Social Media Site Evaluations, Week #2
On Monday, we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the most important social media site, Facebook. The second in line of importance is Twitter. In my opinion, Twitter is the most misunderstood of the social media sites and for that reason, the most criticized and debated. Let’s try to fix any misconceptions of Twitter with some interesting social media experiments. Your job is to use Twitter by doing research as a silent participant, also known as a lurker; chart your progress in lurking and see what interesting things your research yields.
Creative Idea Gal’s Thoughts
I love Twitter. It is a fantastic social media site that doubles as a water cooler filled with silly chatter as well as a news-breaking source. Too often, people are either confused or impatient, thinking that Twitter will yield some magical information that will transform the world. Sorry, but it does not, although it is incredibly fascinating. Twitter is a lot like searching for gold the old-fashioned way. You have to swish around a lot of dull stones and dirt in your strainer to get to the golden nuggets of information, but they’re there!
I consistently encourage people to use Twitter to try to learn new things by researching. Twitter is filled with international users and newsy folks who are happy to share interesting data. Twitter is also known for its trending topics, many of which become so important that they yield real news stories. Yes, you will always see silly people barking because they can’t function without their coffee. You will see enough “goodnight, twitter” tweets to cover the globe. You’ll also see a lot of retweets of meaningless stuff. Try to ignore the dumb stuff and search for those golden nuggets. If you give them a chance, they may just educate or entertain you!
“With millions of Twitterers who mostly are making their tweets public, we are actually building a database of information.” – Darren Rowse, for TwiTip.com
“Since what is considered interesting is a matter of subjective preference, I have no problem skimming quickly through my Twitter feed (tweets) to find something I like.” – Amanda Socci, for Creative Idea Gal
Writing Prompt 041
- Step 1: If you have a Twitter handle, consider lurking on Twitter. Follow a bunch of people within your interests and do some research on any topic of your choice. If you do not have a Twitter handle, do some basic research.
- Step 2: Twitter feeds change every minute. Depending on how many people you follow, the quality of your feeds will change as well. Try to log into Twitter at different times of the day and you’ll see different results.
- Step 3: Chart the progress of your Twitter lurking and research tasks. Note your findings. Write about what worked well and what you’d change. Back up your answers with specific examples.
Please be sure to leave comments about this writing prompt. We want to hear from you!
About the Author
Amanda M. Socci, J.D., is a freelance writer with 14 years of experience writing professionally. Socci currently cuts her blogging chops on her personal portfolio blog, the Creative Idea Gal blog, and on an online news site, Mount Vernon Patch. Inspired by Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November writing challenge, she created a unique 10-month training program for Writenonfictionnow.com and Writenonfictioninnovember.com blog visitors.
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