As a Communication Studies instructor who specializes in issues of Advocacy and Communication Criticism, evaluating new and popular communication tools is a critical part of evaluating how Advocacy works in American society. In the Summer of 2015, I taught an online course which was a Special Topics class focusing on Communication and Sport. One of the major assignments in this course had students study the use of Twitter by a professional athlete.
For the Communication and Sport class, each student chose an athlete to follow on Twitter throughout the semester. Athletes were chosen who were active on Twitter, and students applied a variety of communication and sport concepts to the tweets. Popular concepts included parasocial relationships (where athletes interacted with fans through replying or retweeting posts), issues of speaker credibility, and a variety of public relations strategies (where athletes promote charitable works and other interests using Twitter). Students provided weekly updates on their Twitter athlete, and then wrote a final paper using a communication concept and evaluated how this concept was used by the athlete. The goal of this assignment is to encourage students to think critically about sports media discourse using communication concepts.
If you are interested in learning more about Twitter, please check out their website. https://support.twitter.com/articles/215585
Department of Communication Studies