I’m finding so much useful stuff on the blogosphere, I just had to do another short takes. I hope you find them as useful as I did.
Crowd sourcing: If you have no idea what crowd sourcing is or how it could work for journalists, you must read this post on Beat Blogging. The post gives simple examples where journalists are asking readers for story ideas or for their opinions. For example, the post showcases a Sacramento Bee reporter using his blog to crowd source opinions on what it’s like to be back after being furloughed because of California state budget constraints. We used to just call this good reporting.
Using Facebook: Beat Blogging (again; I’m a fan) gives an example of how reporter Daniel Victor used Facebook to find sources for his story about Pennsylvania wanting to axe the Scotland School for Veteran’s Children because of a cash-strapped budget. He found an alumni group for the school on Facebook, left a message with contact information and ended up with 48 alums willing to be interviewed. Without social media, he might have been lucky to find one or two. He only interviewed half of those willing, but that provides a much more complete picture of the issue than just one or two even if all the interviews don’t make it into print.
Tweeting news: If you’re skeptical of the value of Twitter to news organizations, read this post. It explains how the news of the fatal plane crash this week in Buffalo spread through Twitter with frequent updates. Twitter gives a blow by blow witness description of the crash that you couldn’t get from a traditional news source until much later. Why wouldn’t newspapers want to be able to break news in this immediate way?
Twitter’s value, part two: What if you could peer into the thoughts of millions of readers in real time? Well, you can. That’s what Twitter enables you to do. A post at Tech Crunch exlains that “for thoughts and events that are happening right now, searching Twitter increasingly brings up better results than searching Google.” Wow! All you need to do is use search.twitter.com. Now, go do it.
Twitter warning: Don’t forget that Twitter and other social media are PUBLIC. So behave accordingly, as in reporters shouldn’t orally spar with marketing consultants over Twitter. It’s dumb; it erodes your credibility; it’s not professional. (Although it is sort of amusing for the rest of us.) Read the whole exchange here; I know you want to.
And, for a little bit of fun …
Get your tweets on a tee: Love a tweet you or someone else made so much that you want to save it forever. Now you can with a T-shirt featuring the tweet, the same way it looks on Twitter. I don’t know about you, but I want one. (I wear a size large if you’re buying, by the way.)