Weekly Assignments

Week 10

One of the pieces of your final portfolio that I’d like you to think carefully is what I’m describing as your gateway or portal page — this should be a page that serves as the first impression that people have of you when they look you up online. There are a number of services that you can use, but I’d like you to consider the About.Me service.

For this week’s assignment, I’d like you to set up an about.me account, browse various examples on that site, and design one for yourself. Whether you choose to use it over the long term is up to you, but I want you to pay attention to how others in your field deploy it. What kinds of graphics do they use? How do they describe themselves? What words do they use? What keywords?

About.me is a free service, and it has a fairly robust search function, so you should be able to find many examples. You can search by keyword, geographic proximity, etc. You should look for at least 4-6 examples of pages that you like, for various reasons, and use them as models to develop your own. Think very carefully about how you’re describing yourself. Remember that this is the equivalent of an online business card; it can be a way to showcase yourself.

If you decide to keep your about.me page as your gateway, then you’ll want to connect some of your social media platforms to it as well, but this is not required. For the weekly forum assignment, please post a link to your page, along with a brief description/narration of your thought process as you created it. What effects were you going for? Were certain parts of it easier than others? etc.


Week 9 (Spring Break)

Weeks 6-8 Platform Presentations

Week 5

There is no reading assigned for this week. However, I would like you to post, sometime this week, a progress report regarding your Field Research project. You should discuss the field you’re focusing on, the people/organizations/accounts you’re looking at, what approach or angle you’re taking, etc. Be as thorough as you can at this point. The projects themselves are due in a few weeks, so you should be gradually coming to know the focus of those projects.

Also, I’d like you to respond to at least 3 other posts on the forum. This can take the form of asking questions, making suggestions, etc. You should also be prepared to respond to those questions that others have for you.

Finally, we’ll proceed with more Platform presentations this week. If we have a little time at the end of class, I’d like to return briefly to the chapter from Rheingold, so it wouldn’t hurt to refresh your memory about those topics as well.

Week 4

Please make sure that I have your name spelled correctly and matched up with the proper platform on the Presentation Schedule. This weekend, I will add links to the homepages for all of the platforms that are currently up there. If you haven’t claimed a platform and a presentation time yet, please get in touch with me soon. (I have a list of available platforms, or you are free to come up with your own.)

Read Chapter 3 of Rheingold, “Participation Power.”

Write a Forum post (a page or so) that takes up the ideas in that chapter. For example, you might look at what Rheingold (via Scoble) says about curation and write about how the person/account you discussed last week does so successfully. Or, following R’s discussion of “Twitter literacy,” consider what other social media literacies you might think of: is there a “Pinterest literacy,” an “Instagram literacy,” etc., and if so, what might one of them entail? Feel free to take these ideas in another direction entirely, too.

Continue engaging with the subject of your Field Research. I’ll be asking you next week to post an update to the Forums.

Week 3

As promised, this is a catch-up week. Make sure that you have your forum posts up. Also, from now on, please note that forum posting also involves responding to others’ a couple of times. A couple of you have already been doing this, but the rest of you should as well.

Write: Just one forum assignment this week. I want you to select one person/organization that you are following through social media whose writing you think is good, important, effective, etc., and then explain (post to the Forum) what makes that person worth following or modeling (examples are very useful here). Ideally this would connect with your Field Research, but it doesn’t need to.

Read: No essays to read for this week, but below are some links to one of the people I follow, Maria Popova. Take a look at her work.

Week 2

We’ll have a little extra ground to cover this week, so I’ve tried not to add too much.

Read: Chapters 1 and 5 of Me 2.0, which you’ll find in the Resources section of the site.

Write: 250-300 words in the Field Research Preliminaries forum. One of your major assignments this semester is to conduct what I’m calling “field research” in the profession that you eventually see yourself joining after graduation. This should be a preliminary statement on your part that talks about what you’d like to do after SU, what you know about that “field,” and where you see yourself at in preparing to join it. It’s okay if you don’t know everything you already need to know, but try to give us some idea of what you need to know. Think too about the “values” of that field, and how they relate to the idea of “brand” advanced in the reading.


Week 1 

Course Site: Visit the course site, change your password, customize your profile with some information about you, an avatar image, etc.

Social Media Inventory: Construct an Inventory of your social media use and post it to the Forum supplied on the course website. What platforms and applications do you use, and which are central or primary for your current online presence? How do you access your platforms, and what effect does that have on your choices? What do people find when they look for you online? Google yourself, and make note of the results on the first couple of pages–you do not need to post this, but it may be useful for you to screen capture or download the search results for later reference. Your Inventory should be primarily explanatory, but you may also wish to think about your goals for this course in these terms.

Reading: Read  chapter 1 of Branding Yourself  and post a response to the Forum supplied (see syllabus for guidelines).

Reading: Read the following online essays — we will talk in class about what it means to “do” social media and to study it. Bill Keller, “Heroic Measures,” and  Zeynep Tufekci, “Social Media is a Conversation, Not a Press Release.” You can also look at Emma Keller’s original piece – a link to the archived version is in Tufekci’s essay.