Knight Social Media Challenge

Name: Lexington Souers

Advisor: Dr. Joshua Grimm

Category: Wild Card

Purpose: In 140 characters and 40 seconds, you can tweet. In 55 characters and 15 seconds, you can get a good idea of what’s going on in the world. With an average 7 in 10 adults under 30 getting some or all of their news from social media sources, there is a varying degree of information being presented. My project will be based upon 15 second news videos posted to Facebook and Twitter to change how the news media conversation is approached through social media. By using reliable news sources these posts will engage and educate the community.

Process: A Facebook and Twitter account will be created. Videos will be posted using Tout, a site used by news networks around the world to create effective but brief news videos. The videos will be posted twice a week and then progressively increase throughout the year. Eventually videos will be posted daily. This is too enhance interest. If videos were produced daily from the start this would overwhelm social media viewers and they would lose interest in the project. A gradual introduction will allow the project to flourish.

Videos will be 15-20 seconds in length and briefly discuss a current or requested news story. During the election period or times of other major news the videos will center around these topics. In situations where a new story becomes popular a corresponding video will be posted. For instance, when Miss America was kicked out of her sorority for hazing, most of the news articles shared came from biased sources. I would post a video that researched the issue and provided accurate facts. News sources will be credible and well researched. The videos will involve text, so that students who are watching in the library or other quiet locations will be allowed to watch without needing headphones. A headline will be attached to the post to garner interest. I am also interested in doing longer one minute “feature” videos once a month. I think this would be a great way to delve into a specific topic more closely or focus on a new campus issue. 

How it will use social media, including specific social media tool(s) to be used: Social media will be used through Facebook, and Twitter. By using Tout I will be able to post to multiple sites at once, and can even post from an app on my phone. Instagram also uses a 15 second video format, and I’m willing to explore that outlet as well.

How it will engage and/or inform the community: The videos will inform the community, but the most apparent way to engage the community is through surveys. This will allow viewers to chose topics for later news stories. This will give feedback and create positive communication between myself and those participating. These surveys allow for a closer connection to the project and will enhance interest.

How you plan to measure success: I plan to measure success through comments generated, survey results and shares. Shares will be most indicative of the projects success.

Timetable: This is a full year project. Posts would be twice a week and then progress to three times a week, continuing to increase as the months pass.