Twitter journalism

I’ve got to stop trying to fit 90 minutes of discussion into a one-hour slot. Anyway, here are some links, further explanation and additional resources related to what we were talking about in class today.

Your assignment for Wednesday, before the beginning of class, is to find 10 people or organizations on Twitter that are related to your beat, follow them, spend a day reading what they have to say and writing a blog post about it.

Your blog post should tell us who you’re following (include links to their feeds), why and what you’ve learned. I want to spend some time in class on Wednesday hearing from you, so please be prepared.

How do you find people to follow? Here are some tips:

  • If you have some favorite bloggers, see if they have Twitter feeds listed somewhere on their blogs. Many do.
  • If you are already following someone on Twitter, see if he or she has posted lists of other recommended people. Example: See @jayrosen_nyu and the lists he has posted.
  • Listorious is an excellent resource for finding Twitter feeds by subject.
  • Check out the TweetDeck directory.
  • If you’re interested in Boston media folks, have a look at this.
  • A well-crafted Google search will yield results, too. Example: boston food twitter.

Also, though is perfectly fine for using Twitter, there are better alternatives. TweetDeck is excellent, and is available for Windows, Macs and the iPhone. If you use a BlackBerry, ÜberTwitter is one of the better programs.

If you have any questions at all about using Twitter, Mashable has posted an essential resource called “The Twitter Guide Book.” If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, check this out first.

Looking ahead to Friday. The other half of our week with Twitter journalism, for which you will receive a separate grade, is to go cover something using Twitter. If you are able to do this with your cellphone, it would be ideal if you got out. But there are alternatives.

If you have a non-smart cellphone, you can still use it to cover an event. Go to your Twitter page, select “Settings” and then “Mobile,” and you will be able to enter your phone number.

We’ll talk more about the assignment on Wednesday.


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