For an assignment within the basic Newswriting and Reporting class, my students and I sought to experiment with Twitter. Our experiment wasn’t exactly revolutionary; we were just trying to figure out how to incorporate Twitter into our soon-to-be-professional lives. I started by inviting students to take their quizzes online:
As a journalism prof, “fake news” quickly became a major concern that was the focus of many of the stories I retweeted:
I also found that when I put the words from an article into my tweet, it boosted engagement. This tweet earned just under 1200 impressions:
I think that tweet may have been why I increased my followers by 36 in January, with just under 400 visiting my profile page. I also gained 8 in February and 5 in March.
My own favorite tweet earned 536 impressions. This was original content and a photo from my phone:
Sometimes I couldn’t resist expressing frustration about my perception that others didn’t promote the Diversity Summit as much as I thought they could (or should):
But I also learned that expressing such frustrations can really backfire. My greatest source of engagement came right after the Women’s March, which I’d attended in Denver.
I was elated about the event, and then frustrated when the new Colorado Politics outlet (part of the Colorado Springs Gazette) opted NOT to cover it in their weekly newsletter on the following Monday:
Here is the link to a story about restoring faith in politics that features Colorado’s white male politicians, and has no indication of the Women’s March event that took place two days earlier that restored faith in politics for millions around the world.
The reporter then sent me links to a number of stories they’d tweeted on Saturday. But that didn’t answer my question:
And all of this sparked the anti-intellectual snide remarks of this other journalist at Colorado Politics, who was much better than I was at rallying outrage, this time about my supposed “error” and my status as professor of questionable competence:
I wasn’t wrong. But he has more followers who apparently are far less troubled than I was about the sense that the largest march in history was “old news” two days later and not “fresh” enough for their Monday newsletter. A tweet dissing me with the hashtag “oops” yielded my highest number of engagements for the month.
Given the political climate, during the months of January and February 2017 I chose to tweet about concerns related to disrespect for truth and for journalism in general, and sometimes I was directly critical of our new administration:
I also used Twitter to bring attention to the stellar work of my friends and fellow scholars:
Sometimes, my attempts to converse with others turned out to be rather cryptic. That wasn’t my intention but you could’t really tell what I meant to communicate if you just read this tweet:
I also found that Twitter was a helpful way to share with my students the stories I was reading that were relevant for aspiring journalists:
And here is the tweet that sums up my experiences with tweeting this quarter, as it encapsulates a topic of interest and summarizes the retweeted story’s main point in just a few words: