Social media Monitoring Assignment

Social Media Issue Analysis Project

Each student will be assigned to monitor and analyze a controversial topic trending in the new media sphere throughout the semester. This involves: signing up for a WordPress blogging account (please let me know if you want to use an email address other than your GSU student account), authoring 7 blog posts (due dates and the expectations for each post below), and completing a final presentation (December 12th during exam period).

Topic Choices

  • #BlackLivesMatter – Paula
  • #BlueLivesMatter – Aminah
  • Hillary Clinton for President (e.g. #iamwithher) – Joseph
  • Donald Trump for President (e.g. #trumppence16) – Alie
  • Bernie Sanders Movement (e.g. #feelthebern) – Dusty
  • Immigrant Rights in the US (e.g. #daca, #tntweeters) – Mary
  • End Illegal Immigration Now (e.g. #Americafirst, #buildthewall) – Daniel
  • Support Gun Control (e.g. #notonemore)
  • Support the Second Amendment (e.g. #2A, #nra)
  • Transgender rights (e.g. #wejustwanttopee, ‪#transawareness,#occupotty #translivesmatter) – Leila
  • Protect traditional gender roles (e.g. #boycotttarget) – Sekayi
  • #GAMERGATE Protestors and Trolls – Nicholas
  • #GAMERGATE Feminists & Gamer Equality Supporters – Ben
  • Stop Climate Change (e.g. #frackdown) – Khyri
  • #Climatehoax – Brandon
  • Support Edward Snowden (#privacy, #snowden, #anonymous, #intercept) – Eve
  • Edward Snowden endangers national security (#snowden, #nationalsecurity) – Bruce
Social Media Monitoring Project Grade Breakdown
Points Due Date
Blog Post 1 50 Sept 11
Blog Post 2 50 Sept 29
Blog Post 3 – Collaborative Post 50 Oct 13
Blog Post 4 50 Nov 2
Blog Post 5 50 Nov 10
Blog Post 6 – Collaborative Post (collaborative part is optional) 50 Nov 19
Blog Post 7 – Final Write Up 100 Dec 4
Final Presentation 50 Dec 12 in exam period

Blog Posts

  1. September 11 – Identify and examine the major hashtags used to support your issue/person and to oppose. Write a blog post evaluating what the major themes, hashtags, and tweets involving your subject on Twitter. Who are the most popular Twitter users? What sort of issues are circulating?  Who appears to be winning the war of ideas on Twitter? Check out the Twitter analysis tools linked on the course blog to guide your analysis. (600-1000 words)
  2. September 29 – Write a blog post evaluating the major themes and posts on Facebook. What are some of the most popular posts? Are there groups working on Facebook that seem to have particular success? Make sure you provide evidence to back up your analysis. Check out the analysis tools linked on the course blog to guide your analysis. You should also make sure you include links to any external citations or social media accounts as well as incorporate images that illustrate your points. (600-1000 words)
  3. Oct 13 – Collaborative Post – This post will be written jointly with your classmate who is working on the opposing side of your issue (e.g. Gun Control & Gun Rights will work together). As the week 6 readings stressed, new media and old media are intertwined through a process known as technological convergence. Using the social media analysis tools linked on the course blog, identify and briefly describe the top 3 pieces of content (e.g. article links, tweets, Facebook posts, or videos) originating from an old media organization (e.g. TV stations, magazines, newspapers, etc.) being shared on either side(s) of your issue. What pieces of content appear to be the most influential among the different sides of your issue over the last two weeks (e.g. most retweeted article, most discussed, most liked on FB)? (If nothing has resonated in the past two weeks, please go back further.)How have these three pieces of content influenced the social media conversation? Can you see a difference between what type of content circulates between opponents and supporters? (e.g. did it make some people angry, happy, why did it resonate or not?)  Make sure you provide evidence to back up your analysis (e.g. most retweeted article on Transgender rights on Twitter during the last 14 days. It was retweeted X number of times …). Based on your findings, what role does technological and cultural convergence play in intensifying (or not) the bifurcation between the groups under analysis?  (~1000 words)
  4. Nov 2 – Drawing upon the Sept 26 and Oct 10 readings and class discussion, answer the following questions. Do you see social media users relying on remix culture and convergence culture to support a particular position on your issue? How?  What sort of innovative uses of new technologies are different groups/people using, and to what effect? Make sure your post includes specific examples and incorporates links specific posts, images, or videos. (~600 words)
  5. Nov 10 –Write a blog post on how your case study is trending on a different social media network (choose YouTube, Instagram, snapchat, Reddit – or another one. Anywhere there is significant activity related to your topic). How does what you observe here differ from or mirror what you found on Twitter and Facebook (e.g. are there different themes, issues, influential organizations or people involved in the conversation?). How are the conversations taking place in these networks connected to those on Facebook and Twitter (i.e. screengrabs, links, reposts)? What surprised you and why? (~600 words)
  6. Nov 19 – Collaborative Post (option to do this individually)– This post will be written jointly with your classmate who is working on the opposing side of your issue (e.g. Gun Control & Gun Rights will work together). The focus is really on style – does each side have a particular new media approach that differs from their opponents?  If so, how and in what way? Your post should compare and contrast how the different sides of this topic use social media differently or similarly. For example, do they use different media sources? Do they discuss different topics? Does one side tend to have a more robust conversation on a particular social network than the other?  Is one side more/less hostile, aggressive, passionate?  Do they appear to differ in terms of age, race, gender, location, religion? Make sure you incorporate examples, images, and any available figures to support your analysis. You and your partner can choose to post individually rather than collaboratively. If you choose to do this individually, please focus on your side – but offer supporting evidence where possible that highlights the differences.   (~1000 words for joint post or ~600 words for individual post)
  7. Dec 4 – Final Posts – Write up of the key findings from your final presentations. These must be a minimum of 1000 words and a maximum of 2000. Please make sure they answer the following questions.
    • Who are the major organizations involved in the social media conversation about your topic/issue? If you are looking at a candidate – don’t just look at them. Are there political action campaigns supporting them? Grassroots activists working for them? You don’t need to be exhaustive – but selective – who are the key “influencers” in the new media conversation.
    • What appears to be the new media strategy of these influencers you have identified? Who do you think is most successful and why?
    • Over the course of the semester, what have you identified as the key issues, and controversies surrounding your topic in the social media sphere? How have they changed over time?
    • What did you find most interesting and what surprised you most while tracking this topic?
    • How does your experience monitoring this issue/topic either conform or not to our class readings discussions about new media and power from this semester? Do you feel as if the overall contribution of new media to activism/politics has been a sum negative or positive? Please explain. The readings from Week 10, 11, & 16 are particularly relevant here. Those working on the surveillance debate should also consider the readings from Week 12.
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