Tweets (10%)

Start a Twitter profile and join the seminar list. Please add the seminar hashtag #fam2000f to each tweet related to seminar content. Do NOT treat your twitter account as a rehash of your Facebook statuses. Your first tweet needs to best describe you – introduce yourself in 140 characters! Post tweets about weekly seminar readings, social media news and current events. Reply, follow and be followed by seminar members. Shorten URLs, and use tags and mentions appropriately. No hate speech, slander or spam.

Blog (20%)

Use WordPress to create and maintain (throughout the semester) your own blog about something that YOU feel passionate about. Blogs come in many shapes and forms, but for the purpose of this seminar you will be required to maintain a personal blog. If you do not have a particular interest you want to blog about, blog about your social media journey, reflecting on what you’ve learnt and what you think about various social media. Consider how the look and feel of your blog reflects the subject of your blog, treat it as an exercise about writing for the web and make use of the medium’s interactivity where applicable (such as embedding photos and videos, adding links to other websites, customization). A link to your blog will be added to the seminar blog and you are encouraged to read and comment on fellow seminar members’ blogs.


(*Please hand in 2 hard copies with a signed plagiarism declaration when submitting:)

  1. Essay (20%):

Blog Analysis

Write an essay (2000 words) which offers an analysis of a blog about a SOCIAL ISSUE of your choice. Pay attention to the relationship between the blogger and the social issue. Consider the blogger’s authority on the subject and the work that they are doing in relation to the issue that they are blogging about. Relate this to citizen journalism. Discuss the blogger’s choice of content as well as how they have used their blog’s functionality to express its content. Pay attention to the blog’s overall usability and navigation, whether or not it reflects ‘writing for the web’ and consider the blogger’s target audience and whether or not you think he/she succeeds in reaching them.



Write an essay (2000 words) exploring the strengths and limitations of crowdsourcing. Draw on current local and international examples and refer to thought-leaders in this field.

2. Digital Story (20%)

Produce a 2-minute digital story about something newsworthy happening on campus. Focus on a subject that fellow students are most likely to find interesting. Be creative, using sound (for voice-overs or background music), video interviews and photographs to aid expression of your digital story. Do not forget about ethical considerations, as you will be asked to upload your digital story to YouTube and link it to the seminar blog. The participants you interview in your video or photograph need to sign a form you need to submit with your story, proving that they have given their informed consent to participate in your project and are aware of it being online.

3. Mobile Lifestyle OR Social Networking OR Social Media – Interviews and Feature Article (20% – article, reflection, transcripts)

Interview three young people about their cellphone use AND/OR use of social networks AND/OR other social media to write a FEATURE ARTICLE (1 200 words). You can also refer to current South African research on this topic in your article. You can choose to focus on an aspect of mobile lifestyle that interests you – whether it’s applications such as MXit or Facebook, cellphone games, or sharing via Bluetooth. Post your feature article on your blog – remember to have a ‘read more’ link to avoid a long stretch of unattractive text on your blog. Attach transcribed interviews to printed submission as well as a short reflection – minus 5% if you do not submit these. Your interviewees can be part of a niche market if you do not wish to write about SA youth in the broader sense, such as young women where you need to consider your intended audience for a particular publication, such as Cosmopolitan. What kind of feature are they likely to publish? Alternatively, if you’d prefer to do an article on young people’s use of social networking sites, that is fine too. Possible Cosmo-esque topics could be cyber-stalking or flirting, mxit cheating, or about how men feel when their privacy is invaded via social networks online by the women in their lives (a ‘what not to do’ article for the ladies, written by a guy). Alternatively, an article about young black SA women online for True Love or Destiny magazine which most often includes wholesome empowering stories, and is likely to be career-oriented, such as young artists selling artwork or crafts online with the help of e-portfolios and social media or even young SA musicians’ use of social media. This assignment is very open – be creative!

  • Note: Readings on feature writing will be distributed in addition to the seminar reader.

Presentation (10%)

In Seminar 1, you will be assigned to a group of two or three people. You will work together to prepare a PowerPoint presentation on the topic of the week. Refer to the readings in your seminar reader and find interesting examples to share with the class – it can be a blog post you found, a YouTube video, cartoon or anything that goes with the topic of the week. The presentation needs to be 20 minutes long with an additional 10 minutes for questions from seminar members.


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