All Posts Tagged With: "Twitter"
Martin Gingras says site is helping job hunt
TORONTO – It gets dropped without warning and can strike anywhere in the world, laying waste to rational arguments and leaving a trail of offended sensibilities in its wake.
But the linguistic threats posed by the f-bomb on Twitter pale in comparison to its entertainment value, according to a Canadian computer science student who has made it his mission to track the global prevalence of this word-based weapon on the social networking site.
Martin Gingras’s fascination with the popular profanity prompted him to create fbomb.co, a website that tracks the use of the word in real time.
By combining features from two of the web’s most widely used applications — Google Maps and Twitter — the site allows readers to observe where in the world f-bombs are falling and in exactly what context they are being used.
Gingras himself does not track the data for geographical trends, nor does he expect the site to be much more than a source of entertainment to its readers.
Social media connects Canadians to careers
Ignore that request from LinkedIn or Twitter at your peril — it might be a job offer, according to a global study released Wednesday.
The study, commissioned by U.S. human resources firm Kelly Services, found that 39 per cent of Canadians polled have been contacted through a social media website or network in the last year about a possible job opportunity.
Of those surveyed, 14 per cent of Canadians said they were hired after having been contacted via websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
“Social media is rapidly revolutionizing the recruitment process because it broadens the access to an enormous pool of candidates,” said Michael Webster, executive vice-president of the Americas region for Kelly Services in a statement.
“We are also seeing the impact access to smart technology has on retention as the work and personal lives of today’s employees is more commonly blended together. Suddenly employees have the flexibility to engage socially or accomplish work tasks at any given time.”
From the man behind Beach Party Winter Drunk Fest ’86
Dear high school student: Unless your science fair project was a flux capacitor, it’s unlikely you will be visited anytime soon by a Future Version of You, offering sage advice and grave warnings as you prepare for university.
That’s why I used Twitter to marshal the collective wisdom and regret of those who’ve survived higher education. I asked, “In a single tweet, what piece of advice do you wish you could give your former self as he/she begins university?” The tweeted guidance of your elders is below in bold. A compilation of all the advice can be found at macleans.ca/feschuk. Let’s get started.
Don’t be afraid of subjects you know nothing about. Those will be the most interesting classes.—@hellokaitlin
OK, but make sure you know something about the subject by mid-terms. In first year, I quickly realized my economics prof was lecturing directly out of the textbook. Cue the moment of insight: I can stop going to class and read the text myself! This was the PERFECT PLAN except for not ever doing the second part. To this day, I believe the x- and y-axis of the Laffer curve show the relationship between Jim Carrey and fart sounds.
Facebook is king but Twitter, LinkedIn grow
One in three anglophone Canadians won’t let a single day go by without checking into their social media feeds, suggests a new report by the Media Technology Monitor.
The report is based on telephone surveys with 4,001 anglophone Canadians in the fall and found almost seven in 10 Internet users declared they were regular social media users, logging on at least once a month. That figure was up by about six per cent compared to 2011.
Those growing numbers didn’t surprise Aimée Morrison, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo, who researches digital culture.
“It’s becoming a mainstream part of how we get the business of life accomplished and you’re at a disadvantage increasingly if you don’t do it,” says Morrison.
Five things students are talking about today (February 27th)
1. Research from the University of Guelph has shown that university arts majors and those in similar college programs are generally slower to pay off student loans than business, health and engineering students, even when starting salaries are controlled for. Sociologist David Walters, one of the researchers behind the study, said it’s unclear why, though his theories include “lack of numeracy” and less “life-planning skills” among arts types. I’d lean toward the life-planning skills—they did choose arts degrees, after all. And considering how critical of capitalism the arts tend to be, they’re probably more resentful about having to pay them back and more likely to want to stick it to the man by paying as slowly as possible. It makes sense. In Quebec it’s arts students who encouraged everyone to skip school and demand free tuition. (Disclaimer: I have an arts degree.)
2. A Ryersonian editorial gives two thumbs up to Tim Hudak’s plan to invest more in degrees that lead to jobs. The Ontario Progressive Conservative leader’s Path to Prosperity White Paper suggests financial aid be based on students’ choices of programs. “Decisions about who should receive loans,” it reads, “should involve assessments of future employability and reward good academic behaviour.” Naturally this led to a backlash from those in fields where degrees don’t (directly) lead to jobs, including from Professor Pettigrew. The Ryersonian says agriculture, fashion, family studies, theatre, philosophy, anthropology, archeology and political science should get less money while science, technology, engineering and math should get more.
