Social Media Analysis

Our first short project (900-1200 words) asks you to analyze some aspect or example of digital culture through the lens of our class readings. To submit your work, post your writing as a new post or page on your class website. Your analysis should include three parts:

  • Argument. Your analysis should offer an argument, claim, or insight about digital culture. Think of our class readings: Taylor makes an argument about the material and cultural costs of digital technologies and the role of advertising in the digital sphere; Yang makes a series of observations (each a different claim or insight) about what our digital content reveals about us as people. Your argument should be specific and help us understand digital culture in a productive and engaging way.
  • Examples. Your analysis should incorporate specific examples from social media or other aspects of digital culture. This could be a collection of social media posts (tweets, Facebook or Instagram posts, etc.), a particular account (someone who posts on Twitter, a YouTube account, etc.), a hashtag, or anything else along these lines.
  • Analysis. Your analysis should comment on your examples to show they support and demonstrate your larger argument. Help us see the significance of your examples, why they are important and what we learn from them; help us understand the importance and implications of your argument. Your analysis should draw on at least one of our class readings, and it will likely help to quote from the reading to bring in a specific idea or perspective. Your use of the reading should forward, counter, and/or extend it in some way. For example, if you were drawing on Yang, you could look at examples that further demonstrate his point about “the anxiety of too much choice” or examples that work against this point, or you could extend Yang’s thinking by making a new observation not included in his list.

Your writing should also draw on the functionality of WordPress, embedding relevant links, images, or other content. For example, if you draw on one of our class readings, include a link to it; if you are analyzing a tweet or image or video, embed it in your post.

The Social Media Analysis is worth 10% of our final grade, and you will thus be graded on a 10 pt scale that corresponds roughly to letter grades (10 = A+, 9 = A, 8 = B, 7 = C, etc.). You will be graded on the effectiveness of your argument, examples, analysis, and use of digital elements.