Parallel running of two social media from different countries: WeChat and blog for international students
Our work with Chinese students from the Confucius Institute (CI) at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) shed light on an interesting development: in the last several years, the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat dominates the social life of Chinese people, Chinese students in particular.
Based on the WeChat affinity of the Chinese students at the SCSU CI program, the program organizers faced difficulty applying other social media platforms, as part of the curricula of the host country. Namely, blog, as one of the widely used SM platform for creative writing (citation comes here), was contemplated as a SM platform for the Chinese students to journal their experience at the SCSU CI program. Since WeChat behaves rather like Facebook and Snapchat, the lack of opportunity to utilize widely available platform for rather lengthy narration (versus SMS/texting abilitis of Twitter and WeChat) convince the SCSU CI program organizers to seek the buy in by Chinese students into the blog initiative.
Pang (2018) builds a theory based on Ellison (2007) theory of “maintained social capital,” namely the ability of individuals to maintain values of social ties when geographically disconnected. Ping (2018) further narrows her research on Chinese students in Germany using Li and Chen (2014) findings about Ellison’s theory on students in a foreign environment and the necessity for these students to build a new circle of friends in the host country. According to Basilisco an Cha (2015), such environment was provided for Filipino students by using Facebook and Twitter.
Agur, C., Belair-Gagnon, V., & Frish, N. (2018). Mobile sourcing: A case study of journalistic norms and usage of chat apps. Mobile Meida and Communication, 6(1), 53–70. https://doi.org/DOI: 10.1177/2050157917725549
Chen, Y. (2017). WeChat use among Chinese college students: Exploring gratifications and political engagement in China. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 10(1), 25–43. https://doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2016.1235222
Pang, H. (2016). Understanding key factors affecting young people’s WeChat usage: an empirical study from uses and gratifications perspective. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 12(3), 262. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJWBC.2016.077757
Pang, H. (2018). Understanding the effects of WeChat on perceived social capital and psychological well-being among Chinese international college students in Germany. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 70(3), 288–304. https://doi.org/DOI 10.1108/AJIM-01-2018-0003
Run Zhi Zhu, X. L. X. (2015). The Influence of Social Media on Sleep Quality: A Study of Undergraduate Students in Chongqing, China. Journal of Nursing & Care, 04(03). https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-1168.1000253
Wang, Y., Fang, W.-C., Han, J., & Chen, N.-S. (2016). Exploring the affordances of WeChat for facilitating teaching, social and cognitive presence in semi-synchronous language exchange. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.2640
The default Mastodon web interface is a little more complex than Twitter, but no more than, for instance, TweetDeck. There are, of course, other interfaces you could use with Mastodon, including mobile apps or custom Atom feeds or custom web apps using Mastodon’s rich API. Since everyone starts out with the web UI, however, it’s a good thing to look at to get used to Mastodon’s capabilities.
1. Blogger – It’s free and easy to set-up. It can be integrated into your Google Apps for Education account which means that you and your students can use the same usernames and passwords that they use in all other Google tools. You can make your blog private (up to 100 members invited by email). The drawback to it is that a lot of school filters flag it as “social media” and block it on those grounds.
1a. Edublogs – Probably the best option for elementary school and middle school use. Blogs and individual blog posts can be made private, password-protected, or public. You can create and manage your students’ accounts. The latest version of Edublogs allows all users to include videos in blog posts. Outstanding customer support.
2. Weebly for Education – It’s free to have up to 40 students in your account. You can manage your students’ accounts. You can have students contribute to a group blog and or let them manage their own individual blogs.
3. SeeSaw.me – SeeSaw was originally launched as a digital portfolio tool. The addition of a blogging component was made in January 2016. The blogging component of SeeSaw allows you to import and display your students’ digital artifacts publicly or privately. There is not much you can do with SeeSaw in terms of customization of layout and color scheme.
4. WordPress.org – If you have the technical accumen or the time to learn it (it’s not that hard), self-hosting a blog that runs on WordPress software will give you the ultimate in control and flexibility. You will be able to create and manage student accounts, have a nearly infinite variety of customizations, and you’ll be able to move your blog from server to server whenever you want to. That said, you will have to pay for hosting (or convince your school to give you server space) and you will be responsible for maintaining security updates and backing-up your blog regularly.
5. Kidblog – Allows you to manage your students’ accounts. Requires you to pay for a subscription in order to get the features that you really want. Those features include embedding videos and other media from third party sites. Powered by WordPress software.
6. WordPress.com – It’s easy to use and is free, but with some serious limitations at the free level. The free version displays advertising on your blog which you cannot control. The free version also doesn’t allow embedding content from many third-party sites.
vlog is simply a blog in video form. In a vlog, you can share anything you might do in a blog post, such as a tutorial or a story from your life.
Consistency is best for vlogging. If you post a vlog here and there, you won’t gain much traction.
the purpose of a vlog is to help people discover you. Videos that may be suitable for YouTube but that don’t help people discover you, such as a product commercial or an introduction to your company, don’t make great vlog posts. To be discovered, think of the users who are searching for a concern, a specialty, or the answer to a question. Think about what a potential customer or audience member might want to know, create a video about the topic, and upload it to YouTube.
What It Takes to Vlog
develop a strong message before you begin your video.
the camera is a vehicle delivering your message to people. When you talk to viewers the way you talk to another person, you do much better on camera.
ROI on Vlogging
the return on investment for vlogging, you need to focus on your goals. Don’t worry about vanity metrics such as followers, likes, and subscribers. Instead, measure what actually matters for your goals. For example, if your goal is to get clients, consider how many clients you need to acquire to make the hours you put into vlogging worthwhile.
goals and milestones are important for determining your ROI.
Consistency is another element for raising your channel’s profile on YouTube. If you post a video only here and there, you don’t consistently bring traffic and grow.
blogging started to evolve when social media platforms for smaller forms of text-based publishing turned up, like Twitter. Then images and video became easier to publish and share.
what’s changing most drastically is not what we’re doing, but where. He points out that there are cataclysmic changes in how content is published and consumed and offers the example of Facebook Notes, which encourages people to blog on Facebook.
Mark talks about the difference in publishing on Facebook, LinkedIn or other platforms and says the magnet for inbound leads isn’t on your website anymore.
More contemplation on blogging in particular and social media in general in this IMS blog:
Yes it can and I, Plamen Miltenoff, am trying to convince my esteemed colleagues and administration at LRS to consider educause blog hosted at SCSU as the main vehicle for information. Main consideration is that integrated the blog (as social media) with other social media.
At this point, I have not received an indication that I am even understood what am I proposing. It is that desperate.
it has happened in the past that SCSU money is spent on activity, which I am educated and experienced to deliver. Lets hope that before someone signs for this workshop, h/she might turn fist to me for information.
If you have a desire to bring your departmental Web presence in the 21st century, please feel welcome to contact me.