Wanted: Your favorite social media place

CHAMPAIGN – Nearly 70 percent of U.S. residents over the age of 12 are using social media, according to this recent analysis.

Overall, Twitter has an estimated 200+ million monthly users. Facebook has well over 1 billion. Instagram has 200 million users. (Source:

Here in #chambana, there are thousands – and that’s a lot of conversations.

Following a social media analysis of how racists Tweets surrounding University of Illinois’ Chancellor Phyllis Wise impacted the Champaign-Urbana community, wanted to explore more of these invisible online conversations.

And thanks to a new grant by the Online News Association, we can.

The University of Illinois and its media partner are one of a dozen U.S. universities who each won a $35,000 micro-grant to seed collaborative news experiments in living labs — their communities, the Online News Association announced recently. focuses on socio-economic and public safety issues in central Illinois and serves as a news lab for student work and provides stories and content to the News-Gazette and Illinois Public Media.

The project, “Intersections”, hopes to answer the question: Will openly mapping a city’s often invisible social media conversations change the nature of journalism in the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan community?

We are now getting started and we need your help.

We want to know your go-to social media channels and lists. Who do you follow? Who should we pay attention to?

Share your top three favorites via Facebook or Twitter or by email:


Read more about the grant.


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