Thin Tweets

In his blog post “The Difference Between Thick and Thin Tweets,” media studies professor David Silver explains that thin tweets, which people post all the time, are those which “convey one layer of information.” For example:

Thick Tweets

Conversely, thick tweets, Silver explains, “convey two or more [layers of information], often with help from a hyperlink.” For example:

This tweet from literature professor Mark Sample offers four layers of information:

  1. it begins by targeting those who use (or are thinking of using) Twitter in the classroom,
  2. it references and directs followers to a Twitter account called @profhacker,
  3. it summarizes @profhacker’s article (i.e., “6 things to consider…”), and
  4. it provides a link to the article.

Similarly, the tweet below — a response from one of my Critical Approaches students to a question I posed about the mise-en-scene (M-E-S) in Buster Keaton’s Our Hospitality – offers layers of “thick” or “meaty” information:

  1. it references the film (OUR H) and the subject matter at hand (i.e., mise-en-scene),
  2. it cites Keaton’s character by name,
  3. it describes a specific scene in the film (“Willie got stuck on the waterfall”),
  4. it offers specific examples for support (“rope/branch created conflict”), and
  5. it includes the course hashtag #critapp.

So please remember to post “thick” tweets when you’re tweeting for class participation. After all, our goals, like Professor’s Silver’s are the same: learning how “to craft creative, meaty, and to-the-point messages that attract other people’s attention.”


One Response to Thick and Thin Tweets

  1. [...] were encouraged to write thin tweets – like “I had Bagels for Breakfast.” Kelli Marshall has shown how thick tweets refer to other Twitter accounts, link to articles, direct themselves to an [...]

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