Hard to know which celebrities have ghost-tweeters
About 290,000 people follow Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Twitter, perhaps to read what he has to say about the country’s affairs or to glean a little personal insight into what makes him tick.
Thing is, most of the messages that are sent from his account aren’t really his.
Harper only “occasionally” sends out tweets himself, according to a spokesman.
Much like many other high-profile Twitter users, most of the short-form messages that appear under Harper’s name and avatar are actually crafted by ghost-tweeters charged to work social media on his behalf.
“I assume if it’s an institutional individual — if it’s a CEO, if it’s a big personality, a singer, or it’s a politician — then they are not doing it themselves,” said Greg Elmer, director of the Infoscape Research Lab at Ryerson University studying social media.
Students: Be proactive and prepare for The Hunger Games
William Johnson is coordinator, off-campus outreach and engagement at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ont. where he’s responsible for event management, student engagement and communications.
When I speak to students about career development and social media, I want them to take away that they need to be proactive if they want to increase their chances of post-graduate career success. In 2012, there are far too many university graduates annually for current students to put off thinking about their post-grad life until the day after their convocation. If you want to make a smooth transition from pupil to professional, you must constantly be seeking ways to set yourself apart from the cohort.
1. Realize you’re still a hot commodity
You need to recover the pride and excitement you had when you were first accepted to university. While recent public sentiment might suggest that the degree is losing its value, there are over 600,000 more jobs for graduates in May 2012 than pre-2008 recession (a sharp increase in employment prospects). Despite this increase, employers are still paying individuals with degrees premium wages, according to Statistics Canada and the Boudarat, Lemieux and Riddell study. A university degree may not be for everyone, but higher employability and income can almost certainly be the result for everyone obtaining one.
The pope’s first tweet, Mount Royal’s money woes and beer for your cold
1. Stressed out from exams and warding off a cold? Drink beer! The National Post writes that Japan’s Sapporo Breweries is promoting a study that says hops, a key ingredient in beer, may have respiratory virus-fighting powers. Researchers at Sapporo Medical University (a partner in research, but no relation to the brewery) found that humulone, a chemical compound found in hops, helps protect against cold-like symptoms in adults and more serious illnesses like pneumonia and bronchitis viruses in children. Note: Do not actually guzzle IPAs for breakfast. Sapporo researcher Jun Fuchimoto told the AFP that someone would have to drink around 30 350-mL cans for the beer to have any anti-viral effect.
2. On Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI joined well-known Twitter user Jesus and sent out his first tweet “in perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever,” the Associated Press reports via CBC. The ceremony included a proclamation as the 85-year-old pontiff tapped the screen of an iPad: “And now the pope will tweet!” The inaugural papal message: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” Aw. At last count, the pontiff’s English @Pontifex account was closing in on 850,000 followers. Bad news for anyone hoping to hit up the pope via direct message: The Vatican told AP the pontiff won’t actually write his own tweets.
Online rants could hurt my future career
Writing was always an outlet for me. Whenever I felt emotionally constipated, I would grab my laptop and write my heart out. On top of the work I did as News Editor at Excalibur, York University’s student paper, I’d type out angry rants, poorly written fiction, and hazy recollections of childhood. One day I had the pompous idea that other people might like what I write, so I started blogging.
I ranted about unpaid internships, experiences in teacher’s college, and other embarrassing parts of my life. I managed to reconnect with a few old high school friends who came across my writing. My former teachers encouraged me to keep updating my blog. I was flattered that people were taking time to read my work. I was proud.
About four months and 30-odd posts later, I shut it down. Here’s why.
Young directors are using Twitter to fund their films
Most filmmakers aren’t like Transformers director Michael Bay. They don’t have millions of dollars, huge advertising budgets, or the ability to ruin childhood memories with expensive CGI robots.
So young directors have found a new way to raise funds. Cathy Beasley, a graduate of the New York Film Academy, is making an ambitious film called The Scapegoat. She doesn’t have Hollywood backing, but the film about jewel thieves hiding out in Venice will be shot on location in Italy nonetheless. The 2,000 followers of @KitCatFilms have helped her raise more than $10,000 already.
