Getting Started & Online Privacy

We’ll be using WordPress (for blogging), Wikispaces (for compiling research resources), and GroupTweet this semester. Here are some things to keep in mind in terms of online privacy and etiquette.

How to tweet…

If you have a Twitter account already (or have been meaning to create one and wish to take this opportunity to create one), you can participate in our GroupTweet by simply adding our group handle (@eng101comics) to anything you tweet. If you have no desire to have your own Twitter account or wish to keep your personal and school business separate, I will invite you to anonymously contribute to our GroupTweet: however, if you choose this option, you will need to post some kind of consistent marker (an initial, nickname, etc.) with your tweet, so I can credit you for your three weekly contributions. E-mail me your intended marker.

IF you are using your personal Twitter handle, you will want to make sure you put add the appropriate @ designation, in this case @eng101comics, so that it will post to our GroupTweet. For example, I sign in on my @bdholms Twitter account, but when I post and add @eng101comics at the beginning or end of the tweet, it will end up on both my own account and the GroupTweet. If you opted to only have a GroupTweet account, you will want to make sure you post your initials or nickname that you sent to me.

Other Twitter business:

  • If you use a hashtag (#Watchmen, #comics, #ExMachina, etc.), you are tagging your post to link it with a certain idea, figure, or term for organizing purposes. It is not private, and anyone else who has ever used that same hashtag will appear when you search Twitter. This might help you organize key words when you are doing your tweets, but it will also link it with all prior tweets using that tag by anyone on Twitter.
  • If you share a link on Twitter, it automatically shortens and posts it.
  • If you want to tweet specifically to me or another user in our class, you will message them with the @ designation (@bdholms, etc.) – since everyone in class if following our group account, they should see it as well.
  • If you send a DM or Direct Message, only that user will see it.

While using Twitter, the WordPress blog, or Wiki, you should keep the following things in mind:

  • You can use these platforms to respond to prompts I have tweeted or posted, in-class assignments, or if you find interesting resources or connections you’d like to share with the class.
  • Twitter, blogs, and wikis are public forums. What you post will be out there forever and can be linked to you (especially if you choose a username/handle close to your own!). Choose your username and content carefully. Be equally careful about what you share with strangers – anyone can respond to our blog posts and Tweets, and you should protect your personal information and be smart about what you divulge online. The entire point of using Twitter and WordPress is to create an online community for learning and exchange via social media: however, it is indeed “social,” and thus anyone can drop in, at any time.
  • You are all classmates and colleagues. Please remember that our Twitter and blog spaces are a shared online community – and you don’t have tone or body language to decipher what folks are saying (I have personally discovered that sarcasm does not always translate well in writing!). Try to respect the community and be polite and considerate of others. If you are not comfortable with friends, employers (present and future), family, or professors reading what you are about to post/tweet, best think again…



Note: Thanks to Eero Laine, Barrie Gelles, and Rayya El Zein for sharing their #ACTweets Twitter guidelines. Some of the ideas/words above are from them.


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