Sunday, January 25, 2015

Week 2 Assignments

Old Assignments

Due by the start of class on Feb. 2

You should still be working on CodeAcademy assignment, detailed in Week 1.

Curation (ongoing all semester)

Your curation assignment, worth 25% of your grade, starts today and continues all semester.
First, by Jan. 28 I'd like you to fill out this form to detail your topic and what online community you'll be joining.

The syllabus has specific expectations that I expect you to follow. Below is the highlight-version of those expectations:
  • Community: Join and participate in an online community of your choosing. You should be contributing to this every day.
  • Blogging: Two posts a week, separated by at least two days. One should be something you write on a topic of your choosing. The other should be a listicle, giving a link and recap of interesting posts readers might like. Remember the link sharing requirement too!
  • Curation: Two tweets a day on links or stories in your topic area. These links can come from your online community, Twitter people you're following in your topic area, or blogs in your regular reading area. (TIP: one good way to do this would be to build Twitter lists of people in your topic area, that way you've got a nice feed of things people are writing and sharing). Use hashtags and social media optimized (SMO) tweets as you share links.
So, two specific things for this week in addition to the regular curation work:

1. By Jan. 28 I want you to fill out the form above.

2. In addition, I want you to let your classmates know what you're doing. Reply to this post in the comments by Jan. 30 summarizing your topic for the semester and what community you've chosen. About 100 words should do it. This will serve as the January evaluation noted in the final paragraph of the assignment page in the syllabus.

Twitter assignment

Due by the end of the day on Jan. 31

In class this week, we are going to talk about Twitter and the business of sharing online. During Wednesday's class we will cover social media optimization (SMO) and practice different types of tweet pitches for lab. This material will serve you well, because you're going to be tweeting a lot of links this semester as part of your curation assignment. More importantly, you'll be learning how to use Twitter in professional ways and incorporating some of the style and best practices used in the industry. I want you to get LOTS of practice at this during the semester, to the point that when you're sharing links the style you pick comes naturally to you; when this happens, you've found your Twitter voice.

Once you've done it in lab, you'll do it again for more practice. Between the end of that class and the end of Saturday night, you'll create and post 12 more tweets. These don't need to be done all at once. In fact, it's probably better that you pick moments when you see something that's an obvious tweet candidate and fits with one of the styles.

  • 1 Breaking news style (you'll need to be in tune with the news on Twitter; don't post BREAKING several hours after the event broke!)
  • 1 Developing news style to go with the breaking news tweet; should be posted within an hour of your breaking news tweet.
  • 4 Standard news tweets
  • 1 Upworthy style tweet - make sure to cleanse yourself afterward :)
  • 2 Commentary/Analysis tweets
  • 2 Atomic Sharing tweets
  • 1 Question tweet

How do you turn these in? You'll create a post on this blog and embed your 10 tweets. Make sure to put headers between the different styles so your classmates and I can tell what style you're using (just in case it isn't obvious). So something like this:


Atomic Sharing

At the bottom of your post, write a 150-word recap of the experience. How comfortable are you with the different styles? Which comes most naturally to you, and which ones do you like best/worst?

So to sum up, by the end of the day Jan. 31 you'll create a post on this blog that has your 12 tweets and a recap summary.


  1. The topic of my curation assignment is pop punk. I'm planning on blogging about the culture of the music genre and the live shows that go along with it, as well as reflecting on my personal experiences. I have a lot of fun stories to tell and I'm also interested in analyzing the fanbase and the community within the genre.

    The online community I've joined is Reddit, in the subreddit r/poppunkers. It's a cool topic that's fun to delve into, since it's something that I love a lot but has always been a rather independent hobby of mine. Since it's so niche, it's rather refreshing to actually see discussions going on that I understand and that I wouldn't think other people would care about.

    I'm looking forward to contributing to this community both as a source of fun discussion and as a resource for information. I think the biggest challenge I'm going to encounter is finding enough links to tweet out and share. It's hard to find a large amount of timely pieces regarding my specific topic, so I may have to branch out a little more when looking for things to share.

