What follows is a simple roundup of the various things I do in a day as an online producer at spokesman.com. I’ve been thinking of posting something like this for a long time. Say, maybe the two years I’ve been at it. Not to brag but to illustrate what someone in my position, at a regional newspaper in 2010, can expect to do. Maybe it will be useful for those thinking of entering the field and vying for a job at a newspaper.
Here’s my take from Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010:
- Rewrote headlines for the web and tagged stories that exported from our print edition.
- Posted breaking news to Twitter ahead of local competitors.
- Edited and uploaded audio clips for a story that runs next week.
- Created a slide show for a story running Friday: Operation Lake Pend Oreille Trout Catcher.
- Posted breaking news about Bill Clinton’s arteries.
- Brainstormed a strategy for news expected to break in the next couple days.
- Posted more stories to the Web with excellent headlines.
- Added addresses to approximately 100 stories from the past two weeks to feed a great new feature on the The Spokesman-Review’s mobile site.
That filled more than eight hours, especially the last one. Things not included that I regularly do: shooting and editing video; coding and visualizing data; posting content to our Facebook page; training colleagues in our content management system and other online tools.
Hope this was illustrative.
If you’re reading this, then, like me, you have been procrastinating on doing your Twitter Lists homework.
It’s not like there’s much to do. Anyone who has figured out Twitter’s web interface will quickly get the hang of making a list.
But because I’ve been tasked with integrating this feature with my workplace account, @spokesmanreview, I thought I’d read up a bit. I saved the best of what I found using Publish2 so that I could easily share the links in this post with the handy WordPress plugin.
My biggest question was about how a journalist could make better use of Lists. I hope you find these links helpful.
- Twitter Lists; Limitations, bugs, impact, and brilliance
scobleizer.posterous.com | October 18, 2009
- How Journalists Can Use Twitter Lists to Customize, Discover and Curate
Poynter Institute | October 29, 2009
- Twitter Lists: Frequently Asked Questions and Strategies
mashable.com | November 3, 2009
- 10 Ways You Can Use Twitter Lists
Mashable | November 4, 2009
Links for December 15th through December 16th:
- Detroit’s big news as seen from a key design insider – SND Update – Matt Mannsfield gets some extra dirt on Tuesday's big newspaper shakeup in Detroit.
- Spot.us – Story: Bay Area Cement Plants and Global Warming – A good example of package reporting and entrepreneurial publishing ideas. Let's hope we see more of this; let's hope that it can sustain good journalism.
- Tomorrow’s News, Tomorrow’s Journalists » Blog Archive » TNTJ December: Building an online brand – some tips – "Forget Facebook, Bebo, MySpace etc, LinkedIn is the professional networking site and it can be used by potential employers to find you and see who you are and what you do."
- Today’s Thought: What/who will be left to rebuild journalism? | The Journalism Iconoclast – This is a humbling reflection. But does its author assume too much?
- Google Reader (579) – On administration of Twitter accounts: "For now, I'm trying out a service called Tweetlater that automatically follows people that follow @commoncraft and sends them a quick "thank you" message. It's not as personal as I'd like, and some spammers are using it for nefarious purposes, but it allows me to accomplish the goal of following people without having to take an action for every one. It's lightweight."
- Tomorrow’s News, Tomorrow’s Journalists » Blog Archive » TNTJ December: Marketing yourself online – your byline is your brand – "Feel uncomfortable with all this talk about you? Well, get used to it, this is the age of self-promotion, and we’ve just gotten started."
Links for October 29th through November 3rd:
- Where to Get Live Election Night Coverage Online : CyberJournalist.net – I can't believe spokesmanreview.com didn't get a mention!
- Twitter Vote Report : CyberJournalist.net – A civic-minded application of Twitter. Would love to see somebody follow this and evaluate its efficacy.
- washingtonpost.com – TimeSpace: Election – Great idea. Novel way of organizing a huge volume of stories and photos geared toward a neational audience.
- Link Once, Publish Everywhere: Publish2 Launches Connection to Twitter and Delicious » Publish2 Blog –
- What’s the Difference Between a Blog and a Web Site? — contentious.com – "If you think you’ll want to do more than blog, choose a platform that will let you expand. If you think you’ll want things like a forum, video library, or wiki, you’re probably better off building a site in on a more full-featured platform like WordPress, Drupal, Movable Type, or Expression Engine."
I’ve been holding out from getting a Twitter account for years. Recently, my resistance has been slipping because:
- Twitter users transmit news faster than the news wires. Case study: Wednesday’s L.A.-area earthquake.
- There are tons of Twitter tools out there to play with, such as twhirl and summize.
- It’s beautiful in its simplicity.
- It’s like IM from your phone and SMS from your computer all at once.
- Many of my favorite bloggers use it and recommend it. (e.g. here, here and here.)
But then again…
- I’ve already got a couple hundred friends on Facebook, and I can use my status message as a tweet.
- Do I really need one more social networking account out there?
- I have a hard enough time keeping up on my RSS feeds!
- For news, how reliable is information provided via Twitter? Case in point: Subway Jared’s nondemise.
- I’m doing everything I can to maintain a longer attention span; I can’t see Twitter helping that.
So, who out there loves to Twitter? Who else is holding out?