Report Mini-Genre: Social Networking Status Update

Websites such as Twitter and Facebook give users the opportunity to write brief status reports about themselves through the day.

Social Network Status Update

“We won the game! Headed to the pub to celebrate.”

Work Network Status Update

“Just got promoted to brand manager!”

Academic Network Status Update

“Just received my acceptance to study abroad. Can’t wait to see Hong Kong!”

Use the Toolkit

Let’s use the three genre toolkit questions from Chapter 1 to examine this genre.

What is it?

The status updates are short reports on recent news and events in the writer’s life. They are usually 1-2 short sentences or sentence fragments. The updates can also include photographs, links, and videos. In Example 2, the writer posts the good news about a recent event: a promotion at work.

Who reads it?

Social networking status updates are usually read by the friends and contacts of the writer. They are semi-public announcements, depending on the social network service, so writers should expect them to be viewed by many people (potentially beyond the writers’ friends or contacts).

What’s it for?

Status updates report the current state of the writer: location, attitudes, or beliefs. In Example 1, the writer conveys excitement over a sporting event and location—the pub. In Example 3, the writer conveys excitement about an upcoming study abroad program and posts the location of the program—Hong Kong.