Survivor Social Media Awards!

Congrats – you are all now SOCIAL MEDIA SURVIVORS! Nobody failed this seminar, and it has been an awesome term jam-packed with interesting assignments to keep the creative juices flowing.

The following survivors received class prizes:

Best essay: Ebby (Runners up: Lailah & Kr’Chaurnt)

Digital story awards:

Nic (Most original, Runner up: Ebby)

Phumu (Most emotional, Runners up: Lailah & Nic)

Tracey-Lee (Most professional, Runners up: Fran & Abbey)

Jessica (Most UCT spirit, Runners up: Abbey & Thandeka)

Best blog: Colt (Runners up: Nicole, Fran, Emma, Tracey-Lee, Litha, Lailah)

Top Tweeters: Colt, Tracey, Fran, Lailah, Violet

Most memorable presenter: Nicole (Runners up: Nic & Tracey-Lee)

Best Feature articles: Kr’Chaurnt & Christine (Runners up: Fran, Tracey, Colt)

Best of luck for exams all:)

Keep up with your social media musings, don’t be a…


Digital Stories 2011!

Check out MyMediaUCT on YouTube! I’m posting Nicholas’s one here as a teaser – be sure to check them out and comment.


Mobile literacies and SA teens

Read Marion Walton’s blog posts – very interesting and relevant as we move into our discussion on mobile media in SA. However, we first kick off with this week’s theme ‘Living in a digital culture’. Do you think this is a reality for the majority of South Africans or only an elite few? Comment with your views and experiences.

Here are some interesting thoughts to consider:

Cheapest cellphones in SA – who delivers the cheapest way to get SA talking?

Mobiles and Africa – blog post cites an article from The Economist – read it and share your thoughts. Think about how Africa is framed by the article.

Seminar – Monday 4 April

Welcome back for the second half of the semester! We’ll be continuing with digital storytelling today. Litha and Christine will be presenting on the Jean Burgess reading “Hearing ordinary voices: cultural studies, vernacular creativity and digital storytelling”. Tendai will also present for us, deconstructing a digital story she found online using the 7 elements of digital storytelling. If you have not visited our folder in resources (on Vula), please do so – lots of interesting resources that I’ve put up for you there. 

Also, please complete the twitter questionnaire and email it to me, I have only received 8 thus far. Today we’ll take a look at your blogs so far and each one is required to chat about their blogs, where they hope to take it and classmates can offer feedback and suggestions. Please email me your blog address if it is not displayed on the right and I’ll add it asap.

How are the digital stories coming along? How are you enjoying this topic so far? Feel free to add your comments:) Here is an interesting blog post on digital storytelling, Krista’s Tech Tidbits which has links to lots of nice resources.

Twitter: to formalise or not?

All seminar students, please follow our list @nicolapallitt/survivor-social-media on Twitter and include the hashtag #fam2000f to mark all your seminar tweets. You can tweet about the seminar, questions about essay topics, share interesting links on seminar topics, tweet about current events, etc. Last week we spoke about the differences between Facebook statuses and Twitter updates/tweets.

Within social networking sites, the community defines norms through use. However, you will find some people try to institute rules such as how many times one should tweet per day, how a tweet should look and what it should contain, etc.  You’re likely to find quotes such as “Twitter is the news made social” whereas Facebook is more individual, personal, etc. However, both platforms involve self-presentation strategies – what info you decide to make public and to whom. Please feel free to comment on how you believe you present yourself on Facebook versus Twitter.

On the one hand, the seminar does impose rules on tweeting practice – ‘formalising’ the platform so to speak – and I think there are interesting tensions that happen. I am in the process of archiving posts and I would like to do a paper on our experiences of using twitter in an academic environment. I do feel you would be tweeting about big current events such as the tsunami in Japan anyway – i.e. even if you weren’t doing this media seminar where you get marks for tweeting about current events. So part of the discussion will be about content, but a big topic will be the rules of speaking – who says what to whom and in which context.

I have tweeted academics in the past, such as some of the authors we’re reading for our seminar and retweeting their tweets – how does this change how we view these people? Do you feel that they are no longer references in an essay and have you ever tweeted an academic with regards to a specific question or topic and what was the result? Very often they do not tweet back, but some do. There are still social boundaries on Twitter despite the potential for students to connect with professionals and academics via Twitter. Is following them enough?

Please comment to this post or send me an email on your Twitter experiences and how you’re finding using Twitter as part of the seminar. What do you think is lost or gained by formalising Twitter ie. making it part of a learning environment such as our media seminar?

Remember, we already have institutional monitoring of social network sites at UCT where you have to agree to university policy before entering the site. What if there is additional policing of Twitter – lecturers, tutors, fellow students? Or am I being paranoid about policing tweeting practices? Imagine students getting community service for hate speech in one of their tweets. What do you think? I am keen to hear your views.

Welcome to Survivor Social Media!

Welcome to Survivor Social Media (formerly known as “MyMedia: a digital media starter-pack”)! This is the second year that I will be running this seminar. I’ve made quite a few changes to the seminar. Here’s what it’s about:


1. Using social media to study social media

This seminar introduces students to a range of social media through theory and application. We will not only be learning about blogs and Twitter, but we will also be engaging with these existing platforms as part of the seminar’s learning environment. Seminar members will be responsible for their own personal WordPress blogs (linked to our seminar blog) and will be encouraged to share resources through social bookmarking (Diigo). We will also be tweeting about social media and current events and share our digital stories online.


2. Aims and Outcomes

The seminar structure and range of assignments have been chosen to support second year media students in several ways:

* Social bookmarking can help students archive their online research and engage with valuable online groups.

* Blogs and digital stories can be added to their portfolios if they wish to apply for entry into one of the production streams.

* The ability to blog and use Twitter equips students to be potentially valuable interns at a range of media, advertising or marketing companies. These activities also make for great part-time work.

* Writing for the web requires students to constantly practice their editing skills.

* Students will be doing ‘real’ writing – they will be exposed to an audience online, and need to be aware of their ethics and responsibilities.

* This seminar reminds students of their digital footprints and how important it is to maintain an active online identity.

Your holiday reading: Kontax – a mobile novel

The first 7 chapters of Kontax 2 is being released tomorrow 17 March! Don’t forget to tell your teen siblings or family members and friends! I would also like you to read it on your cellphone during the vac as part of your reading for the seminar – probably the most fun reading activity I’ve set you guys all term:)  

The next seven chapters will be available on the 24th of March. Read Kontax2 at on your cellphone. You can read the original Kontax for free online hereKontax is a mobile novel written my Sam Wilson (you can read his blog here).