  2. The topic of my curation project is, I know how super broad that sounds, but I wanted to do something to incorporate both my science writing background and the more general communication skills we have as journalists. Science can be very intimidating to those who aren't in the field, so I chose to do a blog showcasing some more fun, palatable parts of science. Shorter, interesting chunks of knowledge as opposed to dry textbook learning.

    I too have joined Reddit, since I think their science subreddit is more in the vein of what I'll be exploring than, say, a very serious scientific online community. Redditers always manage to inject some humor into things, and science desperately needs humor to be approachable sometimes.

    I think I'll have lots of fun with this since I have a ton of material to choose from, and science is great for multimedia. I think my biggest challenge will be getting my target audience (those outside of the scientific community) initially interested in my topic.

  3. The topic of my curation project is books, but more specifically books that are becoming popular, YA literature and books being made into movies. Reading and books have always been a huge part of my life and when they become pop culture I enjoy seeing what other people who might not be as inclined to books as me think of them in their movie forms and stuff like that. I had also previously had a blog where I reviewed books, but I think my main focus now will not be "here's this book I read and what I thought" but finding connections between the individual experience of reading a book and the communal experience of it becoming pop culture or a movie.

    I too have joined Reddit. I will be following the subreddit r/books, which is pretty broad but I'll try to focus on the YA thread portion of the discussions.

    I think the biggest challenge for me will be trying to incorporate blogs into the links because I want to find content that isn't just reviews of books (although I might add that in too). I don't want reviewing books to be the main concept behind the project.

  4. My topic for the curation assignment is the offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles, my favorite football team. I’ve been following the Eagles since before I can remember and have naturally been up to date with almost everything going on around them.

    The community I joined was one on Reddit, r/eagles. The community seems small enough where it’s easy to interact with other people and comment on posts, but not so vast that my comments will usually go unnoticed.

    Since I’ve never used Reddit before, it’s going to be quite an experience figuring it out. It took me nearly a year on Twitter to figure out the Eagles community, so hopefully I’ll be able to pick it up fast. I’m sure it will give me good experience in interacting with new communities online though.

  5. My topic for the curation assignment is '90s Alternative Rock and today's hip-hop. Though these genres are very different, I love them both equally and want to explore the cultures behind them. I hope to share some music, find out what key players in both industries are up to, etc.

    I joined a few communities, inlcuding r/90sAlternative, r/hiphopheads, as well as the community forums on Rap Genius and Rock Genius. I think I will have more success in the forums because they are more discussion based, rather than just posting links to YouTube videos.

    I think my biggest challenge will be finding interesting content for the blog each week, since I am posting about two very different topics and want to give each of them enough attention.

  6. The topic I have chosen is food. I know that food is a very broad topic which is why I wanted to narrow it down to something more specific. Therefore I have decided to focus more on college food, especially Lehigh's. I figured that starting off this way would help me gain followers, since most people enjoy seeing and hearing about their own college whether through a blog, twitter account, instagram…etc. I think this will be a fun topic to explore and post about!

    I've decided to join the community Reddit because it has a wide selection of food communities. I've never been part of an online community so it'll be interesting to see how one works.

    I think trying to get the Lehigh community and others to follow and read my blog will be challenging. I know people, especially students don't particularly enjoy reading long, repetitive blog posts each day which is why I use pictures and little text on my blog. Hopefully I will get the followers I desire because I really do think the blog could turn out to be a trend at Lehigh!

  7. I decided to focus on modern feminist movements and how different people all over the world are working towards gender equality within their communities. Since there are so many diverse cultures and societies in the world, I’ve always been fascinated by comparing the different conceptions of gender equality and people’s methods of attempting to achieve it. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, there is a law prohibiting women from driving. Many women protested this law by photographing themselves while driving and then posting their images on a website to show their collective anger at the law. This is a unique problem of gender equality, and I thought that their campaign was also effective and extremely bold, considering Saudi Arabia doesn’t have a very good human rights record. It’s examples like these that I’m truly interested in learning more about.

    I chose Reddit’s feminist subreddit as my online community, because it has an international, dynamic and active base. So far, I’m very happy with this community, but I’ll also be on the look-out for others throughout the semester.