Course Grade Calculation

4 blog posts 25 points ea. / 75 pts. total (drop lowest grade) 15% of final grade
Weekly tweets (2/week) 1 pt ea. / 30 pts. total 6% of final grade
Response tweets (5/post) 1 pt ea. / 20 pts. total 6% of final grade
Midterm exam 100 pts. 20% of final grade
In-class quizzes/activities 100 pts. total 20% of final grade
Book review blog post 75 pts. 15% of final grade
Final exam 100 pts 20% of final grade

Blog Posts
Throughout the semester you will be prompted to write blog posts that thoughtfully apply course material to topical events and user practices in social media culture. These posts should incorporate: multimedia examples, appropriate hyperlinking to sources referenced, and tags to facilitate searchability. Your posts will also be evaluated on their level of polish, professionalism, and originality. There will be 4 blog prompts, but only 3 grades will count. This means you can either do all of them and drop the lowest grade, or just do the first three and keep your grades on these. I would strongly urge you not to intentionally skip one of the first three posts and assume you’ll make it up on the fourth post. In the event that an emergency comes up and you miss the fourth post, we will not be forgiving if you’ve skipped a prior post.

Blog post instructions and scoring

Weekly Tweets

We will hold an ongoing conversation about our observations of social media in contemporary culture in the form of a class Twitter feed. You may either use your current Twitter username or create one specifically for this course. Tweets should be personal thoughts/insights/questions, responses to readings or lectures, and/or links to relevant material on the web, and should include the course hashtag (#csmt13) in order to be counted for points. You must post at least 2 course-relevant tweets per week; at least 1 of them should be explicitly related to the reading material for that week. Tweets will be counted on Mondays at midnight (the midnight that comes directly after Sunday). You may post more than 2 tweets per week, but you may not bank the points for future weeks.

Response Tweets
After each round of blog posts (including the fourth round), you will read the ones posted by your group members, and post at least 5 response tweets. These may be directed to the author using the @reply function, or they may be general comments (in which case you should include a link to the post). You might offer a question that the post provoked for you, or answer a question posed in the post, or link to something relevant you’ve seen elsewhere. You can divide up your 5 tweets – they don’t all have to be in response to the same post. These tweets must include the course hashtag and the blog topic hashtag in order to be counted as response tweets.

Midterm Exam
The midterm will be short-answer format (e.g. definitions, matching, brief paragraph responses) and will cover material from the first half of the course. It will be closed book/closed note.

In-class quizzes and activities
We will frequently have quizzes and written activities in class. These will ask you to demonstrate understanding of the day’s material, or give you new material with which to engage. You must be in class to receive credit on these. Only in cases of documented emergency or illness will make-ups be offered. Make-ups on activities missed due to religious observance must be arranged in advance (see the Policies page).

Book Review

This assignment asks you to read a popular press book on the topic of social media, and to produce a critical review in light of the material covered in the course up until this point. This project will be both independent and collective, and will involve the steps listed below.

Step 1: Choose a book from the list below with your blogging group. You will be given time in class to discuss your selection with your group – you must all agree on which book you will choose. Your group needs to come to consensus and inform Prof P-S of your selection by 11/10/13.

  • Social Media ROI, Olivier Blanchard
  • Social Media and Public Relations, Dierdre Breakenridge
  • Twitter Power 2.0, Joel Comm and Anthony Robbins
  • The Ingenious Guide to Twitter, Steve Eason
  • Social Media Marketing, Liana Evans
  • No Bullshit Social Media, Jason Falls and Erik Deckers
  • Pinfluence, Beth Hayden
  • Profitable Social Media Marketing, Tim Kitchen and Tashmeem Mirza
  • 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, Andrew Macarthy
  • How to Not Suck at Social Media, Malcolm McCutcheon
  • Instagram Power, Jason Miles
  • Pinterest Power, Jason Miles and Karen Lacey
  • Visual Social Media Marketing, Krista Neher
  • The Twitter Book, Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein
  • The Social Media Bible, Lon Safko

Step 2: Each person is to read the book independently outside of class. You should take notes, in which you note the major points of the book, the questions you believe are left answered, and potential points of contention. Also make note of the areas where you think the book could be usefully supplemented by material and insights from this course. What would you—as an expert on culture and social media technologies—want the author to consider were they to write a new, improved edition? These notes should be posted to the class blog before class time on 11/25/13, using the tag “review-notes” and your group tag. These notes will be counted toward an in-class activity score.

Step 3: You will discuss your thoughts on your book with the members of your group during class on 11/25/13.

Step 4: Based on your own notes and your group discussion, write your book review in the form of a new blog post of around 1000 words. This must be posted by midnight on 12/1/13. It must be tagged with “review” and your group name. You should credit and hyperlink to your fellow group members’ notes when you find yourself utilizing their ideas. As always you should also credit and hyperlink to course authors when you use their words and ideas.

Evaluation criteria for final book review (75 points)

_____  Summarizes structure and content of the book, briefly (10)
_____  Provides insightful, original critique (10)
_____  Demonstrates mastery of a variety of course concepts (20)
_____  Appropriately references course authors (10)
_____  Appropriate use of hyperlinks (10)
_____  Polished writing; no typos, grammatical, or spelling mistakes (10)
_____  At least 1000 words in length (5)


Final Exam
The final exam will be in-class (sorry!) and essay format. It will be open note, but you must print out any notes you want to use (you won’t be able to use electronic devices during the exam). The exam will be based on your notes from your book review and from the last two weeks of class.