Twitter as a (mandatory) journalistic tool

Twitter as a Journalistic Tool For class on Tuesday, Aug. 30: After reading the assigned portions of Briggs in Ch. 2, post a 100-to-150-word comment on this post answering this question: How did the reading 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, Aug. 29.

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

  1. I found the chapter on blogging and microblogging interesting for several reasons. For one I don’t currently have my own blog, but the author makes a good case for why all journalists should have them. At the moment, I find that it’s much faster and easier to just Tweet about what I find interesting throughout the day. I do consider myself fairly active on Twitter, and found that I do follow the 80-20 rule. My feed is about 80 percent sharing other content and 20 percent sharing my own. However, I think that I could do a better job of interacting with other users about different topics rather than just sharing articles. I also had not previously considered interacting with followers about projects or stories I’m working on prior to publishing (for example asking my followers what questions I should ask before a specific interview), and I hope to start using that as a tool in the future.

  2. What changed my perspective on Twitter is knowing if I follow people they may actually follow me back. I try to have more followers than followings to make my Twitter seem legit. It does make since that microblogging will become a natural skill in any work force. Whenever I tweet, it is usually something fun or random and does not receive a lot of attention. When I was tweeting while watching the Dallas shooting event on the news, I had constant likes and retweets because it was breaking news. Even though I was not there to witness the event, I wanted to give some information to my followers if they were in a situation to not see what was happening. I will participate in the following activity to follow at least 20 people a day/week and see how many follow back.

  3. Chapter 2 of Briggs’ book discusses the fundamentals of blogging and microblogging in relation to digital journalism. As my own “brand” as a journalist, it’s important to be accessible through all channels of media in order to make myself more marketable; while I do not have a personal blog showcasing my interests outside of my work or portfolio, I do think it is an interesting concept that I should add to my professional website on a new page/tab in the future so future hires can “humanize” me and have an “essence” of my style. Currently, the only media platforms where I express my personal opinions/lifestyle are Snapchat and occasionally on Twitter. On my public Snapchat, I’ll share my interests, hobbies or anything entertaining I’m up to in addition to sharing news from my work at The Daily Campus. On Twitter, I have only expressed personal opinions on the Dallas shootings and news from The Daily Campus. In the future, I plan to share more personal opinions in hopes to gain more engagement on that platform, as I have relatively high engagement on Snapchat when sharing journalism content.

  4. If I’m being honest, I never have liked Twitter. I rarely check the new one I made last year, and I never post other than links to other articles. I often don’t even check out who follows me- I just have never really “vibed” with Twitter. Obviously, after reading Brigg’s chapter about Twitter, my social media practices are going to have to change.
    I never understood the importance of Twitter and the impact that microblogging has on the journalistic world. I have always learned and heard about how people in the journalism field are having to re-learn how to market their articles and how to be concise with their ideas to adhere to an audience that likes short blurbs, links, and straight-and-to-the-point news, but I never understood just how impactful Twitter is. Maybe this is because I have never used it to its full advantage, but I now realize that not only is it important in finding out about other news, but it is important in branding oneself. I never thought of Twitter as showing one’s personality or as a form of personal branding, but I now realize that is one of the only social networks where you can really not only reach a ton of people, but post things in a way that attract more readers while getting your articles and views out there.
    I also was surprised on how quickly Twitter grew- I forgot that I lived for about 14 years before Twitter existed and this article made me think about how the media and how the news differed before Twitter existed, showing that it really did have a huge impact on journalism that I had never thought about before.

  5. Twitter is much more powerful than I originally thought. I have never been a twitter user, but through a few classes at SMU, I’ve learned that it is a necessity for journalists to remain active on the site. I have always avoided twitter. I didn’t think I had anything important to share and didn’t find it necessary to keep updated with the news in this fashion. Microblogging allows constant connection with your followers. I learned through the reading that the more you post, the more you receive. Even though I don’t want to be a journalist, I feel like these tips can apply to other social media sites. I am interested in pursuing a career in fashion, and instagram is a useful site for bloggers, designers, and retail companies. The more you post, the more your followers remain engaged and interested in what you have to share.

  6. Before reading the assigned chapters in Briggs’ book, I had never thought of the importance of Twitter, but, afterwards, I realized that using Twitter consists of more than just putting 140 characters out onto the web.

    For starters, Twitter allows for its users to be innovative and creative, and requires journalists to practice concise writing, something that But more importantly, Twitter creates an new type of e-portfolio for journalists, sort of like an online journal. This allows for journalists, especially young, student-journalists like ourselves, to have a plethora of work ready for future employers and readers to explore and understand who we are. This leads to another topic the reading helped me understand, which is the importance of Twitter when developing your own brand and online identity. I never realized before the reading that Twitter could define your online presence, and that the 140 count snippets could drastically impact your professionalism and online personality.

