March 29th, 20116:02 pm @



(The following prompt is adapted from an assignment written by Brian Croxall.)

Twitter is a “micro-blogging” platform with a peculiar feature: your individual posts can be no longer than 140 characters.

Why this particular length? Well, Twitter was designed to work through cell phone text messaging. You can not only update Twitter from your phone/computer, but you can “follow” people on Twitter. And they can follow you. Updates come to your phone/browser/client instantly.

This quarter, we’ll be using Twitter to discuss the films we are watching. For now, please:

(1) Register for Twitter before our next class (on March 31st) begins. Set up your profile, etc.

If you already have an account, then I highly recommend setting up another one solely for this course. I also highly recommend protecting your privacy as you see fit. For example, your handle does not need to be your name (or a variant). You also do not need to include a photo of yourself (or a photo that suggests you are tied to your Twitter handle).

(2) Follow me (@jenterysayers), if you wish.

(3) Start looking for folks you might want to follow. On any individual’s page, you can choose to follow that person. The option is right beneath his, her, or its picture/image. Click on that button. You can then choose if you want to receive mobile phone updates from that individual by clicking on the image of the cell phone. (Of note, I don’t select this option for anyone I follow. I am cheap and want to avoid any phone-related fees.)

It is important to note: Text messaging fees may apply to posting to or receiving updates from Twitter on your phone. I don’t want anyone going to any great expense for this class. If you don’t have unlimited text messaging or a Twitter app on your smart phone, then you might want to avoid Twitter’s text messaging feature. You can just use a computer and visit (See more options below.)

(4) Post your first tweet, adding the hashtag #bis397 (anywhere in the post).

(5) Continue to post throughout the quarter, especially when we watch films during class.

Interesting ways to use Twitter:

There are a number of desktop applications, including Tweetdeck and Twhirl. They are both cross-platform and free. Installing either will require you to also install Adobe’s AIR platform. It’s lightweight and free.

You can sync your Twitter updates to your Facebook status. Just install the Twitter application on Facebook. (Personally, I avoid this option, since I like to treat Twitter and FB differently, with distinct audiences in mind.)

Many web browsers have Twitter plug-ins, through which you can avoid visiting the website. (I use Chromed Bird.)

Use your cell phone camera in conjunction with Twitpic, yfrog, or other such services.

Have fun! I’m looking forward to this!