And it’s a haven for racist, sexist trolls
Facebook. Twitter. MSN. Google Plus. There’s no shortage of places for students to chat, opine, or procrastinate during finals. Yet there’s a new digital obsession spreading across Canadian campuses. It’s called OMG and it’s simple. Students submit short “Oh My Gods” about anything. Then, they’re posted to the site.
As a Waterloo student who found myself distracted by OMGUW far too often in December, I got thinking about what makes it so hard to look away. I wanted to know what makes it so enticing that it has spread from Waterloo to Guelph, Saskatchewan and Toronto, with tens of thousands of views.
Shinder Purewal tweeted that the parade is “vulgar”
A Kwantlen University professor tweeted Thursday that Vancouver’s Pride Parade “should be banned.”
Shinder Purewal, who was also a third-place Liberal Party candidate in Surrey during the recent federal election and was a citizenship judge, sent out this offensive tweet on Thursday morning:
“Vancouver’s so-called ‘Pride Parade’ should be banned. It is vulgar…to say the least!”
Purewal later explained to the CBC that he would not want his children to see half-naked people walking down the street.
“A lot of people in our society wouldn’t want to see that display downtown.” And he added, “it’s not homophobic… It’s simply if they want to have a pride parade it should be a cultured phenomenon. It should not be sexuality on display.”
Vancouver Pride organizer Kevin Coolen said Purewal has the right to his point of view, but he added that he thinks it couldlead to more homophobia.
Kwantlen University sent out a tweet stating that Purewal’s point of view does not represent the school’s.
A flood of other Tweeters responded to his statement, mainly with criticism.
Essays are unoriginal, says student aid official
The University of Iowa is offering a $38,000 scholarship to its business school for the best tweet by a prospective student who explains why he or she will make a good MBA hire, reports USA Today. That’s right, it’s a 140-character application that pays $271 per letter.
Jodi Schafer, the University of Iowa’s director of MBA admissions and financial aid, told the newspaper that application essays were “becoming unoriginal,” She explained that, “we’re hoping that incorporating social media in the process will help bring back some of that creativity.” Students can include a link to anything they like in their tweet, including blogs, videos or Facebook accounts.
The University of Iowa isn’t the first school to eschew the 800-word entry essay in favour of the Tweet. Kentucky Fried Chicken received 2,800 applications for it’s $20,000 Twitter scholarship last year. To enter, students explained why they deserved the cash. The $20,000 winning entry was by a student who didn’t even use all 140 characters. She wrote that the scholarship “is the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success.”
Rhode Island legislators say Facebook causes bullying
The U.S. state Rhode Island has passed an “anti-bullying” law that creates a state-wide ban on the use of social networking sites anywhere on school property. As The Huffington Post points out, that means students won’t be able to access the legislature’s own Facebook page, which could make it difficult for the government to extend its fan-base beyond the eight people who have “liked” it so far.
University needs to publicly address student’s threatening tweets
Many people are talking about the tweets posted by McGill University student Haaris Khan earlier this month, with the exception, ironically, of those whose statement is most imperative.
McGill University has not commented on the tweets Khan posted while watching a screening of Indoctrinate U on campus. “I want to shoot everyone in this room,” he tweeted during the event, which was hosted by Conservative McGill and Libertarian McGill. “I should have brought an M16,” he later added.
McGill’s Deputy Provost released a statement only after the McGill Tribune and other news outlets picked up the story. The statement, however, merely justified McGill’s handling of the incident and fell short of actually condemning the spread of potentially violent messages on campus. Bizarrely, the Deputy Provost ended the statement with a paragraph outlining the “downside of social media.”
Khan has since apologized for his tweets in a letter published in the Tribune. “My comments were totally inappropriate and I would never harm my fellow students,” he wrote, adding that his tweets “were meant in jest.” Maybe I just have a lousy sense of humour, but I think there’s a reason clown costumes don’t come with mock M16’s.
What isn’t funny, though, is the formal silence from the McGill administration. Citing Quebec’s privacy laws, McGill refuses to discuss what action, if any, will be taken against Khan. But McGill needs to reassure its students, faculty, and staff that threats of violence—even if “meant in jest”—will not be tolerated on campus. While a commitment to privacy is fine, McGill must also fulfill its obligation to provide a safe space on campus. (And for all the vacuous talk we so often hear about “safe spaces,” here is a situation where it actually seems warranted.) That means assuring everyone on campus (however generally) that threats of violence are completely unacceptable. McGill shouldn’t let its silence do the talking.
