Part I. Tweets
1. The Hustle
This tweet was, surprisingly, the one that made the most impressions out of the entire semester of #smpasocial tweets. The technology and news daily email outlet retweeted the post, pushing it out to its 6,500 followers. The tweet only made 863 impressions, but considering the fact that I have 80 followers on my own page, that number is okay with me.
What helped get this tweet pushed out, according to the Twitter workshop day, was the fact that I had just received The Hustle email that morning. The information was just being pushed out to readers, and could’ve been trending at the time. If I had tweeted a different article from a Hustle email sent out a month beforehand, I might have not gotten retweeted. Being timely is one of the most important things with Twitter and other social media sites according to Henry Jenkins, and by targeting another page at the same time that it was looking to push out its message, I was able to make more impressions than any of my other posts. It also helped that I mentioned The NY Times, a reliable source for many readers.
Henry Jenkins labeled “spreadable media” as nostalgic and humorous alongside a media’s timeliness. This tweet immediately grabbed any person’s attention and kept people interested because of its content. This tweet is also relevant to Henry Jenkins’ theory of convergence culture, which (among several other definitions) is the flow of content across multiple media platforms. It looks like Meesha took a screenshot of the Snapchat story from Buzzfeed and brought it to Twitter, representing spreadable content that traveled across three platforms (Buzzfeed, Snapchat, and Twitter) on several potentially different systems (computer Safari, smartphone website, Snapchat app, etc.). Meesha also encouraged engagement with a question: “…is this what is happening to journalism?”
Another thing to consider in this post is the influencer effect, discussed in class on October 31. This effect, which states that there are power laws at play and that those with already popular accounts will simply become more popular, is relevant to Buzzfeed, one of the largest influencers on the current media spectrum. Though not an individual, Buzzfeed is one of those media names that can post something that is automatically clickable because of how popular the Buzzfeed name is has become.
3. Ken Bone
This was one of my favorite tweets of the semester not only because of the actual content but also because of the message of Belle’s tweet. “Born by social media, die by social media” is a quote that we should all expect to live by, especially in this new era of shortened attention spans and the heightened ability to go viral in minutes or, sometimes, even seconds.
Ken Bone is a prime representation of the way that the Internet works today. It didn’t take long for debate viewers to latch onto his bright red sweater and beautiful mustache; it also didn’t take long for them to let him go into the abyss that is forgettable memes. The message that we can all learn from this? You can have spreadable content, but if its not sticky, you won’t have any luck with a long-term message. Ken Bone got his 15 minutes of fame, but was quickly abandoned because his relevance weaned when the election turned to more dire things, like Donald Trump actually winning the election. *Sobs softly into a pillow before continuing final* which brings me to…
4. Trump tweets.
Emily Dulcan’s presentation in class is particularly relevant here. Duncan introduced there “uses and gratifications” theory when she was discussing social media. Essentially, people use and choose media for specific purposes and favor information that reinforces their pre-existing views. Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are increasingly utilizing search tools to decide exactly what shows up on the top of your news feed, and this is especially true when it comes to the election.
Though I came across this tweet during my advanced search for the top five, I remember seeing this tweet and many others that were similar in the weeks leading up to and immediately following the election. Twitter took into account that I was clicking more on articles that put Donald Trump in a negative light, and therefore my own embracement of “uses and gratifications” theory was put to work. Whether she intended to or not, Talia posted her own targeted tweet, which ended up on the right person’s feed.
This is, perhaps, one of the biggest lessons I learned this semester: targeting (and making it clear whether you are targeting or not) is so important when trying to get a message across.
This tweet is here because it was the worst tweet, impression-wise, of the semester. With 78 impressions and 4 engagements, this tweet really didn’t do well, especially considering my top tweet reached almost 900 people. So, why didn’t this tweet work out? A couple of things should be taken into account. First, there are no visuals. Anything pushed out these days on social media that lacks a visual is extremely difficult to gain traffic unless you’re pairing it with the correct tags or sending it to the right people.
