogging journalism into an “instant message” conversation between readers and journalist. The conversation is an endless stream of information leading to a more accurate and digestible news story, which is ultimately the true goal of journalism.

  7. To me this chapter solidified everything I have been taught thus far in school by my journalism professors. I had never used Twitter before my SMU student career, so my initial thoughts were “AH MICROBLOGGING.” I have always used it as a way to share professional articles I find relevant to the time, or as a way to promote my own work, both written and videoed. However, this article really has emphasized that importance and made me realize I should probably step up my game. As I am promoting my professional thoughts and skills, I must focus on every detail and make every character matter.

  8. This reading assignment has completely changed my perspective on microblogging through Twitter. I have distanced myself from this site since its origin because I felt it was a vain practice to post one’s every move on social media. My original opinion of Twitter was shaped from my experience as a naive high school student. Not much changed after spending three years in the Cox School of Business. It was not until last semester that I began to learn of the crucial nature this outlet serves for news, and journalism as a whole, while seeking my Fashion Media major and journalism minor. After looking at Twitter through the eyes of Briggs, I have come to appreciate the importance of this tool in branding oneself for the future. It plays a vital role for people looking to expand their presence and build an online network. It is also an effective way of gathering relevant information in real time. The pace of our current world requires a live feed and effective communication.

  9. Over the summer I made a Twitter while I was in Basic. I became really into using it as the way to get my news from multiple outlets in one place. I was pretty active over the summer but once school started I wasn’t required to post for any classes so I didn’t. I really only use Twitter to get news. I thought it was interesting when Briggs talked about how it could be used for sources. Earlier this year I was at Nordstrom and the store went on lockdown. Nobody knew what was happening, when I looked it up, witnesses had been posting about it on Twitter. I noticed that multiple journalists had tweeted them asking if they could interview them. It was crazy to see how easily these journalists could connect with their audience to find sources. This chapter has definitely just reinforced that Twitter can be used as a powerful journalistic tool and that I need to work on consistently using mine from a professional standpoint.

  10. This assignment definitely changed the way I think about blogging and microblogging. First, I didn’t even know Twitter was defined as microblogging! I have never been very into Twitter, and have steered away from it as it is my least favorite form of social media. I really didn’t see the point in it, except for breaking news. After reading this chapter I really realize the potential Twitter has in growing a brand or communicating with an audience. I love how it talked about how to build your network. I would have never thought about following people on a regular basis before even posting to gain a following, but it all makes sense! I want to go into fashion journalism and after this reading I do agree that it can be a very powerful journalistic tool. Especially in that field of work! I definitely feel the need to start using my Twitter more often now.

  11. I like the way Briggs explained the success of Twitter; he attributed it to “the ease of publishing, combined with the ease of consuming” (54). Publishing on Twitter is easy because you don’t have to navigate a hierarchy of editors, you don’t have to worry about organization, and you can publish on the go. Consuming on Twitter is easy because all the information is in one place and the length is easy to digest.

    The way Briggs distinguished Twitter from other sites was also interesting to me. “Google and Wikipedia have become great reporting tools, but neither is fast enough to match Twitter.” We think of Google and Wikipedia as the masters of information, but Twitter controls the NOW. Briggs also mentioned how companies use Twitter to read customers’ reactions to their products. I’ve taken this tool for granted. It got me thinking about how difficult is must have used to be to collect data like that before the age of Twitter.

  12. I’ve always thought that my generation sort of missed the blogging era. When we were deemed “old enough” to use social media and the Internet, blogs were beginning to fall to the wayside in favor of shorter forms like Twitter. However, reading through this section, I realized how I was never really taught what it means to use Twitter. I followed people in pop culture I thought were interesting (one look through my feed and you’ll find I’m a Bachelor Franchise fanatic), but I’m very intrigued and inspired now to start using Twitter in more of a professional manner. However, it needs to be a professional one that also maintains my personality to an extent because I think, especially in journalism, it can be a great way to showcase your brand.

  13. We live in a fast paced and always changing social world. Social media has grown exponentially on the web and through mobile devices. These chapters reinforced the little bit I knew about the importance of Twitter as a journalistic tool. But as a student I do not use Twitter as much as I should. I learned about ambient awareness in this chapter which I previously knew nothing about. This awareness is the ability to maintain a connection with your followers without a direct communication tool. For example I will not check Twitter all day, but when I have time and do check it I can watch up on all that I missed throughout the day. It is a great way to learn what is going on without having to have direct contact.

  14. I’ve always been a big fan of Twitter. But I never actually focused on its journalistic purpose until this class. I have mostly used it as a personal brand-building site to help establish my voice and image since 2010 when I joined.

    I have always been big on finding new people to follow. I follow based on my interests: a top notch comedian, a snarky news feed, or my friends. But until I became a student in the journalism department, I often forgot the purpose of Twitter. Its purpose was, and is, to connect. It’s not solely for publishing and pushing content, like it states on page 60 in Journalism Next. So I have started to follow more newsfeeds, and keep an eye out for content that I feel would fit my personal brand and that would make sense for me to share. This chapter not only helped me determine how to integrate news content into my personal feed, but also showed me how to put my voice into the conversation, rather than having a one-sided conversation with myself and passive followers.

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