Week 5 s1: Catching up… and some theory Thursday, Mar 4 2010 

We’ll spend a bit of time today thinking about what you learnt from the guest lectures by Josh Halliday and Steve Noble. Please add a comment to this post giving at least three things you took from each session and, where possible, demonstrate how you will apply these new insights to your own social media activity. Take some time over this, and try to embed hyperlinks into your comments, thereby enriching content and building relationships with fellow bloggers. 

We will then have a brief look at a presentation (MAC114 wk5s1 Time for Theory) which sets out some of the ways in which we can examine the impact of social media from a number of theoretical perspectives. It begins by asking you to think about how you would have used media in 1990 and 2000 – the change is staggering. To help signpost this jour ney I have put together a very basic powerpoint presentation which I will upload after class. It is informative, but far from complete,  and by its very definition it will continue to change. How could we use the various social media tools we have discussed so far to make this collection of dates and data more flexible, and more productive?

That will be your introduction to Wikinomics and crowdsourcing….


Working hard, having fun Friday, Feb 19 2010 

Week3s2: Building Content Friday, Feb 19 2010 

Although a lot of your background for this module can be done online you should also be reading three key texts, Naked Conversations by Scoble and Israel, We the Media by Dan Gillmor, and Online Public Relations, 2nd Ed by Phillips and Young.  The first two (and arguably all three!)  are  beginning to show their age but they give an idea of how we got to where we are today. Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky is another very useful way into some of the issues we will be discussing as the module moves from the practicalities of getting online ourselves to gaining some understanding of the  theoretical implications that come from the rise of social media.

OK, let’s start by having another look at our own course blog.

Last time we asked a few key questions about presentation. Clearly our starting point wass to consider its purpose – who do we want to talk, what impression do we want to give?

How much attention do we need to pay to window dressing, and how much to useability?

What colours should we use? What shall we call it? How important is visibility and searchability?

You will see I have added a few new features – nose around, and ask yourself how well we have met these objectives. Post comments with suggestions as we go along.


Let’s look at the way some other PR students and researchers are approaching social media.

Next week I will be in Ghent, Belgium for Euprera Spring Symposium, and presenting the Euprera Social Media Awards

It’s too late for you to enter this time, but you might like to become involved in the PR OpenMic network. If you join, remember this will connect your work to that of students, educators and potential employers across the world, so be professional.

As we look at new blogs, think about this  Taxonomy of Weblogs I drew up as part of a paper presented to Euprera’s 2005 Lisbon Congress.

About me: people who write about their daily lives for micro-audiences of friends and family;
Focused interests (niche/ hobbyists): people who use blogs to communicate with fellow enthusiasts/ with shared experience ie workplace. Usually amateurs and generally recreational.
Campaigning: political blogs, pressure group, protests
Networking/ Education/ Development: people who use blogs to debate professional subjects with fellow practitioners
Personal marketing: people who use blogging to promote their expertise to clients, employers and others who can influence their careers or businesses.
Commercial: organizations which use blogs to promote goods and services, (including news organisations); these can include employee blogs (moderated) and blogs that encourage customer participation

Does this list need updating?

Back to your own blogs…  You face two big challenges: one is getting started, the other is keeping going! Luckily there are quite a few people out there willing to share their expereince. Let’s start with the prolific online journalism blogger Paul Bradshaw who offers 12 Ideas for Blog Posts.

Week 3 s1: We’re on our way! Thursday, Feb 18 2010 

Most of you now have the basic tools and skills needed to create the blog that will be at the heart of your MAC114 asssessment. Today, we are going to begin with you sending a comment to this post explaining your progress so far, including a short summary of your proposed blog, and its URL so we call all add links to each others blogs to our own site.

We will spend a short time reading and conmmenting on class blogs but I want you to spend most of the session finding writers who are doing a good job with a similar project to your own. Identify at least three, and ideally five, blogs from which you can learn.

Write a post for your own blog, including links, that sets out the strengths and weaknesses of the sites you have chosen. What characteristics are shared by sites you enjoy visiting? News? Video and pictures? Entertaining writing?

Remember that by doing so you may well encourage the person you are writing about to visit, and comment on your site!

Before the end of the lesson, add another comment here that briefly summarises your thoughts on the five sites you have reviewed.

Week 2 s2: Time to explore Friday, Feb 12 2010 

Yesterday brought  the sad news of the death of fashion designer Alexander McQueen. It will be on the front pages of today’s newspapers, and featured prominently in television and radio , but it will also generate a great deal of comment through social media.

How did you find out he had died? Were you personally upset or affected by the news? Spend some time looking at the way this event has been covered by non-establishment websites and blogs, and microblogging sites (Twitter, Facebook), then write a picee for your blog. This can take the form of a personal comment, a news feature, or even an academic case study. Use delicious and other tools to organise your inquiry.

Tell us what you found out about McQueen but, more importantly, think about the way in which the social media community reacted.  Remember, too, that many other people will be doing searches on McQueen, and they may well stumble on your work so make sure it reflects well on you and your university! When you have finished, add a comment, with a link, to this post pointing us to you post, and including a couple of sentences summarising your impressions.

In the second half of the lesson, we will work on building the number of interesting sites you follow, adding them to Google Reader and to the blogroll on your own sites, and, following your recommendations, to this course blog. I suggest you create to sections in your blogroll, one for media – PR or journalism sites, and one for sites that will be of wider interest to readers of your personal blog.  Both PR Studies and Online Journalism have extensive  lists that will get you started. Go for quality not quantity – write a short post saying you have begun to build a blogroll, and saying why you have chosen to include five named and linked sites.

We will also decide between your recommendations for an appropriate tenmplate for this blog – it will have a new look by the end of the session.

So a busy couple of hours – get going!

Making progress… Thursday, Feb 11 2010 

Not many people here today but Hassan, Nick, Amy, Francesca and Lyndsey have managed to post pictures to their blogs

Welcome to the MAC114 blog Wednesday, Feb 10 2010 

This blog will be at the heart of teaching on MAC114 – add it to your Newsreader (Google Reader?) straight away.

You should already have a Delicious account and a Twitter account, and you should have begin to think carefully about Personal Reputation Management.

What did you think about Twitter? Have you used it much over the weekend? Add a comment to this post – and don’t forget to include your  Twitter name. 

Then let’s have a look at a couple of blogs – Mediations and micromediations, from Philip Young, and PR Studies, by Richard Bailey.

Hello world! Monday, Jan 18 2010 

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