Off The Written Path

George Mason University and the Use of Social Media in the Case of Abdirashid Dahir

April 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

A recent post by Mindy McAdams about the use of timelines in journalism had me wanting to try out the idea. I thought the recent case of George Mason student Abdirashid Dahir would lend itself to a timeline. How quickly events happened after the Sarah Evans Facebook post would help to show the power of Social Media. This was a way for me to try out the concept, it is not comprehensive and I welcome any suggestions, additions, and corrections on the comments section below.

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March 26th, 2011 · No Comments

Tags: Tech Blog Posts

Steve Buttry and how I’m becoming friends with Twitter

March 24th, 2011 · 2 Comments

My Twitter Profile

I have to admit Steve Buttry has inspired me. It was something he said:

Feeling uncomfortable should be a red flag that you have to jump in

I admit Twitter makes me uncomfortable. Twitter makes me afraid. And after hearing Steve say those words I realized I had to jump in. So I have. I started my Twitter account early in the class because it was a requirement, however my first tweet was on March 22, the day Steve spoke to our class. Two days later I have 13 Tweets!

I’m not going in completely blind. I have looked at Mashable’s journalist’s guide to Twitter and also Mandy Jenkins’s guide. I’m also trying to establish a personal plan for Twitter: What are my goals? What do I hope to accomplish? How long will I give myself to become a Twitter maven?

 The plan is still a work in progress (and I will post about my progress here as I embark on my Twitter journey) but I think what matters for now is that I have jumped in. Now will anyone please follow me @r_tony?

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Soldier Transition Project Storyboard

March 10th, 2011 · No Comments

The Soldier Transition Project aims to tell the story of soldiers who seek out an education after having served their country in a time of war.

We want to answer the questions:

  1. What is it like to go from a war zone to a college campus?
  2. What challenges do Soldiers face adjusting to life as college students?
  3. How can the transition be made easier?

 The planning process for our multimedia project is as follows:

  • Identify the elements of our multimedia project: We have a “nut graf”  that explains our purpose, we will have profiles of featured soldiers, and a resources page that will help soldiers with transition.
  • Identify the media we will use in our multimedia project: The “main event” will be a Soundslides show. We will also incorporate video, audio, text, photos and social media. We are still considering other elements such as a possible timeline.
  • Storyboard the elements: Here is our MindMeister storyboard.


The next step to our storyboard will be planning how each element will be displayed in our website. Our next benchmark is identifying the layout of our project entry page and conducting interviews for our Soundslides show.

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Facebook Journalism On The Rise

March 8th, 2011 · No Comments

Facebook is not only a place to connect with friends, it is now more and more a way to connect with news. A recent post by Vadim Lavrusik on Mashable talks about this growing trend.

Facebook journalism is on the rise because the social media site is becoming more public, Lavrusik says.

The recent Egyptian revolution that removed Hosni Mubarak from power has been called a “Facebook Revolution.” Activists in Egypt used Facebook to organize, and journalists used it to connect to the pulse of the Egyptian community.

Lavrusik mentions that AlJazeera English was able to track planned protests, gather information, and find sources from the revolution through Facebook.

Other benefits of Facebook for journalists include:

  • Building sources
  • Gaining insight into the ‘voice’ of a community through status updates
  • Tapping into a community that you might not have access to, such as Libya

Lavrusik reminds journalists that they still need to contact people and check their facts before they use material from Facebook. For more on how journalists can use Facebook take a look at this Mashable guide.

Tags: Tech Blog Posts