Final Blog Post: Write a 750-word blog post, giving a summary of your highs and lows in entering the comment culture this semester. What successes did you have giving and getting feedback? How did you contribute to or complement the story? What would you do differently? Will you continue to be an active commenter? Why?
It’s a little scary doing this final summation blog post because not only is it our longest assignment, but it’s also the last – yes, I never thought I would be complaining about it being the last assignment, but I think I will make an exception. I really did love this class, I feel like this may be a newer class to the department because it speaks on journalism as conversation in itself. We mention these new outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Redditt, etc. – even sites that have comment forums. So that includes blogs, and newspaper sites, I guess. I think this is one of the most beneficial class I have taken at UMass. I mean, the future of journalism is perhaps in the hands of these sites and what they seek to accomplish. Simply because their operation is what will provide journalists outlets and platforms to make things happen.
I think some of my highest points were really the ones that made the class experience tolerable. I loved interacting with Facebook and Twitter because we used them in a way that I never have before. I have a Facebook, but until this class, I never really used it in an intimate way, and I think this class helped me with that. For Twitter, I really enjoyed making the account and diving into the tweeting world. I had never used it so it was a different experience for me. I actually started a Twitter account for my fraternity as part of an initiative, but it certainly helped having a little bit of experience with my own personal account first. Plus, I look forward to Tweeting in the near future – both random and serious things. Twitter is a great platform for journalists.
Good thing I ended on a such a positive note for Twitter (not!) because I am going to dethrone Twitter from its high pedestal that people put it on. Yea, I get it – Journalists love it to tweet fright away, breaking news stories and then links to other radical stories that are trending that day. One of the good things about Twitter is the @mentions and the #hashtag feature. However, I really loved working with Digg later in the semester because I feel it is a way better platform to work on. In my opinion, it is so much better for journalists because with it, you can link to stories you have posted that day or earlier, you can share your blog, too. The reason I think it is better is because there is more opportunity for sharing and content promotion.
I think that getting on the radio was successful and I gained a lot from that experience. Of course, I never got my letters to the editors submitted, but at least I got on the air. That was cool. I think in terms of feedback though, comment culture doesn’t really have much explicit validation of your work. It’s hard to evaluate how well something was when really, commentors comment after you, either to refute, support, or completely change the subject of the conversation on you. The fact of the matter is, I definitely would not care too much about what people thought of my comments just because I know that I am adding a positive influence to the conversation. Now if someone replies specifically to me, well then that is a different story.
My contribution or compliment to the story was no different then the approach I take on Facebook. I always try to be a positive force in telling the story or a story. I think that I would react the same way. So I guess it is really hard to say how I complimented the story, but you know, as long as someone isn’t trolling or flaming then most comment boards are pretty diverse and moderately interesting if you were to sit down and read through them. As far as what I would do differently? Well I don’t think I would change a whole lot. I contributed to the conversation, maybe I didn’t do so in class a lot. But I started to near the end. It was my fault for not being on top of that earlier. However, I am very happy with the way the course married with my writing style and process. As long as you have a good combination of things, then the unit is strong. This class was as fun as it got for me. I would take it again, bt I wouldn’t change anything about how I interacted with the course.
I think I will continue to be active on some things, but not everything. For example, I was never a fan of commenting on newspaper stories, so I probably won’t be writing any letters to the editor anytime soon. But I will continue to be active on Facebook, Twitter and Digg. I mentioned above how much I love Digg. And I see a lot of social value in the former sites so they will continue to be in my most visited. I do wish Twittter would increase their bandwidth though, half the time I can never log in. So in summary, I will continue to be an active commenter because its something that, as a result of this class, I am very much into and look forward to continuing this type of work in the future. I want to be a journalists, and I sure a lot of the class does as well. And we did take a journalism major course. So I guess that last line was pretty cliché. But the main thing is, I will never quit. Like the Titans said in response to them quitting, “No, we want some more, we want some more.”