#cnl-following the News Literacy Conference on Twitter

Posted on March 21, 2011

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Twitter has never appealed to me. Even though I rarely type out super long Facebook statuses, I just don’t like that Twitter sets a limit. And I’d rather be friends with someone as opposed to following them—call me old fashioned. Although the same amount of creeping (urban dictionary: Following what is going on in someone’s life by watching their status messages…and their updates to their social networking profiles on websites like Facebook..) probably occurs, it is comforting to still think of yourself as friends with the person as opposed to following them—the lingo has just always turned me off.

Today, my twitter debut came—I couldn’t resist any longer. I was unable to attend any of the public sessions at the News Literacy Conference held here at Stony Brook last week, so the alternate assignment for my class was to follow it via twitter.

Let me just say that setting up my twitter was far more confusing than I imagined it would be; I was glad we went over hashtags in class last week or I wouldn’t have stood a chance. One I started thinking of it as a newsfeed, similar to my Facebook home page, I was able to figure it all out.

While I couldn’t attend any of the public sessions, I still spent some time at the conference as part of my job in the journalism office. I attended two sessions—one was a sample News Literacy lesson while the other one was about research on News Literacy and was directed toward educators.

I found the conference to be exciting; I had been hearing buzz about it through many of my classes and my job but I didn’t realize how many people would be traveling here from so far away. All of the journalism professors who spoke were very engaging and the audience to be enjoying the various presentations.

I was skeptical that Twitter would be able to capture the energy of the event, and I have to say I still stand by that claim. After searching #cnl and reading tweets from the conference, it is apparent how many different people were present at the conference and it is interesting to see their comments. Still, to me reading tweets just isn’t the same actually being at the Wang center and viewing it all firsthand.

After reading the tweets and having spent some time observing those at the conference, I think following the event on twitter is a valuable thing—as a supplement to actually attending the conference.

McCormickJrnlsm,  tweeted “David Folkenflik of @NPR talking about the new role of the news consumer #cnl.” While this captures my interest, it really doesn’t tell me what was said.

The same can be said for this tweet by JlittauLive: “It’s interesting to see how different places are using Stony Brook model. Some are using big parts, some see it as framework. #cnl.”

I think this is interesting; I don’t really know what exactly the “Stony Brook model” entails since I wasn’t at the session, and I would be curious to know specifically how different schools are using it. While this tweet enhances my curiosity, I want more information than 140 characters can give me.

 Had I been able to follow what was said by the presenters in each session, then log onto twitter to see how the people around me were discussing and sharing the information, I would be much more satisfied. Following the conference on Twitter just didn’t leave me feeling like I really learned anything. The only thing I’m left thinking is that I wished I had been able to attend Friday morning’s session, which seemed to generate a lot of buzz.

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