  7. The landscape of journalism has changed for the better with somewhat recent technological developments like Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and other social media platforms. By utilizing these platforms in a journalistic way, reporters are able to report breaking news more rapidly, connect with their audience in an interactive way, and publish news in a way that traditional news outlets cannot. Twitter is especially helpful to journalists by providing an open forum for conversation, content creation, firsthand accounts, and so much more. Journalists on Twitter and other microblogging outlets are able to connect with the audience on a level that cannot be reached by print or broadcast journalism. It is important to practice microblogging as a journalist to establish a relationship with the audience that offers an inside look at the reporting process, and to report news as quickly and concisely as possible so the audience continues to follow.

  8. I created a twitter account my senior year of high school because it was the new, cool social media app at the time. I used it for about 2 1/2 years off and on and then got tired of it and deleted the app from my phone. I never used it as a place to get news or for anything other than communicating with friends. Its different than texting or calling because it doesn’t have to be immediate which is why so many millennials use it. We are constantly on our phones but we don’t necessarily feel like responding to someone right away. It gives us the ” ambient awareness/intimacy” that we want but not as personal as calling.
    Until reading this chapter, I did not realize how much Twitter has an effect on the world of journalism. Blogging and microblogging are becoming more and more popular, especially on Twitter and I never really thought about it until now. Why go online to a news website when you can hop on twitter and read the same information in less than 200 words. As Briggs said on page 55, “anybody can contribute something with a 140-character limit”.

  9. I created a Twitter during high school when the app first became popular among people my age. I used it mainly to tweet to and from my friends and follow funny accounts, but never really got into it the way I did other social media sites. For example, I check Snapchat and Instagram numerous times daily to catch up with friends and see what those I follow have posted. However, Twitter has always been an app I just log into when I want to post something, not catch up with others or get news. Until reading this chapter, I wasn’t fully aware of the journalistic advantage Twitter provides users with. While I knew that it was necessary to be professional on social media, I didn’t understand the importance of creating and cultivating my own personal Twitter. From a Journalistic perspective, I now understand why this is so crucial. Twitter is a great way to create your own personal brand online and also interact with others in the field. As someone who recently began blogging and has been working on creating their own personal brand, this chapter was especially interesting. I created a Twitter for my blog but much like my personal Twitter, I haven’t kept up with it. I now recognize the importance of this as well as transferring this knowledge to other social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

  10. I had mixed feelings on this reading. In my head, I was trying to sort through how to manage a personal and professional Twitter, especially at college. Personally, I keep my Twitter mainly for news articles, but then I also occasionally post personal tweets as well, which makes me wonder where is the balance between too personal and friendly personal. I know some reporters who I follow at times do post tweets about their personal lives. I also had mixed feelings on the author’s tips to follow everyone who follows you. From a strictly logistics view, I find a person less credible when they follow around as many people who follow them. I do like his point, though, about when a person follows you, then it’s like ignoring them if you don’t follow them back. From my experiences though, I think this is the case.

  11. My Twitter page has long gathered digital dust since high school. Then, I would tweet such trivialities as Frank Ocean song lyrics or annoyances of the day. My vague recollections of the tweets is probably why I haven’t visited my page in a while. It’s actually been so long I don’t even remember my twitter handle.

    However, after reading chapter 2, I realize it is time to face my embarrassment and use twitter again. This time, in a professional context. I never thought of twitter as a way to build my brand or even serve as a connecting point with a potential audience.

    For example, this summer, I filmed a news package about a protest following the deadly downtown shooting. I wanted to share it with an audience but realized that Facebook was not really a wide enough scope nor the audience I was looking to reach. Twitter would have been the perfect solution but I didn’t even think of it.

    Journalists have found a great network in Twitter, a great way to share and learn information. In fact, Briggs mentions, the more one contributes the more one gets out of it.

    It is time for me to start on my professional twitter account, build my brand and connect with a larger audience. It’s such a fantastic and crucial medium that I should have had a professional account even coming into college.But it’s never too late to learn.

  12. Personally Twitter is not my favorite site for social media, especially for getting the news/ getting information. I think Twitter could be well used in mircoblogging for its speed and many other purposes. The idea of twitter to me sounds like a great idea for the purpose of spreading the news with short descriptions and having the option to add links. However, with all the options in the social media world, twitter is not as popular especially with the younger generations who need to be informed with what is going on in the world. I think there could be a better way of connected the younger generations with the news in a more interactive way/visualizing appealing.

    When blogging I agree with the book and how it is important how your audience respond to your posts. The people that see your post and feel the need to share their thoughts, means that your posts are making people think. Making people think is and even taking action after reading a post is something that I think is important.

