Time for some short-takes of cool journalism-related stuff you should be reading around the blogosphere:
Social media goes mainstream: So finally, being on social media has stopped being gee whiz and started being, well, normal. Manish Mehtma sums this point up well in this Huffington Post blog item. He notes that this process of normalizing will allow the technology to fade into the background — so people focus on the relationships created, not the tool. True. For the news media, I think (I hope) this will mean more embracing of tools as tools — rather than writing about the fact that people use them. Kevin Sablan, of Almighty Link, puts it well: “Tales of journalists using social media, and non-journalists committing acts of journalism using social tools, are starting to sound like stories of people using their telephones.” Amen.
Has social media changed us? Yes, for sure. They naysayers say it’s turning our brains to mush, just as every technology since paper was feared to do. Advocates, like me, say social media is a tool that can be used for evil or good. Mike Laurie has a good list on Mashable of how social media has changed life for the better. Not sure I buy the one about social media helping kids be more literate. But I definitely agree social media has made news and political involvement more accessible to everyone, particularly young people. That’s a good thing.
FourSquare: I’ve just joined FourSquare. So far, not sure what I’ll use if for, but I think us journajunkies need to be knowledgeable about what’s out there — and the best way to gain knowledge is to try it. Lehigh University journalism professor Jeremy Littau has some interesting ideas on how to use FourSquare journalistically. He suggests it could be a place where journalists can put news — like a business failing a health inspection — that now gets lost in a sea of information online and in print. It’s an interesting idea. FourSquare, from what I gather, is geographically based, which could make is useful, especially for local newspapers. It’s worth exploring.
The basics: In today’s constantly changing journalism world, the basics can get forgotten. Don’t let them. Bad writing is bad writing whether it’s on paper, online, on Twitter or on GoogleWave. Some good reminders of this point come from Steve and Emilie Davis, journalism profs at Syracuse University, on their new blog. Here is their take on cliches.