Police won’t be laying charges against Haaris Khan
Haaris Khan, the McGill University student who made threatening comments via his Twitter account, has issued an apology. “My comments were totally inappropriate and I would never harm my fellow students,” Khan wrote in a statement published in the McGill Tribune.
Earlier this month, Khan had attended a screening of documentary Indoctrinate U that was hosted by student groups Conservative McGill and Libertarian McGill. The film alleges that American universities are biased against conservative ideas. During the screening, attended by around 20 people, Khan posted several messages to his Twitter that others viewed as threatening. One message read, “I want to shoot everyone in this room,” while another stated, “I should have brought an M16.”
Montreal police investigated the incident, but no charges will be filed because no proof could be found of “criminal intent” behind the comments, the Montreal Gazette reported. The university is not making public whether Khan will face punishment for his actions.
Conservative film screening prompts comments about shooting ‘everyone in this room’
Montreal police are investigating a McGill University student who allegedly posted threatening comments to Twitter, the McGill Tribune reported. Haaris Khan made the comments while attending a film screening of Indoctrinate U, hosted by Conservative McGill and Libertarian McGill last Wednesday.
One of Khan’s messages, according to screen shots obtained by campus Conservatives, read, “I want to shoot everyone in this room,” while another read, “I should have brought an M16.” Indoctrinate U is a documentary that alleges American universities are biased against conservative ideas, and around 20 people attended the McGill screening. Khan also wrote that “I’ve infiltrated a Zionist meeting” and “I feel like I’m at a Satanist ritual.”
After learning of the Twitter messages last Thursday, Conservative McGill members contacted university security, who informed the police. Police opened an investigation, but no arrests have yet been made. It was confirmed that Khan does not own a gun.
Khan, who has since deactivated his Twitter account, says the comments were not intended as genuine threats.” Whatever comes into my mind, I say it on Twitter,” he told the Tribune.
Kevin Pidgeon, a Conservative McGill member, said he did feel threatened by the online remarks. “I’m 100 per cent for free speech . . . But when it encroaches on my and about 15 other people’s right to life . . . I think right to life wins out over right to free speech,” he said.
Offensive comments are a step back for progressive attitudes toward rape victims
While most of us were horrified to read the news that CBS correspondent Lara Logan had been brutally beaten and raped in Egypt, Nir Rosen, a fellow at NYU Center for Law and Security, just couldn’t resist a few political jabs.
He began his Twitter rant saying:
“Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal.” (Anderson Cooper had also been attacked while covering the protests in Egypt.)
He then continued:
“Yes yes its wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But, it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.” (Rape is hilarious, says NYU scholar.)
And it gets worse:
“Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger.” (Don’t feel too bad for her, she propagates war!)
“Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I’m sorry.” (Maybe if I pluralize her plight than you’ll see my point? Uhh… *then.)
Followed, of course, by a feeble attempt a damage control:
“ah fuck it, I apologize for being insensitive, it’s always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get.”
Then a better one:
“As someone who’s devoted his career to defending victims and supporting justice, I’m very ashamed for my insensitive and offensive comments.”
It’s hard not to be disgusted by Rosen’s remarks. Despite much of the progress that’s taken place in Western society in recent decades with regards to the perception of women and gender equality, sexual assault is one of those issues that seems to lag behind. It wasn’t until 1983 with Bill C-127, for example, that a man could be charged for sexually assaulting his wife. And later, in 1992, when victim blaming finally took a hit with a rape shield law laying out strict guidelines governing how accusers’ previous sexual conduct could be brought into assault trials. Then there are treasures, such as Whoopi Goldberg, who defended Roman Polanski’s rape of a 13-year-old girl as not “rape-rape,” and worrying stories of honour killings taking place in Canadian cities where girls deemed “sexually immodest” are murdered for dishonouring families.
Blaming the victim is not new, although usually the line is: “Well, if she went out looking like that…” rather than “Well, she is a war monger, after all.” But politicizing tragedy is always tasteless, no matter how you spin it. Whether it’s rejoicing in the grave illness of a political opponent or using a horrific incident to malign those on the other side of the table, there is usually little to be reaped for such rhetoric except for some pitiful self-satisfaction.