I really thought that this tweet would be more popular because of the Equinox25 hashtag. But, now that I’m almost finished with this semester, I see that one hashtag is not enough. I should have made it clear that I was referencing a blog about how Equinox kicked my butt. Instead, I figured that because Equinox replied to my tweet, their social media employees actually read the blog. This is, I’m sure, untrue. In the future and thanks to this class, I will make sure to incorporate images more often and really utilize the amount of characters that I have. The best tweets have enticing details that make the reader want more. With this tweet, I did no such thing, and that is why it was my poorest performer.
Part II. Reflection
For me, maintaining a humorous and informative balance wasn’t the easiest. I’ve never run a blog before, and it was a bit challenging converting my “university” (see below) voice to my more informal, more “myself” voice.
Ever since I’ve been in college, I’ve never been met with a class that truly allowed my voice to be heard. There was always a formula to whatever piece of writing my peers and I were assigned with and an equally formulaic professor with an entirely different set of expectations than the professor before and after.
Being able to push out my voice for people outside of my professor to see and to be welcomed by a professor who actually encouraged originality was refreshing. Choosing a topic that I’m passionate about, a topic that really let my voice shine through, has made me the most proud of my blog this semester. I’m also proud that I was able to post about a new workout each week, having actually done that workout. The blog helped me stay on top of my writing as well as stay in tune with my physical and spiritual self. I didn’t quite feel like Kanye, but I at least felt that I could be creative.
The majority of my posts were relatively similar; they each highlighted a different workout and a different food. The one week that was notably different was election week: Meditation & Evidence. This week was truly a challenging week to continue writing. My mind wasn’t in the game (and, I’m sure, many others felt the same) and the last thing I wanted to do was open my computer and write about how physically sore I was from working out when my mental state was no where near positive.
As challenging as it was to get through, I would say that this post is also my favorite and best of the semester. That week allowed me to combine a somber tone with some humor and upbeat vibes, and by the end of it, I genuinely felt better about moving forward with what happened/is happening to our country.
Part III. Nominees
As a photographer, its always nice to see someone else who appreciates creativity, especially at GWU. Finding people with similar mindsets as myself at GW is really difficult, considering that the university is hardly known for anything artistic. Dan’s blog was great because of the strong visuals, but also because his passion showed through his posts. I could tell that he wasn’t just doing this for an assignment and that he really wanted people to know about the shots, what he was proud of, worried about, and what he enjoyed most about photography. While he didn’t regularly use some of the conventional blog techniques that were discussed in the class like gifs and slideshows, his photographs alone were really able to make the blog a success. Check out some of his photos below from my favorite of his posts because it was clear that he was out of his comfort zone and trying something different: Opening Night Honorees.
While Dan’s photos were the highlight of his blog, I think Scott’s strongest point was his writing style. Scott is witty and has a way of getting out exactly what he wants to say that really appealed to the millennial demographic: funny images, clever gifs, incorporating screenshots and charts, etc. Scott’s incorporation of his own experiences was also something that pushed him beyond some of the other people in the class. Yes, most of the class posted personal opinions about their topics, but Scott’s voice was somewhat uninhibited. He took it less seriously when he could, yet knew where the line was between the jokes and a more somber tone. My favorite of Scott’s was definitely his most recent, his social media fast because of relevant screenshots and witty writing:
“I tried to apply to some jobs… “Build a profile using LinkedIn” — Nope! Had to sign in to a couple things using Facebook — nope! I couldn’t remember what time a friend’s party was — and… it was a Facebook event. Luckily, my Facebook events were synced with my iPhone calendar. Is that cheating?”
In all, the two blogs mentioned above show that there is no conventional way of creating/maintaining a site. Whether on the visual or text side, any blog can be popular and engaging, and both Dan and Scott incorporated techniques that pushed them past their peers.
On a more general note, this semester I burned more than 50,000 calories in workouts and probably ate just as much, if not more, in yummy foods/drinks. This blog has done its job and kept me balanced through the past few months, and it’s been great to have something to actually look forward to writing. I hope you enjoyed reading!