Archive for the ‘Social media advice :)’ Category

This is also on Blackboard, but please remember:

week 1 to do list


If you need some help with Twitter, please see these resources – and also ask me on Twitter!

It would be really helpful if you can get to this to do list in the next 2 days – so we can manage to follow each other by the time next class comes around.

Remember that you need to fill out and bring to next class a total of 5 worksheets:

  • one reading notes worksheet for each reading (4)
  • an additional worksheet for the Online Identity Management article (1)

Also, I need to know if you are following this blog. Please leave a comment (“great post” will do ;)) to let me know you saw it as soon as you do see it.


Pulling teeth

Posted: October 27, 2011 in Social media advice :)

So this title may not be entirely relevant, but I sometimes feel like social media immersion is like pulling teeth. Students who get it end up benefiting, though, and I guess that makes it worth while. Tonight’s class also felt like pulling teeth… I understand we’re all tired, and some of us sick, and sometimes life sucks, but hey, at least I get to complain on my blog. And on Twitter. Once again, my Twitter network comes to the rescue. I asked:

Here’s advice for you TECH 621 students. I met ALL of these people, btw, on Twitter.

And, in response to my thank you Tweet:

You ABSOLUTELY need to check out the Twitter workout [pdf] @conntess mentions. Try it for a week. See what happens.

I just need to remind myself that even though it feels like pulling teeth today, I may hear from you 3-4 years later with one of those notes that make it all worthwhile. Until then, please know that if you need a tooth pulled, I am here to help, patiently and lovingly. 🙂

Tweet away,

Dr. V

I hear this a lot from students who are just getting started on Twitter:

I’m just a student. I’m still learning. I don’t really have something that interesting to say… So, what should I tweet about?

First, stop underestimating yourself. You’re way more interesting than you think!

Second, you know the question that Twitter asks, “What’s happening?” Ignore that. Replace it with the question: “What has your attention right now?”

Let me elaborate these two points:

You’re more interesting than you think

Many people, those who are older than you, or those outside the university, are very interested in you. They’re interested in knowing:

  • what you think
  • what you think about
  • what you’re learning

There are several reasons for this, such as people wanting to keep in touch with the young generation. It is, for them, a way of staying informed and young :). Another reason is that it’s been a while since these people went to college. There are lots of smart, curious people on Twitter, who are really interested in finding out what students learn these days. So, stop assuming you are not interesting. Even the mundane things, such as what you’re reading for class, and what music you’re listening to, are much more interesting than you think.

What has your attention right now?

Keep in mind that with every Tweet that you post, you construct your online identity – an image of yourself online. It is, of course, important to be careful and mindful about how your represent yourself. A much better and more interesting way of presenting yourself is to answer, on Twitter, the question “What has your attention?” rather than “What’s happening?” So, mention on Twitter the things you’re focusing on at the moment. Some examples:

  • You probably are (or should be) spending a lot of time on class readings. Any interesting ideas from class readings? You probably think that’s the most boring thing ever, but that’s actually one of the most interesting things you can tweet about. It’s good for your online identity management, because it shows people what you’re learning – a potential employer would be really interested in that!
  • Share links – what are you reading online? Share links to research articles, blog posts, magazine articles, news articles – things you read on a usual basis, show us what has your attention. Show us you are reading things, you are curious, eager to stay informed.
  • Promote your blog posts. You just wrote a new post. Maybe you’re proud of it. Maybe you need some input. Or just the reassurance that someone reads it. Share the permalink on Twitter. Twitter etiquette recommends you specify in your tweet that the link is a blog post and provide a hint about the post’s topic. For example: “What should students Tweet about? New blog post:”
  • What are you thinking about? – Yes, your thoughts and reactions to your environment are interesting. They show people a bit of who you are, by showing them how you think. So, a bit of commentary and reactions are interesting.
  • Post pictures. See something interesting, pretty, or a cute animal? Share a photo. Use twitpic, yfrog, or a similar service for sharing photos to Twitter. Be careful, though. Don’t post photos that would embarrass you later.
  • What are you having for lunch? – OK, this is a no-no. Usually. Unless you’re having something very interesting and exotic, which shows what an interesting person you are. Or you cooked it yourself, and you’re really proud of it. And you post a picture ;). Or you want us to join you and are letting us know where you are.
  • Retweets. Retweet others’ tweets that you find interesting. Retweeting, in Twitter culture, is used to either share information with your followers (like an email forward), or to show endorsement of an idea.
  • Ask questions. There’s a real talent to asking a good question that stimulates conversation. If you have a question, ask.
  • Last but not least, @ replies.Engage people. Give them attention.

