Hello Everyone (and Dr. Sweet-Cushman) today we are going to discuss what I call the Twitter Frankenstein Experiment.
Let me set you the parameters before I get into what we found. Everyone in the class had followed 50 stakeholders. To be a stakeholder one must be a news site, a Politician, someone who comes across as very educated about their subject. Then we all had to follow each other. Then we got a major topic to discuss amongst ourselves using Twitter as our number one resource. What grew out of it was a patched-up media filled beauty I would be glad to call my son!
What was great about the way this is set up is that it is so accurate to what we do daily. This is the perfect examples of people reading something on twitter, thinking they are now the expert, and sharing it with anyone they can think of. On the more positive side I also think that the way the media is presented is smart for a general public. It is simple, easy to read, and even better to get the point across to a mass majority of individuals. For me personally is was a great way to get hit with a wave of new media sources and outlets that I had never seen before and that I would have struggled to find all by my lonesome. Even better, I got to see a wide variety of options about politics in a non-fighting manner on a social media site. We all know that social media is overpowering traditional media, so it has become wickedly vital for media to become a little more reliable or in case that doesn’t work out people to become a little more educated. I see our Frankenstein experiment allowed us to become a little more educated and a little bit like a media expert!
So, without further ado let’s get into the nitty gritty of the experiment!
Part One: The Introduction
We started out with a presentation of the project, well more of a teaser really of the topic two nights before (I think) of the Iowa caucuses. This pointed us all into a singular direction of what we will be doing before she dropped the actual topic which was
“We’re going to discuss the presidential nominating process. (Making sure we use quality sources!) So, following the Nevada caucus Bernie Sanders is in the delegate lead. What does this do to his chances at the nomination? #SML2020”
We got our fingers rolling asap going into answering the exact question given to us. One student tweeted comparing Bernie’s chance to Pete at the time. How they could be our front runners. On the side he mentioned Biden. No mention of Warren, however. Even more people went on to claim Bernie is the one and true guy to win. Mind everyone reading that this is before Super Tuesday so we had no idea about Biden’s major slide into victory and everyone dropping out. There was also a little conversation at this stage of Trump’s current efforts but just a glance before we shifted into our second stage
Part Two: The Sources Section
Our professor reminded us not to just saw things but to also support what we were saying, something we began to take very seriously as we went forward. As this happened we also changed topic a little into understanding the electoral college, something that plays a huge factor in our candidates chances. We also went into a defining factor of socialism. This again really was to help us as a class understand our arguments, materials, and what we were actually saying. I think this was a good point due to the amount of detail that we got into. I also think our sources became a little higher quality and more relevant besides just looking on twitter for “Presidential Candidates”
Part Three: The individuals
This is the part in the class where we went beyond basic understanding of our field and started to make connections about the individual candidates. An example of this that I had was using resources to support the idea that Pete had low chances to succeeding with people of color, black people in particular, due to his negative past with people of color. This started a new discussion that went deeply into one candidate, Pete, and how this one point can make a huge change in his chances of winning.
Then we went to a direct look at Warren. How could she do in the male dominated field. It was pointed out that she wouldn’t take money from certain groups we agreed was morally a good idea BUT really hurt her chances as she would move forward. A campaign needs money to run and Warren was having trouble this point. That being said in our twitter conversations there was still a lot of support for her.
We also spiced up our topics of conversation when we looked at the Republican side, President Trump and others election as the republican candidate. I will admit that I did not personally get super involved but the information that was generated was interesting, especially when we look at how low the polls are for people running against the current president and how some states, like Iowa, decided to just through a Trump rally instead of holding a Republican caucus. Very crazy right! The Tweeters certainly thought so!
Part Four: The End
Now as many can image this swirl of conversation was nonstop and hard to follow for the entire class. Like many I tried to post and just hang in there by the clicks of my keys. But I was typing away. We were connecting Pete to Bernie and Bernie to his success and how that would change everything. We didn’t know in the upcoming primaries what would happen. Our crazy mess of a Frankenstein project was just growing, and we were all adding as much as we could into building this poor creature until finally the buzzer rang, we were told to stop. Our creature was big. He is a never-ending flow of options and information. He is valid and invalid sources. He is stitched together ideas and confusing in-betweens. But what I can say is that he started from a little question and grew into a huge being. Social media has the power to take all types and mesh them into one. Politics are no expectation to this rule.