In his blog post â€œThe Difference Between Thick and Thin Tweets,â€ media studies professor David Silver explains that thin tweets, which people post all the time, are those which â€œconvey one layer of information.â€ For example:
Conversely, thick tweets, Silver explains, â€œconvey two or more [layers of information], often with help from a hyperlink.â€ For example:
This tweet from literature professor Mark Sample offers four layers of information:
- it begins by targeting those who use (or are thinking of using) Twitter in the classroom,
- it references and directs followers to a Twitter account called @profhacker,
- it summarizes @profhackerâ€™s article (i.e., â€œ6 things to considerâ€¦â€), and
- it provides a link to the article.
Similarly, the tweet below â€” a response from one of my Critical Approaches students to a question I posed about the mise-en-scene (M-E-S) in Buster Keatonâ€™s Our Hospitality â€“ offers layers of â€œthickâ€ or â€œmeatyâ€ information:
- it references the film (OUR H) and the subject matter at hand (i.e., mise-en-scene),
- it cites Keatonâ€™s character by name,
- it describes a specific scene in the film (â€œWillie got stuck on the waterfallâ€),
- it offers specific examples for support (â€œrope/branch created conflictâ€), and
- it includes the course hashtag #critapp.
So please remember to post â€œthickâ€ tweets when youâ€™re tweeting for class participation. After all, our goals, like Professorâ€™s Silverâ€™s are the same: learning how â€œto craft creative, meaty, and to-the-point messages that attract other peopleâ€™s attention.â€