Try to mix it up, don’t do too much of just one thing.

On the other side of the coin, here’s some serious advice on what NOT to tweet about, and some funny advice on the same topic.

Need more Twitter advice? See previous blog posts I’ve written about Twitter as well as posts on social media advice.

Need even MORE advice, or have a tip to share? That’s what the comments are for!

Tech621 mentors

Posted: September 24, 2009 in Social media advice :)

And the social media mentoring is a go! Below are the mentor-mentee pairs.

So, what do you do as a mentor?

It would be wonderful if you:

  • comment on the student’s blog posts now and again
  • provide advice about blogging & twittering
  • be there for the student, so he/she knows it’s OK to ask questions.

What do you do as a student?

  • ask questions 🙂
  • engage your mentor in conversation, and through that, meet new people

Thank you so much to the kind people who are helping students out!






A big thank you to @horovice, who also volunteered to mentor a student.

Social Media Mentoring

Posted: September 22, 2009 in Social media advice :)

A student in TECH 621 got my attention about adopt a blogger, one of the projects of the Social Media Club.

So, since this is a very small class (5 graduate students) I thought it might be worth while to launch this question out there:

Would you be interested in being one of my students’ social media mentor this semester?

Out of my five students, four are graduate students in Computer Graphics Technology (4 Master’s, 1 Ph.D.), and one is studying for a Master’s in Public Health Administration.

They are all new to using social media professionally. They have just started their professional blogs and twitter accounts, and the course requires social media immersion.

It is my belief that social media is a bit like a foreign country – there are social norms and codes of behaviors, and it is less intimidating to travel there with a guide, or mentor. You know this country. Their job is to learn about it.

If you were a student’s mentor, you would commit to answering questions by Twitter or e-mail, reading the student’s blog and advising about it. See the blogroll for student blogs.

So, are you interested?

You may feel a bit of information overload and a bit of confusion about TECH 621. This is normal, because this course probably is very different from others you have taken.

You are trained to succeed in your typical course, but may not be sure how to tackle this one. Here’s some help:

To succeed in TECH 621 you need to create a set of social media habits.

You need to do certain things regularly, just like you brush your teeth, drink coffee, etc.

Here are the social media habits that you need to succeed in this course:


1. Keep up with your RSS feeds

Aim to clear your feed reader daily. Skim all posts, read a few, comment on a few. Please sign up for backtype so I can keep track of your online blog comments.


2. Save & Share useful info

Share with the class and with the world whatever you believe is interesting/important, from our class perspective. Share on twitter and save on delicious if you need to use it for your final project or for the class wiki. Remember to use an URL shortener when sharing links on Twitter (a few good choices:,,; there are many more).


3. Use Twitter

Use it whenever you can. I understand you’re not at your computer all day long, like I am, but aim to use it at least once a day. Use it to get a grasp of Twitter culture.

Share links, thoughts, talk about what has your attention, engage in conversations with others. Use it just for the sake of using it – because that’s how you learn the social norms of Twitterville.

Note that you can use twitter from your phone, even if it’s not a smart phone, but please be sure not to exceed your plan’s number of text messages.


4. Blog

Aim to write at least 2 blog posts every week: one on a required topic (class readings), the other on an elective topic.

Of course, you also need to keep up with the class readings. There’s no way you can do all this unless you learn to skim. I’ll teach you how in class, and in a different blog post.

And finally, one more word of advice:

Give it an honest try.

If it’s clear that you are trying honestly and trying hard, you’ll come a long way. Meeting deadlines is one way to show you’re trying honestly. There are others, you can brainstorm in the comments section of this post.

Questions? Want to know why I ask you to do these things? Comment below or e-mail me.

I thoughts students who are just beginning to learn social media will find this post by Mack Collier encouraging: You will fail at social media. No, really, read it, it IS encouraging.

Follow Mack Collier on twitter.