Monthly Archives: January 2009

Everybody Tweets

I’m not sure I understand the appeal of using Twitter, but I really want to.

I’ve heard it’s a great tool for journalists and an emerging medium for people who want up-to-date local news at all times.

But how is it different than Facebook?

I’ve searched for some evidence of Twitter’s value. Here are a few of the things I have found:

Blogger Anne Adrian (Anne’s Spot) listed a few valuable social uses for Twitter, including the ability to get to know your colleagues better, to provide live updates from meetings, and to “keep your finger on the pulse.”

Blogger Darren Rowse (ProBlogger) wrote that Twitter helps him expand his blog’s audience, improve the quality of his blog, and allows him to connect with other bloggers.

Rowse provides some compelling ways to use Twitter as an interactive information-gathering tool. He suggests posting questions, asking for advice, and even polling audience members in order to tap into the vibe of his followers.

New media blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick (marshallk) really hit the nail on the head, though, regarding Twitter’s value for news reporters. Kirkpatrick reported that nearly half of his last several stories came from Twitter leads.

Kirkpatrick connects with his community through Twitter, which is a compelling enough reason for me to get involved. Please check me out on Twitter: Jencox416.


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Fear and Loathing?

“I dropped the ball. I won’t drop it in Vegas, dude.”

Rob Curley, leaving his position as vice president of product development at Washingtonpost.com for another at the Las Vegas Sun.

I thought I’d begin with this quote, because it has meaning for me personally. It came from a Wall Street Journal article written as Rob Curley, self-proclaimed “Internet Nerd” prepared to depart Washingtonpost.com for the Las Vegas Sun.

Rob and I have interacted a couple of times throughout my time in the newsroom. We first met at the Naples Daily News, where we were both introduced to the staff at the same time. My welcome was warmer than his, but that’s probably because I wasn’t proposing anything new or scary.

Our second go-round came in Washington D.C., just a few weeks before this article was written. My husband, Jeremy, and I interned with Rob’s no. 2 man, Tim Richardson, to produce new media packages for The Loudoun Extra.

Rob seems remorseful about his errors in Washington D.C., though it may not have come through in the above quote. Still, his words speak volumes about the new media, hyperlocal takeover of newspapers: It’s all trial and error.

New media proponents are going to keep trying new things, and they’re going to keep failing. But, hopefully, they will have a few successes that will pave the way for a new era of journalism that we can all be a part of.

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