Assignment: One Week of Twitter (Fall 2008)

On September 15, 2008, in public relations, by Barbara Nixon

Our One Week of Twitter assignment begins on Tuesday, September 16, and will end at midnight on September 22. Your blog post about this experience is due before class on October 1.

Setting Up Your Twitter Account

  1. Go to Twitter. Click Get Started, and sign up. I prefer it if you use some version of your first and last name as your Twitter ID. (Avoid putting numbers in your Twitter ID, or you may appear like a spammer.)
  2. Upload a photo or avatar.
  3. Write a brief (140-character or fewer) bio. It’s good to mention that you’re a PR student.

Setting Up Your Follower List

  1. Go to the Twitter Accounts subject in your class’ Facebook group. Provide us with your Twitter ID.
  2. Click on the Twitter URL for each person in our class. For example, my Twitter URL is
  3. When the Twitter page loads, click the Follow button.
  4. Repeat this process for each person in the class. (Note: Some people in class did not put “http://” before their Twitter URLS, so you will need to copy and paste the address in your browser rather than click on a hyperlink.)
  5. Also, follow at least five of the following: Brett Pohlman, Leo Bottary, Ike Pigott, Claire Celsi, Neville HobsonJennifer Ryan, Chris Brogan, Geoff Livingston, Todd Defren, Christopher S. Penn, Jeremy Pepper, Jeremiah Owyang, Scott Monty (Ford), GM Blogs,  Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh , Jet Blue, ComCast Cares, CNN’s Rick Sanchez, Georgia Southern University . . . or others in the field of PR or communication of your choosing. (NOTE: It’s possible that some of these people may not follow you back. That’s fine. You will learn from them anyway.)
  6. You can have your Twitter tweets automatically update your Facebook status, if you want. (This is not required.)

Using Twitter

  1. Over the course of the next week, send at least ten tweets (Twitter messages of 140 characters or less). Your tweets could concern something you’re doing or perhaps point others to something interesting or funny you read online. Maybe you could even pose a question that you’d like others to answer.
  2. Also, respond to at least two of your classmates’ tweets. To respond, click on the arrow after a tweet. Or you can type the @ symbol followed immediately by a username (such as @barbaranixon).


Additional Information

  1. Review my tips on how college students can use Twitter to their advantage.
  2. After the week is over, add a 250-word (minimum) post to your blog about the experience and what you got out of it. Be sure to include at least one way you might find value in continuing your account in Twitter. This blog post is due before class on October 1.
  3. There’s no requirement to maintain your Twitter account after this experiment is done; it will not affect your grade if you discontinue it. However, you might want to keep trying it for a while longer. I found it took me about a week to feel comfortable with it and really begin to learn its value.

Questions? Just send me a DM (direct message) or an @ (reply) in Twitter!

NOTE: Many thanks to Kaye Sweetser and Karen Russell for their ideas prompting this assignment.

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11 Responses to Assignment: One Week of Twitter (Fall 2008)

  1. Otto Schmitt says:

    That sounds interesting. Does it have anything to do with the so called money accounts?

  2. […] great resource on how to apply Twitter in the classroom is to view Barbara Nixon’s ‘One Week of Twitter’ assignment. Barbara Nixon, a professor at Georgia Southern University, shared her assignment for her […]

  3. […] September, my Corporate PR students at Georgia Southern University were given the One Week of Twitter Assignment. In October, they blogged about their experiences with Twitter. A Canadian educator who I’m […]

  4. […] September, my Corporate PR students at Georgia Southern University were given the One Week of Twitter Assignment. Most of the students started their adventures with Twitter a similar feeling. They typically had […]

  5. Neville, Todd, Jeremy & Scott — thanks SO much for being active members of the Twitter community. Several of my students have spoken to me in person about how wonderful it is to engage with practitioners one-to-one like this.


  6. Greg says:

    Interesting experience! Too bad we don’t have that kind of assignments at our university. If any of your students want to follow another PR student, they can follow me at .

  7. Scott Monty says:

    While my time at Ford is constantly in demand, I make every effort to respond when someone @’s me. If your students want to find the power of Twitter through conversing with other Twitterati in addition to posting thoughts and comments, this is a great way to discover it. Consider me a willing participant in this assignment.

  8. […] College Students. Barbara also appears to be a great resource if you have any questions on Twitter-she assigns her students to use it. As a PR student, I think it is a good idea because it is important to be “a step […]

  9. I will also be travelling (spelled the Canadian way, thank you) at the end of the week, but will have my computer and will tweet as much as possible.

    They do know what they are getting into with me, don’t they? Random rap lyrics, lectures on nothing, and PR rants.

  10. Todd Defren says:

    FYI I am on the road this week, so my tweets will be light. Thanks for putting me on a list with such august company, though.

  11. Following this with interest, Barbara.

    One suggestion for everyone – you’ll increase the likelihood of being followed back if you have completed your Twitter profile with at least some information, especially a real name, location and a link to a website. those are the things I look at and, typically, if any are missing in a Twitter profile (especially a URL I can click on) I don’t follow.

    See you on Twitter!