nichepertise – 30%

This is your first major, huge, and giant task. For this task, you are going to establish your niche as a blogger, tweeter, and Pinterester or Scoop.iter. In more words, you are going to become a curator and expert on something. This something can be related to McDaniel College or Westminster. Or it could be related to something you are already passionate about. The deal is that you have to make it unique. Remember there are lots of blogs, tweeters, and pinteresters/scoop.itsers out there. To generate an interesting and unique web presence that is gonna contribute to the world and become part of an online community, you have to find your niche and your audience.

For example, my wife loves birding. She might choose to become *the* birding resource for in Westminste parks and neighborhoods. So for this assignment she would create a web presence for herself using Tumblr to blog about birding in the area, Twitter to tweet about and collect resources for birding in the area, and she would use Pinterest or to create a more visual display of information about Westminster birding and birding in general. She imagines her audience as birders specifically and, perhaps, those interested in birding in the area who don’t know much about it yet (i.e. beginning birders). If you like this idea, talk to me about it cause I think it would be really cool to do!

blogs and tweets and pins or scoops (20%)

blogs (15%)

Using Tumblr or WordPress or another blogging platform, you will write three blog posts (a vlog counts as two written posts) that contribute to your area of expertise inform the public about something at McDaniel or Westminster in general. You must also make sure you write three different types of blogs (see our reading on blog types to figure out the types you’ll write). If you are going vlog, that counts as one type. You’ll have to write three different types of blog posts. Each blog should be between 300-600 words, have a thesis, be well-organized, have strong support, maintain a consistent appropriate tone and should be grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistake free. List and link blogs should still meet these requirements.

****Note – if you have an idea not on the list and want to work with a partner, come see me and we’ll work something out. Generally, these partnerships will have to do more work (5 posts total and a vlog or podcast counts as one and their must be at least one vlog or podcast or something else comparable). I expect you to share the writing load and work together on all the posts.

You don’t need to cite from class readings but if you do use information from another source, have a place where you describe the source and hyperlink to it. Again, you should write three different types of blogs.

See this rubric for how your blogs will be assessed – rubric.

tweets and pins or scoops (5%)

Using Twitter you will link from Twitter to your blog so your blog posts are tweeted. You will also follow between 20 tweeters you think contribute to your niche and put these tweeters into two separate and thoughtfully labeled categories (Twitter Lists). You must find one hashtag to follow as well and contribute to it. I expect you to tweet at least 20 times about your niche providing important information through retweets (quote the tweet and add value-retweet with a comment!), modified tweets, or tweets.

This social media platform is up to you. You might use Pinterest or Scoop.It or Facebook or Instagram you will curate one board or scoop or gram or post about your niche into a different and more visual format. This board or scoop should have five pins or scoops or grams or posts with insightful comments about the pin or scoop. These comments should be at least 80 words each and, like the blogs and tweets, be organized, thoughtful, and free from spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. Though there can be overlap between the information you’ve found and created on your blog and Twitter, I expect this to information to  be presented uniquely with a different angle on the information appropriate to the platform. Be selective in what you choose to pin or scoop and tweet or blog. Use each media platform to the best of it’s ability.

If you use Instagram, only include 2-3 sentences that comment thoughtfully on the gram.

Additionally, I expect you to create a coherent web presence so that people navigating between each of your social media platforms will know they are experiencing the same niche–your niche. This means names and visual identity for each platform must be similar. Finally, to receive full credit, you need to use your Tumblr blog as a sort launchpad to connect to your other platforms. Use widgets to link from Tumblr to Twitter and Pinterest/Scoop.It/Facebook/Instagram.

what you will get out of the task

  • An upping of your social media platform knowledge.
  • An understanding of how to use social media to add value to yourself and/or brand.
  • Experience in designing a coherent web presence, blog, tweet, and pin or scoop.

task constraints

  • Blogs should be 300-600 words (unless it’s a list blog) and should be grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistake free. You should write three different types of blog. If you cite a source, use an image, or video, make sure you cite it at the end of your blog in MLA format.
  • Use Twitter to tweet your blog posts. Tweet at least 20 times about your niche. Tweets can be retweets (quote tweets), modified tweets, or tweets.
    Find, follow and contribute to a hashtag.
  • Follow 20 tweeterswho contribute to your niche and organize them into two Twitter lists.
  • Using Pinterest or Scoop.It, curate one board or scoop on a topic related to your niche. You should have five pins or scoops
    with comments at least 80 words long (try to get to that though there is a character limit). Comments should be organized, thoughtful, and free from spelling, punctuation, and
    grammar mistakes. If you use Instagram, only include 2-3 sentences that comment thoughtfully on the gram.
  • Your platforms should reflect a coherent web presence and blog should be connected to Twitter and Pinterest or Scoop.It
    through a widget. Pinterest and Twitter, similarly, need to be connected to each other and to blog.

You’ll be evaluated using this rubric – Brands/Identity Rubric

the rhetorical analysis (10%)

For this final part of the task, you will reflect on your niche and what you’ve curated and describe why you’ve done what you’ve done. You know, why did you create this niche? Why did you blog about this or that? Why did you follow him/her? Why those Tweets and why did you put what you did on Pinterest or Why’d you use Pinterest instead of Scoop.It or vice versa? What do you wish you could change to make this even better? Is there another social media technology you’d use too? How come? Why’d you decide on your design? How did our readings influence you?

If you’d like you could organize your essay like this chunking the information into these sections:

  1. Introduction-description of niche, purpose of niche, what you learned, and purpose of essay. Use the rest to show what you learned.
  2. Blogs and Tweets-description of your blog posts and tweets and how they contributed to your niche. Why you wrote them the way you did.
  3. Curation-explanation of why you followed those tweeters and Tumblr blogs and why you curated that information and why you chose Pinterest or Scoop.It?
  4. Web presence-explain why you created your web presence. How did it contribute to your niche?
  5. Conclusion-explain what you wish you had done differently. Explain what you’ve done well. Re-explain what you learned.

analysis expectations

Your refelction should be between 4-6 pages (1000-1500 words) and should be free of grammar, punctuation, or spelling mistakes. It should maintain a formal tone, use critical thinking, and answer the questions above in an essay-not list-form (i.e. I expect a well organized essay with smooth transitions between topics!). Your analysis should use at least three different sources from our course readings to support the claims you make in your analysis. Last, your citations must be done correctly in-text and end-text in MLA format. Your analysis should be composed of the following:

1. The analysis

2. Works cited page

For a stellar example of a analysis go here: Sorry, I changed my mind:)

You’ll be evaluated using this rubric – Rhetorical Analysis Rubric