  13. I have been semi-active on Twitter for about a year, but this chapter definitely made me realize that I need to step up my game. I liked how Briggs addressed the importance of the relationship between the microblogger and his/her audience, because the audience can improve a microblogger’s online presence significantly. He also mentioned how Clive Thompson said “Each little update–each individual bit of social information–is insignificant on its own, even supremely mundane. But taken together, over time, the little snippets coalesce into a surprisingly sophisticated portrait of your friends’ and family members’ lives, like thousands of tiny dots making a pointillist painting.” Modern multimedia is like a constant stream of ambient information, that ultimately means nothing unless journalists share it. It is the job of journalists to take to Twitter and other social media to spread meaningful information to their audiences (and each audience determines what is “meaningful” to them). I think I need to start sharing more information with my Twitter audience, and also start actively trying to grow my follower base. With everything that goes on, I know I can find time to share what is important to me, my followers, and news in general.

  14. I originally agreed with the reading when I first read through it. Yes, having a twitter gives you access to a lot of different information especially being a journalist, and it is also important to have a web presence. Making a twitter account for a class has made me download the app and check twitter maybe once in a blue moon (after I check all of my other social media feeds), but it does not feel like second nature. I believe that the millennial generation may have made twitter accounts when it first became popular which was when we were in high school, and we did not use it for news purposes. For me, I’ve always thought of twitter as being a fun outlet of social media. Having said that though, I do think it is important as journalists to establish a presence on social media platforms and online in general. Although, blogs and social media accounts have become so oversaturated with so much content that it becomes less special and maybe even useless at times. If you’re a journalist in this modern day, I think you should try to find a balance online and pick your poison wisely.

  15. I have mixed feelings on Twitter – personally, I don’t post on a private twitter, however I will just look through my timeline and see posts from bloggers or celebrities that I follow. In a sport management class I had to post 5 tweets every day (I did this from my professional twitter). While I found this to be a sometimes tedious task, I realized the importance of Twitter as a networking tool (as well as media platform). I found that the more I tweeted and hashtaged, my reach grew, as more people were following me and engaging with my tweets.

    I feel that Briggs’ reading aligned with my idea that Twitter is a great tool to help you reach out to a lot of people, as can be valuable to journalists. You are privy to lots of information and opinions from around the world, and also have the opportunity to get quick feedback about your work.

  16. Twitter and I have an off-again, on-again relationship. In my personal circles, the social media service was hot in high school, but lost steam in college; I grew bored following people I was no longer consistently interacting with, and chose instead to follow creative or celebrity accounts, from which I also soon grew tired of because of the lack of personal connection.
    However, my newfound interest in tweeting as a journalism student and professional combines the best of those two worlds. Briggs’ quotes and ‘Drilling Down’ segments explain the important balance of following popular accounts to draw inspiration and information from as well as your lesser-known audience to interact with in order to both give what they want and get what you didn’t even know you needed. From social capital to good karma, Twitter is a microblog anyone can get behind, and it’s growing stronger with every hashtag.

  17. As a new blogger myself, I found it interesting that “a good blog is a continuing conversation.” This struck a chord with me because blogging is a great way to get conversation started and gain support through continuous posting. With that being said, the reading changed the way I look at Twitter. Chapter 2 says Twitter is a microblog because it allows users to give quick updates which have the ability to continue conversations. If professional journalists are to use Twitter in its microblog form, it’s important to be able to “learn the language” as Briggs says. This changed my outlook because it shows that Twitter is much more than just posting a thought, it’s connecting with readers and providing relevant information that continues a conversation.

  18. I began my journey with Twitter, years ago, when it blew up and it was the new cool thing to do. Personally, it has never really captured my attention – I’ve never found it as useful as many in my generation, mainly because I am more visual person and I do not like to really share extremely personal thoughts on social media. In fact, I’ve always thought of it as the place where drama goes down and where you can find out how delicious your friend’s Chipotle meal was – which has truthfully never been of my interest. Coming to college, I was quickly thankful for spilling none of my teenage thoughts onto the social network. However, over the past years, I’ve seen the shifts in content. Twitter users seem to be more interested and in the loop of what’s going on in the world. Reading the chapter, has made me see the importance of microblogging and building an audience by being consistent. The more you share content, the more people will want to follow you and want to hear what you have to say. As a journalist, I found the reading very useful and a great guidance to begin building branding myself.

