Now that you’ve had the opportunity to practice using Twitter and Storify, it’s time to dig in to a specific topic on Twitter and think about what that stream can tell us about the way people interact on social media. For this assignment, you will analyze the tweets using a hashtag that is trending on Twitter. You will then compose a digital essay, which will have some elements of an academic essay, on Storify.
As a result of this assignment, students will be able to
·Evaluate Twitter as a discourse community
·Analyze the communication practices people and corporations use on Twitter and their motivations for communicating via Twitter
·Compose a critical essay that makes a scholarly argument in a digital environment, capitalizing on the affordances of new media
1. Log in to Twitter and keep an eye on the topics that are trending. (Start with Twitter’s list of what’s trending and their “Moments” tab for ideas.) Choose a trending hashtag that is interesting to you and that you believe will produce interesting points for analysis.
2. Compose an essay on Storify that analyzes the tweets that use your chosen hashtag. Your essay should make an argument about why that topic is trending and how the tweets using that hashtag are contributing to the overall popularity of the conversation. Your Storify should include
-A title (Headline)
-A thesis statement that makes a clear argument (Description)
-An introduction that provides context for understanding the hashtag (Text)
-Topic sentences that elaborate on your argument (Text)
-Example tweets that support your topic sentences (Tweets dragged and dropped)
-Concepts from course readings (Turkle; Jenkins; “Viral” readings) that help you make or support your points (Text or Links)
-At least three additional items from the web that support or illustrate your claims (anything you can drag and drop)
-A conclusion that addresses what we can learn about Twitter or social media by studying the stream you chose
3. Post your Storify to your blog by Monday, Nov. 12 as a new page. (A draft of your Storify is due in class for peer review on Friday, Oct. 30.)
Here’s a great example of this assignment from a previous course.
Another useful source might be hashtags.org, which will show you stats about trending hashtags.
See the assignment sheet on Moodle for a list of questions you might address in your analysis.