Monday, March 15, 2010

Is Twitter College Material?

Interesting experiment conducted by a College Professor that provides valuable insight regarding using Twitter to engage with College Students.

What do college students think of Twitter?
by rwaters

I asked students in my Public Relations Writing class to use Twitter for four weeks. As part of the assignment, they were asked to follow a variety of individuals and organizations including nonprofits, businesses, celebrities, classmates, and news organizations. The goal was to determine how Twitter is being used as a communication tool.

To be candid, several students in the class were not excited about the assignment. Most had opened Twitter accounts at some earlier point in their college career, but had not made use of the tool. This situation mirrors the recent study by Barracuda Labs that only 21 percent of Twitter users are active users (defined as users with at least 10 followers, follow at least 10 people and have tweeted at least 10 times).

What did the students discover? 
Twitter’s potential to spark a sense of community. One of best examples of this insight was provided by a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity. The student described following ZTA on Twitter as a motivating and uplifting experience. She discovered sisters across the nation who were raising funds for charity, singing on American Idol, and taking the stage in the Miss America pageant. Had it not been for the information she encountered on Twitter, she would not have known about the accomplishments of fraternity members beyond those at the local level. She was surprised by the sense of connection she felt with individuals across the U.S. and felt a stronger connection to the larger fraternity. That’s a solid testimonial to the social power of the networking tool.

What did other students like about Twitter? 
First, some found Twitter to be a personalized news source that allows them to keep up with causes they care about. Second, they appreciate the businesses using tweets to offer special incentives to followers. Third, students like the interactive nature of Q and A Twitter sessions. They want prompt, honest answers to questions and they want the inside scoop on events.

What did they dislike?
They were put off by excessive tweets and blatant appeals to purchase products.

Will my students become active users of Twitter?
Only time will tell. But I do think they are prepared to communicate with others regarding the potential of the microblogging site to create meaningful online communities.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When We Have One Voice

... our impact is monumentous ...

I met Delilah, randomly, or so I thought then, online.  (I didn't know then either how very much since she'd not only save my heart, but also permanently imprint herself within it.)

Our brilliant combined craziness somehow (because of God) thought up this notion of Peace4 the Missing.

It was to be, for one and foremost, an area upon which to pour our hearts into a cause we believed in via a different route than we'd previously seen.

What if? ... we wondered ... we approached the often neglected social cause of missing persons with a social media savvy influence?

And thus our mission began ... to increase the voice volume of so many Loved Ones of the Missing to the greatest degree ... while meanwhile, unexpectedly then, being blessed right back more than we ever could have imagined.

And so ... that is our .. and so much more so ... ALL OF OURS! ... Peace4 ...