Area 1: Examples—Other People’s Topics
After exploring the social media platform ScoopIt, and seeing what tools they had available, what kind of audiences they accessed, and through which other social media outlets they worked with, I found it to be effective in certain ways and less effective in others. First off, I really liked the overall appearance of ScoopIt, with its bold text (especially for the titles and keywords), engaging photos, simple yet straightforward layout, and its clean and modern graphics. For example, one of the posts for the USF Human Rights Film Festival links the poster that they designed and shared with their Facebook page. I liked this post because it was simple and straight to the point, and the graphics that they shared for the film festival were colorful, intriguing, and made you want to know more about this festival. I also liked that the ScoopIt posts use other social media outlets, such as Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Web.stagram, etc. within their posts and to connect their ideas/concepts/topics to a greater audience. Some strengths that I found were the titles, as I mentioned before, with examples being “What do you love? Tag it #usfca”, “28 Impressions of #USFCA from #dmp13 students // what’s your impression?”, Give your profs + #USFCA feedback, etc. Also, these posts show through which other social media platforms they are posted on, how many people have liked it, tweeted about it, etc. Some weaknesses that I noticed through ScoopIt were that there wasn’t enough content sometimes, the posts were too simple, and the posts took you to too many other pages and other social media outlets when I just want to engage in this one particularly. Some stories drew me in than others because certain stories were more relevant to me and used certain media outlets that I liked or was familiar with. There were also stories that I didn’t like because the titles were too brief or too long, there wasn’t enough relevancy, and I was confused about the content that some stories offered. For example, the story titled “Scary faces of #USFCA challenge: success!” or “Take the Enlightened Path”, didn’t really give me reasons as to why these things were being done and how I could get involved. Overall, the topics/ideas/images that these posts offer by the topic curators are important not only to the people that create them, but to the audience that the curator is trying to reach because the topic curators specifically post and share content that they want to create discussion around, such as Sam Wilder’s sidewalk garden.
Area 2: Creating My Own ScoopIt Topic and Curating Content
After exploring through the ScoopIt website and observing the type of community that it creates and the content being published by this community, I decided to create my own ScoopIt topics and began curating both original content and content that popped up in my suggestions bar. I created 2 topics on ScoopIt, since that’s the maximum amount you can have when using their free subscription, and they were 1)Food + Environment and 2)Design. I have to say, that it is really easy to post your own content and to re-scoop other things that have already been posted throughout the ScoopIt community. At first I was adding my own contributions by posting original content such as articles about food and the environment, design blogs and videos that I like, photos of peoples’ homes, and recipes/food blogs. All I was doing was copying and pasting the links into the ‘New Scoops’ section and leaving it at that. I soon discovered that there were other ways for me to make my content more relevant and rich, by posting commentary, adding my own photos, and adding tags.
At first, I was only posting my own content because I didn’t like the suggestions that were popping up in the suggestions bar, but after I started posting a few new scoops and adding tags, I realized that my suggestions bar got significantly more relevant, so I wasn’t sure if that had anything to do with me being a more active member in the ScoopIt community. Overall, it’s really easy to curate your own content and to re-scoop content that has been talked about. Organizing my content into different topics is helpful and important because it lets your viewers notice your different interests, different trends, and what matters to you. It is similar to a filing system, but this is filing of the future. It was also cool to see that after a few weeks of using ScoopIt, I have started to get some views on my profile/topics, which means that progress is being made! I will definitely try to continue using ScoopIt and to start finding other people with similar interests so that I can create shared information and an important commonality with other users. Lastly, I really appreciate that ScoopIt is more community based than user based. Users on other platforms such as Tumblr and Pinterest are more focused on the number of followers they can attain rather than the quality of the content they are producing, and the content is most important because that is what is going to be seen, heard, read, and evaluated by a greater audience.