If you are ever invited to explain Twitter to someone obsessed with its celebrity aspects or apparently mundane subject matter, here are some suggested responses from the Twittersphere: Continue reading
Continuing my practice of putting online journalism lessons online, yesterday’s session covered blogging. If you ever deliver this I’d recommend dropping the bit on the history of journalism blogging (better just link to it here). Would love your feedback:
Soon after I posted my frustration at journalism students being slow to adopt Twitter, I came up with an idea: you only really start using Twitter when there is a social reason – so why not help by creating those social connections? I posted a call-out to Twitter:
Anyone willing to ‘adopt’ a journalism student on Twitter and answer their questions about it?
The response (especially on a Sunday afternoon) was heartwarming – within less than an hour I had more than one ‘Twentor’ (thanks to Scott Keegan for that word) per student – responses below. Two days later and the effect has been noticeable – the majority of students had started chatting to their mentors and you could see the lights switching on. Continue reading
Don’t worry, I’ll get over this Twitter thing very soon, but for now I want to address all of the ill informed coverage that stifles use of Twitter because it can’t see beyond a) celebrities using it and b) the Facebook-style status update thing.
If you’re struggling to think of what to talk about on Twitter, here are some suggestions: Continue reading
1. Be a real person
Use your own name when blogging, tweeting, commenting etc. Giving people a proper touchpoint within the organisation adds real value – people are far more likely to be constructive or helpful when they know they’re communicating with a human being rather than a faceless webmaster@ e-mail address.
Getting involved in the conversation (again, using your own name) definitely reaps rewards. A real person responding openly to a critical comment will get much better results than the moderator deleting it.
The community is a great place to collaborate and exchange information. Try sending out a tweet asking for help on a particular subject and watch the replies roll in – it’s not unusual to for people to go one step further and volunteer to be part of the project.
Of course, it’s got to be a two-way process – so make sure you share what you know with others when they’re looking for advice!
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Sitting on your hands and waiting for the conditions to be “just right” before you try something out is going to leave you standing by as the conversation (and opportunity to innovate) moves on.
Being willing to experiment with new tools is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from the community – everyone prefers something rough around the edges but interesting, rather than something that’s been 6 months in the making and past its sell-by date.
This is something of a bonus following on from my previous beginner’s guide to Twitter. I didn’t have time to deliver this on Monday, but the following is a quick outline of various strategies for finding people of interest on Twitter.
This year I’m aiming to blog all of my course materials for online journalism. Yesterday was the first class, so below is the PowerPoint for what I call Passive-Aggressive Newsgathering: using RSS and social media for newsgathering.
Note: the Online Journalism module is aimed at second year undergraduates on the degree in journalism I teach on.