The MAC299 Social Media course blog

Archive for February, 2010

Week 4s 1

Posted by mediations on February 23, 2010

Today we will start by discussing the five sites you found most interesting to read, and talk through what you have learnt from this. (Unfortunately the dog seems to have eaten some of the comments you were asked to post prior to this session!!!!!! As with any other module, you are meant to do work outside class for MAC299).

Then we will try to apply some of the lessons we have learnt do far to some practical PR situations, taking as a starting point a presentation I dif for the Association of Colleges yesterday. They want to talk to potential and existing FE students using Facebook – what advice would we give if they were our clients?

We will also follow some Tweets from outer space(@Astro_Soichi), and ask why NASA should want its astronauts to spend time on Twitter.

And we will look at some analytical tools, include Addict-o-matic and Tweet Reach, featured in this list of Top Ten Twitter Tools.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Week3s2: Building content, learning from others

Posted by mediations on February 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 wondow 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, and Liz Bridgen’s Potential blog topics – the list that PR students won’t need after a month

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Week 3 session 1: We’re on our way!

Posted by mediations on February 16, 2010

Most of you now have the basic tools and skills needed to create the blog that will be at the heart of your MAC299 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.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Week2 s2: Time to explore

Posted by mediations on February 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 template for this blog – it will have a new look by the end of the session.

So a busy couple of hours – get going!

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Choose our theme

Posted by mediations on February 9, 2010

Which WordPress theme should we use for the 299 blog?

Posted in What we think | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Writing our first post

Posted by mediations on February 9, 2010

Do you read blogs? If so, why? If not, why not?

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Welcome to MAC299

Posted by mediations on February 9, 2010

This blog will be at the heart of teaching on MAC299 – 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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »