Engaging with Publics Online

The most effective type of social media outreach for the Hidalgo County Public Cemetery Project (HCPCP) would be a combination of the blog and other accounts such as Twitter and/or Facebook. The blog provides several advantages to serve as the primary mode of social media outreach. For example, it can be sustained and updated through the course of different semesters. The blog also allows for longer posts, for the inclusion of multimedia, and is accessible to the public.

However, the incorporation of Twitter and/or Facebook could also help reach a larger audience. Twitter may be helpful by presenting a summary of topics or of the progress of the HCPCP. The tweets could also include links to the full blog posts, thus bringing the audience back to the main source of information. Facebook could work in a similar way, by being a medium to share the blog posts to connect to a larger audience. Facebook also allows for longer posts, giving the option to spread more information there as well. Furthermore, both Twitter and Facebook have means to include pictures and videos, which helps in showing the progress of the HCPCP.

Engaging with Public Online

I think the most effective social media outreach for our project at the Hidalgo County Public Cemetery would most likely be Twitter.  I say this not only because of the writings of Lauracuente and Rocks-Macqueen but also because of my personal experience with social media and its reach.

For this blog post, I reflect on the findings of unofficial class surveys in my history and political science courses in college. Without fail, every time I took one of these courses the professor would always ask the class to answer where they get most of their news from and which media or news outlet they frequent the most. Again, without fail, the majority of the class would answer that they did not watch the news or deliberately read any newspaper and that one of their most frequented news platforms was Twitter. I think this news may have been disappointing to these professors dedicated to policy, old and new, but it could be good news for us. I don’t think we should hesitate to take advantage of the popularity of this platform if it will result in great community involvement. There is a high volume of traffic on Twitter, and a lot of kids, believe it or not, are looking to get in touch with their roots and the history of the RGV.

In addition to that, I follow a couple of anthropology and archaeology related forums and accounts on Twitter myself, as well as some accounts that share things to do around the Rio Grande Valley. A lot of people use this platform for the same reason: to find things to do and to make local connections. I personally think we should not pass up on the opportunity to reach a wider audience with the local users of Twitter. As far as casting a wider net goes, Twitter is a sure-fire platform to help us pick up some volunteers or curious onlookers. I’m confident it could even help us catch the attention of some icons of Hidalgo County, or perhaps future sponsors for the restoration processes.

Engaging With Publics online

There are many aspects that need to be put into consideration when trying to engage anyone on the World Wide Web, because when most of the time when it comes to blogging  you are not engaging with people face to face. so you have to be careful what you say and how you put your sentences into context, as well as be weary of exclamation points, commas and question marks. There are many online platforms in which people just rant about their pet peeves, and there are other online platforms in which people engage in intellectual arguments. So one must choose which platform is appropriate for  them.

when it comes to blogging or posting on a social media outlet one must choose the social media website in which one thinks their information will go further. However according to Doug Rocks-Macqueen there is a dilemma with that because “Simple math tells us that it is impossible to use every possible social media platform. Taking the AddThis list of 345 different digital services and assume a person spent one minute a day on each service we would find that they would need 6 hours of work per day to cover them all.” however that is not say that we must post to all social media or websites so far known to the internet. I believe that we must choose which ones will get more traction to get our word out. Online platforms are definitely appropriate because most Americans or most people around the world for that matter engage in online interactions on a daily basis multiple times a day. Honestly our audience should be any intellectual young or old that is interested in the social sciences, and if they do not know what it is, then we explain to them in a very simple interactive way to help them learn and possible pursue a degree in the social sciences and archaeology.

The most effective media outlet for our specific project in my opinion would be Facebook, because there are millions of users logged in everyday. and in this website you can blog, as well as live stream whatever it is you are doing. In the case of our project we can live stream our work at the cemetery, in addition to online platforms Dr. Rowe has a drone! which can capture amazing aerial footage of our work and later upload onto Facebook. Furthermore, on Facebook you can engage with the people that are commenting on a specific post and or blog and answer any questions that the audience may have, i believe it is a very interactive website that will be very useful to bring light and for our project to get the attention it rightfully deserves in our community.

Media Outreach


Blogging this semester has been very interesting ,to be honest I wasn’t very excited about it, I felt like the blogs weren’t going to keep me interested enough or be very exciting for other people to read.But I was wrong ,I actually liked blogging , it reminded me of writing in a journal or a memory book since ,here online I would be able to talk about my experiences with this project and think about different ways how this project not only effects me as a student but how it affects the community. I think social media has a big impact no matter what you talk about,it can be anything form a political opinion, and opinion about fashion,movies,music or even just gossip. Social media can be a very positive or negative thing at times,but I think our type of project needs to be seen by the public since we do need the public’s help with figuring out just how many people are buried at the cemetery and if they have any surviving relatives who are looking for them. I think it would be interesting to have live streams of what were doing at the cemetery and we could do that be either using Facebook or Instagram.We could have videos of what were doing on our phones and then upload them separately on the Instagram page or Facebook page. An example of an Instagram page for archaeology can be the “Institute of field Research”, also known as IFR, its a page that provides archaeological field study programs for students and individuals all around the world. Everyday the page uploads images or videos of the different sites that students are participating at. So for our Instagram page we could add pictures or videos of us working either at the cemetery with the total mapping station or in the classroom working on the data analysis. We could even have QA live streams were people can ask questions about what were doing with this project. Now I know what your’re thinking ‘how in the world are we going to get people to even know about project,for them to even know about the Instagram’? We can do this by asking the news channels to see the progress done with the project or have the UTRGV TV Newscast talk about the project and mention the social media site. Next semester, if the class decides to compete in the symposium again, we could add that social media site to the poster, along with the link to the blog posts.Over all I think that with no matter what social media site we use ,it could be very beneficial to our project.

Online Public Communication

Most people today are addicted to social media and the internet. You can now stream live news footage and follow stories or news of your interest from your phone, tablet or laptop. Social media has become something not only for people to connect but to stay informed about the world around them. However, there are still many people who do not have any type of social media account or may not be on the same social media sites as some informative news or projects are.

I have been with this project since the Fall of 2017 and even though this semester we had a local news crew do a story on us I still don’t think we have reached out to much of the community. The class however was able to gain at least three platforms with that exposure. Not only was the class featured on TV but the story was also put online and in the newspaper by the news station. Here we were able to reach people both on and off the internet or social media. It occurred to me though; the graves at the cemetery are decades old. Some graves are those of relatively young adults from the 1930’s- 1960’s; if they have any surviving relatives they may not be on any type of social media. Not many of our elders have social media or regularly use the internet. Another thing to consider is that most Hispanic families of the RGV especially the older generations primarily speak and understand only Spanish. Perhaps this fall we can contact Telemundo 48 (Noticias del Valle del Rio Grande) to be able to reach out to a greater population of the community.  If we continue promote using the internet and social media to communicate with the community we should consider the community we are working with and have the information available in both Spanish and English.

Another tool that can be used to communicate with the local community is radio stations. Yes most people listen to radio stations online but there are still those who listen to local radio stations. Some businesses also have a local radio station playing in their facility. Again I would suggest a local Spanish and a local English radio station.

Engaging with Publics Online

In the article that Rocks-Macqueen wrote it mentions how you can narrow it down to a few social network platforms. So for the HCPC project I think it would be a good idea to have a combination of three different platform. It might be a little difficult because it would probably be very time-consuming and maybe a little difficult to make sure that the information in all three stay connected to each other. The three that I think would be good to use for this project would be Twitter, Facebook and WordPress. I think that they would work great together because they each can have a function to fulfill. Twitter has the way to make the project be more well-known since it is a very popular site but with it character limit it can’t have a lot of information but it would be a good way to connect people who are interested with the other social media platforms so that they can get more information on the project. Facebook is also a good platform since it is also well known and most people can join groups that catch their interest or even if they don’t join a group they will still look through the page to see if any of the post catch their interest and it also allows more information than twitter would. Also another point for Facebook would be that the group or page can be spread by flyers or word of mouth and that people who are interested in the class might know about it and apply in other semesters. WordPress is a little like facebook but more private since not many people have a WordPress blog unless it’s for a specific reason so it might be a little redundant but it would still be a good way to blog information and opinions.

Engaging with Publics Online

Social media has quickly become one of the ways individuals communicate with each other. Cell phones have swiftly taken over a major part of our day. Technology is where our future is headed, and I personally believe that social media is where everyone is introduced to new ideas, places, cultures, and events. Social media is where I learn about projects around me, or where I am informed of subjects that intrigue me.

Before I had registered to be a part of this project I had only heard about it through a colleague who was currently taking the course, and through Dr. Rowe who was my professor for Intro to Archaeology. I had not seen anything regarding to this project through social media. I believe an idea or project will  flourish even more and gain support through social media if promoted enough. For example, I am a frequent user of social media! I use most of the mainstream forums of social media, and I have posted pictures and photos regarding to this project on my social media as well. I share anything regarding this project actually. Now, my followers are informed about this project and are aware as to what it is all about.

I believe the best forum for this project would possibly be via Twitter and Instagram. Many individuals use these platforms on a daily basis, and this is even where many hear about major events. These platforms are on the palm of their hands throughout the day, and they are constantly checking them. If we were to post about the Hidalgo County Public Cemetery Project via Twitter many individuals from the Hidalgo area would take a major interest. Rapidly, I predict that a Twitter account for this project would go viral within our community, and that is more than enough. What we are doing is for the community, and through Twitter we could get the community to engage with it as well! Possibly for connecting families to their loved ones, or just to see what UTRGV and the county are working on together.

If we were to promote the project via Instagram it would be more of a visual approach. As Instagram is mostly use for images followed by captions. If the community were to visually see what we are doing a major interest would spark! I myself have posted on my Instagram regarding the equipment we use, and even students in action. I have received many comments taking an interest as to what we are doing.

I firmly believe if we were to promote our project more via Twitter and Instagram the community engagement we will receive is huge! Through this platform we will also be able to have information regarding the project available to anyone interested. We will be more available to reach as well as the community could send us their comments, questions or concerns.

Online platforms

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Considering that we are in a time of technological growth, using a platform to present the project is a well thought of decision. Till the beginning of the semester, I had not heard of WordPress before. It provides wonderful insight into the cemetery project, that I would in no other case be informed about without this service learning course.

On that note, the project itself is best represented by the university, professors and its students. There was an article posted on the UTRGV website of the kick start of the project, why it began and the history of the location.The UTRGV website itself, is a great place to start on what an archaeological course can provide for enthusiastic anthropology majors. As well as the type of project and the students involvement with the community. An article in itself doesn’t seem to justify the ongoing work that is being done on the project, including the experience it provides for the students. A home page of the project (wordpress) was a great place to start and it is beneficial that the link to these blog posts was included in the article. Had I not known about the project name, my first thought would be to look under the department and their ongoing research but did not find the HCPCP, which I would have liked to see. With the continuation of the project from students and the help of the university, the project is set to learn and improve.

This platform is appropriate because it allows for students to voice their opinions and work, while also giving feedback and information to the rest of the community. The work being done has given interest and allowed more light into the project, by means of articles, news, student service learning poster…

But where can one find WordPress and the page on the project?
Having an actual web page on the utrgv website, would be a great place to find this page. Contact information, links and comments section. 

As long as the collaboration of students and the community remain involved, and updates continue to highlight the importance of this project, then it will uphold its sustainability. Working equally and respectfully.

We must reach out to the people of the community and eager students, in all aspects. What we gain and how our presence helps a rather unforgettable place with many loved one’s resting place. We must allow ourselves to speak openly and in return provide a source for others to feel comfortable and have open opinions. Any views and resourceful information can merely benefit the growth of this project.
Its content on the web page can provide, information of the service learning course, including what service learning is (community engagement), whom to sign up with, detailed information and history of the project/cemetery and all of its providers, and of course, what the overall project hopes to accomplish at the end (3D map of entire grave site, all accountable grave sites with names, etc.)
This is what I hope to see as the semesters progress and additional information, restoration, is done to benefit the community as a whole and all of us included in it. It is wonderful to see the progression of people working together on an idea and to be a part of its growth as we all work together.

Engaging with Publics Online

Personally, I have taken this course for the past two semesters and I found it to be a positive and wonderful project, however,  I never quite felt like we were reaching an audience. The internet is expressed as being the platform individuals go to in reaching their updates on the world. This proves to be true but I also have experienced individuals that have taken a stance on the internet because it often provides a lot of negative information. There are also individuals that struggle to access internet or media platforms and prefer to get their information from the news.

I am an individual that does not focus my primary finds in either, though if I had to choose one, I get  most of my information online. With this said, I do not have a lot of social media. I have gone through Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Facebook, and more. The only social media platforms I have left are Snapchat, Tumblr, and Facebook. With these three social media platforms I hardly check either of them. Instead, I read my Google picked articles that are selected for me everyday. This is my source of information, and if I am feeling a bit fancy I will watch the news.

Now, this story is not to share my distance towards the internet. Instead, it is to share that I am a younger individual and I, myself, cannot seem to tolerate social media for long. Rocks-Macqueen mentions that there is no way we could use all social media and I agree with this statement. In my first couple semester attending university I was involved in the Anthropology Club as Public Relations. I was given social media accounts we had as a club as was instructed to post frequently to ensure our followers were up-to-date. Initially I thought this was a fantastic idea until I quickly realized it was impossible for me to post on five different accounts in the split of a second the update our followers. In time, we reduced our social media appearance and I found that to be more manageable. The club was then reduced to Facebook and Instagram.

For our project, I am torn between these two platforms for our project because I am unaware of the follow count on each, generally. Both platforms have made advancements that are great for our project, such as offering a “going live” feature. With this feature our followers could watch what we are doing in real time and have the opportunity to ask questions as well. Considering we are reaching a larger audience I believe that Facebook may be the better source of information because it could be treated similar to a blog whereas Instagram would be composed more as pictures. Additionally, because our graves date to earlier times we are likely reaching an assumed older audience. Because Facebook (2004) had been around for a longer time period than Instagram (2010) a larger portion of our audience may be more likely to have Facebook accounts than Instagram accounts. Lastly, though blogging is interesting I believe this website reaches a more academia audience than a general public audience for the fact that before this class I have been completely unaware of this website.

Engaging with Publics Online

Rocks-Macqueen emphasizes the considerable investment involved in online engagement, primarily through time commitments. He recommends considering the following when deciding which platforms to invest in:

  • are online platforms appropriate?
  • longevity/sustainability of the platform
  • Data/content potability
  • What are the (potential) conflicts between your needs and the platform’s needs?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What formats do you want to engage in (long-form writing, short bursts, multimedia, etc.)?
  • how open or closed is your platform?

Lauracuente outlines the potential of Twitter, as a micro-blogging platform, for engaging with people beyond public events. In particular, he highlights its utility for reaching free-choice learners.

Based on your experience blogging this semester, what Lauracuente writes about Twitter, and the considerations presented by Rocks-Macqueen, what type of social media outreach would be most effective for our project?