Monthly Archives: February 2009

Online journalism lesson 2: blogging

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:

Teaching journalism students to Twitter – the Twentoring project

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

10 things you can tweet about on Twitter

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

Lessons in community from community editors #10: Craig Elder, the Conservative Party

In the latest in this ongoing series, I spoke to Craig Elder, The Conservative Party’s Online Communities Editor, about the 3 things he’s learned about community management:

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.

Exchange information

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.

10 ways to find people on Twitter

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.

Online journalism lesson 1: Using RSS and social media for newsgathering

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.