  19. I first created a twitter account in high school when the app became popular a few years ago, mostly as a way to communicate and share things with my friends. Once Instagram became popular around 2014 however, I drifted away from the twitter platform. While I did enjoy twitter while I was an active user, I often became frustrated it for two reasons. First I thought several accounts, both friends and professionals, overused the platform making it difficult to keep up and overwhelming to check after not opening the app for a while. Secondly, while linking articles sometimes opened me up to interesting reads, I was often just looking for a brief info on a topic, not a link taking me to a full article. Instagram solved both of these problems for me and also provided a more visual look at the news. After reading this article however, I did understand why as a young journalist I should consider reopening my twitter page. No other social media site provides a better way to report breaking news as twitter does, and as journalist this feature is extremely important. Also, my favorite idea this chapter brought up was that twitter was the first time journalists could learn exactly what his or her readers were interested in. No longer does a journalist, or any type of professional looking to grow his or her own twitter page, have to guess what type of information or subjects his or her readers enjoys. He or she can now look at exactly what his or her followers have been posting or retweeting and use this information to help improve his or her own content.

  20. While I have contemplated starting a fashion blog for years, I have always found myself unsure that I have the time to dedicate what I believe it would take to produce quality content. While having a successful Twitter is not exactly a replacement for a fashion blog, I do see how it could be an efficient way for a busy journalism student to share their opinions and show their growth as a student. I agree that blogging is not “magic” and sometimes student blogs fail to demonstrate what a successful writer and mature thinker that person is. A twitter can then be a fabulous substitute for someone who does not have as much time to devote to a blog. Having a great twitter I would argue is easier than having a great blog. Also, if you wanted to start an actual blog in the future, having an presence and creating a brand microblogging would give you a leg up.

    As a fashion media, art history, and studio art student, I have personally never felt that having a twitter would greatly benefit my future career endeavors, nor has it really interested me. I am much more of a visual person!

  21. Personally, I enjoy using twitter as a tool for journalistic purposes. I completely agree that the app is a must in todays news cycle simply because it is efficient, cost effective and easily obtainable to others. As we discussed in class, it’s hard to keep the full attention of the average person as we have continuously been conditioned to focus on multiple things at a time throughout or busy lives. Twitter allows us to release information in a concise yet immediate form. Twitter, for me, keeps me in the loop with my followers and also within the fashion and cheerleading industry. Not only can I get updated on the latest trends with a push of a button, but I can also engage in short conversations and get feedback from things I tweet. Although I feel I have a good grasp of the way twitter works, I want to learn more about planning my tweets to create a more consistent flow of information/content. This will allow my followers to understand my point of view and brand, while also staying relevant and encouraging more to follow.

  22. I love twitter! Always have, I guess some people don’t get it or don’t appreciate it but I bet its because they don’t understand it. I was really surprised, even last semester in Media Entrepreneurship, to learn how little most of my peers utilize Twitter! I think it’s great. It’s so different from all other social media, I would argue it’s better! You don’t get a rant like you do on Facebook or just a picture like you do on IG, you get constant updates-personally, I like the ongoing tweets from people I follow, mostly my friends. When I went off to college, it was a major channel of keeping up with my friends and vice versa-we were always tweeting! So, this read was encouraging because it assured me I’m not crazy for being so in love with Twitter. It was very true and I agree with all of it. And I guess I always liked the idea of “microblogging” – blogging always seemed like a lot of work and Twitter provided a means to “blog” but in a short, simple, easy way!

  23. I actually have never had a twitter until making one for this class. It’s not that I don’t like twitter; I have just never felt the need for it in my own personal life. I keep up with everything I need via Facebook, Instagram, texting, FaceTime, and updates on my phone. I have never felt that I was “out of the loop” by not having a twitter. However, the reading made me realize the importance of having a twitter for professional reasons. The simplicity and flexibility advantages of twitter discussed in the reading was explained in a way that proves how important twitter is for journalism in today’s world. It is such a fast way for readers to get information; I now feel like I could fall behind in the professional world by not having a twitter. I probably still won’t use twitter for any personal aspects of my life, but I am very open to exploring and using twitter for professional endeavors.

  24. This reading changed my perspective on twitter because I never thought to use twitter to help you brand yourself, connect with different accounts/news organizations, and voice your opinions. I enjoy that twitter limits the characters you can write. It makes people become creative with their writing. It is short and to the point, and I favor that more than a long-winded paragraph on Facebook. I used twitter to keep up with my friends and follow funny accounts when it first launched. But now that I am in college it has come up in a few of my classes, therefore I made a professional twitter. Therefore I am excited to utilize twitter as much as I can this semester. Keeping up with different journalist and my peers seems a good way to start.

  25. I primarily use Twitter as a tool for what Briggs calls “ambient awareness.” I use Twitter as a means to maintain constant connection without direct communication. After reading, I realized that using Twitter in this way leaves out a very valuable interaction that I don’t take advantage of. Interaction through Twitter allows for opportunities to network and communicate with others in a way that was not possible before. Twitter could provide valuable and instant feedback for my writing in a way I had not considered. I need to increase my own engagement to get the most out of Twitter.

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