As a man and an academic who purports to be a progressive human rights advocate, Rosen has let his larger political agenda blind him from acknowledging individual injustice. Remarks such as his, which are so poorly and misguidedly contextualized, hinder the progression of attitudes towards rape victims and women overall. It seems he can only support justice as long as its on his terms. Your move, NYU.
Update: Nir Rosen submitted his resignation to NYU earlier today. The university has accepted.
It’s the way students use the tool, not the tool itself, that delivers results
It turns out, for some students, the addition of technology to the classroom has helped with their grades. Or at least that’s what a recent study from an unnamed Midwest American university would have you believe.
Paige Chapman summarizes the study’s findings on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website:
“At the end of the semester, the tweeters had grade-point averages half a point higher, on average, than did their non-tweeting counterparts. And students who tweeted were more engaged. Twitter users scored higher than those who didn’t use the tool on a 19-question student-engagement survey over the course of the semester — using parameters like how frequently students contributed to classroom discussion, and how often they interacted with their instructor about course material.”
But the study’s conclusion misses the mark entirely.
The entire title of the study, “The Effect of Twitter on College Student Engagement and Grades,” is counter-intuitive. Regardless of the effect a tool may have on learning, it is the way that students choose to use the tool that is most important. Chalkboards, after all, are useful learning tools, but nobody would suggest that the use of chalkboards is somehow causal in the event of chalk-using students getting better grades than their chalk-free peers.
The willingness of some students to use a tool like Twitter, or a chalkboard for that matter, is demonstrative of a student’s wider ability to interact with unfamiliar tools, to expand their horizons, to ask more difficult questions and to engage with classroom material in new ways. This quality can also manifest itself in the classroom through increased participation and deeper interaction with the subject matter.
But one thing should be made clear: These are qualities possessed by students, not by the tools they choose to use.
Whether a student uses a tool like Twitter or not can be indicative of a number of things. But it is not, by itself, indicative of a student’s intelligence, nor is it by itself capable of boosting any single student’s GPA. The possession of a hammer does not make a person a better carpenter, but simply offers them more opportunities.
I would hate to see the effects of a study like this on an impressionable young student, struggling with their course load, thinking that the answer to all of their academic problems lies in a Twitter account. Sure, in some cases, Twitter can bring a new, dynamic and sometimes valuable contribution to class life, but it’s completely naïve to think that the simple addition of this social networking tool to a classroom will turn Cs to As.
And your phone. And your iPod. We have work to do.
Another day, another attack on us mean old industrial-age professors.
This time, it’s historian Fred Donnelly telling us all to chill out over lap tops in class. Students are not ignoring the work at hand, Donnelly suggests. Instead, they are returning to a pre-industrial mode of work:
Consider how people worked in the pre-industrial era. Labourers in agriculture and construction sang on the job. Weavers composed poetry to the rhythm of the loom and many skilled artisans employed a boy to read to them while they worked. Everyone talked on the job and took unscheduled breaks quite frequently. In short, they laboured away in a multitasking environment.
Right. And if slaves in the old South had had the internet, their masters would have been perfectly happy to let them caption Lolcats instead of picking cotton.
But seriously, the argument fails not just because of what seems to be an overly romanticized view of pre-industrial labour (oh to be a medieval serf: that was the life!), but because it creates a false analogy. There are some tasks you can do while you listen to music or chat with your friends. Who has not whiled a way a long car ride singing along to the radio? But there are other tasks that require one’s full concentration if they are to be done well. Listening to a lecture, and thinking about the content, and considering its connection to other things in the course, and taking notes — not to mention asking and answering questions — these are things that simply cannot be done effectively while watching videos on YouTube or killing zombies or updating your Twitter feed.
The laptop, Donnelly suggests, is a challenge to the authority of the professor, who is really no more than a Dickensian shop foreman:
Now, students have their own portable windows to stare into, their own songs to listen to, their games to play and messages to send to friends inside and outside the classroom. All the while they are seated at their work benches – oops, sorry, their places in the classroom – and presumably also taking notes from an instructor.
But that’s just it. They’re not also taking notes. They’re chatting with their friends in other classes:
ths class = CWOT prof thinks we r t8king notes FAIL LOL
That’s what kills me about the new apologetics of this supposed digital generation. While professors pat themselves on the back for being in touch and progressive, for creating a dynamic new learning environment, they are really creating an environment of increased contempt for learning and study.
All these students with laptops? They’re not multi-tasking. They’re just ignoring you.