‘Beware of self-indulgence. The romance surrounding the writing profession carries several myths: that one must suffer in order to be creative; that one must be cantankerous and objectionable in order to be bright; that ego is paramount over skill; that one can rise to a level from which one can tell the reader to go to hell. These myths, if believed, can ruin you.’
It is customary for graduating senior editors to write a goodbye editorial as their final sign off from The Bona Venture. Here is my published attempt at a goodbye to one of the greatest influences on my journalism career to date.
I’m not very good at this.
The whole writing about myself thing was never my strong suit. I’ve never splashed myself across the pages of The Bona Venture with any lessons learned. I’ve never mentioned a personal detail or a life lesson which imparted words of wisdom in an editorial.
Words of wisdom?
Please, I’m still trying to figure out Internet banking. I’ve called the bank’s service company for my password at least eight times this semester.
Not to mention cleaning my room and doing laundry typically count as real accomplishments for a day. I even check it off the to-do list to feel like a champ. Nothing more exciting than crossing that s– off in a vibrant lime green highlighter.
“Journalism was the second profession; journalists were telling everyone about that first prostitute.”
Produced by Animoto.
I remember a time when the tools were just there to be used without purpose or strategy. That the conversation alone was sufficient. Now, strategic measures are necessary to promote messages and information along the inter-webs. Introducing new tools, new messages and new methods to communicate the news or to market your brand.
Two way conversation between consumer and producer – through tools such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and video – are beneficial and necessary in today’s current communication’s world. To build connections, consistent posting and interaction are key to build my professional brand.
In pursuit of a greater brand image, I’ve developed my Twitter account, bought my own domain name brand, jkumor, and increased posting frequency. I’ve learned how to link articles and create video shorts.
Digital media has become a new venture I am happy to facilitate as I travel through the world of communications. I’ve attained the skills and knowledge to pioneer the tools strategically for whatever company or news organizations I work for in the future.
National Public Radio (NPR) represents a media organization thriving in the digital space to create and distribute news. Innovative uses of social media, their blog and linking themselves to their content producers and respected outlets, drive clicks to their website.
NPR consists of a network of 900 independent stations and 27.5 million listeners a week. The organization is working to ensure a traditional form of communication, the radio, stays alive and well in the modern age with the savvy use of the newest form of communication – social media.
Communicators across the United States bemoan the death of the “old media” due to social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and bloggers. However, perhaps the “old media” would have a higher survival rate if the implemented strategic digital media to their services similar to NPR’s.
Here are just a few ways NPR is utilizing social media to connect to their community – because in today’s world your audience interacts with you not just you to them.
NPR’s website stands-in-attention as one of the most content filled websites I’ve ever been on. You could easily get lost for days perusing videos, photos or articles on a variety of topics. However, while you may get wander lust if you are constantly salivating to explore the next piece (like me), that is not to say it is a hard website to navigate. NPR’s design allows readers to interact with the content and follow the trail of bread crumbs of information around the site. Savvy tags and hyperlinks contribute to the ease of following a topics timeline of coverage. An intelligent move considering how much content is thrown on that website every hour.
Wal-Mart owns a history of social media blunders spanning over a decade.While initial fopauxs are expected in social media spaces as their qualities are being defined, Wal-Mart seems to take the cake as one of the worst Fortune 500 Company’s presence on social media. Wal-Mart is not only a Fortune 500 Company but THE Fortune 500 Company, ranking in at number 1 in 2010, according to CNN.com. Their poor history overshadows any current strides – making Wal-Mart one of the number one companies wishing to purchase the “Last Night Never Happened” App to erase social media blunders.
Wal-Mart’s Disasterous Social Media History
2006 The Hub Social Network only lasts 10 Weeks – Wal-Mart’s attempt to compete with then giant MySpace where actors, models and famous for something people populated the space and pushed Wal-Mart products, according to SocialMediaReinvention.com.
Sept. 2006 Media Reveals Wal-Mart’s Fake Blog – An indie success blog portrayed a couple’s cross country travels in an RV using Wal-Mart parking lots as their rest stops and travel experiences. Fraud. Turns out the whole scheme was cooked up and supported by Wal-Mart as a business venture. Result – Consumers felt betrayed and Wal-Mart suffered significant negative news coverage. Continue reading
You may tilt your head in confusion upon first contact. Are they a jigsaw puzzle? A graphic mishap? An over pixellated image?
Welcome to the age of the QR Code. Short for Quick Response, these codes add promise of a new and direct communication venue.
A smartphone is required to use a QR Code. However, our growing obsession with our cell phones and the next and greatest in technology will certainly allow this slight hiccup to dissolve away in the next few years. Don’t we all have smartphones by now? One in two Americans will own a smartphone by Christmas 2011, according to Nielson.
Guess I better get on the band wagon. Even I’m not on a smartphone – yet. Drat those pricey data plans.
How QR Codes work?
- Download a QR Code scanning application to your smartphone.
- Find a QR Code in a magazine, on a billboard or merchandise.
- Open the scanning app and use your phone’s camera to focus the code on your screen.
- The QR scanning app will read the code and automatically open up the link, photo or video the code directed it to.
- An internet connection and smartphone are necessary.
If you haven’t seen a QR Code yet, or don’t remember – be patient – you will soon.
***More on the subject later in a post on how/where/why QR Codes are growing in popularity.
Erik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics: how social media transforms the way we live and do business,” gets social media. However, even the 2009 updated copy of his book is out-of-date. The rapid transformation of the social media medium requires professional communicator’s to train a fine tuned ear. Without a constant look out for the next tool to spread a message, a communicator fails his message, news, product or company. The tools falling under the umbrella term “social media” are taking the power of “word of mouth and transforming it to world of mouth,” said Qualman.
If Qualman so chose, it wouldn’t be hard to expect a new revision of “Socialnomics” to appear on bookshelves, e-readers or online forums in the next year. The revision may include some of the new social media services or ones pumping up their services.
- Foursquare – The social media tool allowing you to tell your friends where your are, when you are there. Some may call is creepy (me). However, there are perks to the service. Advertisers, marketers and businesses are sure to invite consumers to add locations for perks or deals – all for spreading their business
- YouTube – Yes, it has been around for quite some time in social media years, but YouTube has transformed into a search engine of sorts. Behind Google, YouTube features 974 million registered users, and even more just use it to search their database for amusement.
- Twitter – Has hit the big leagues. Twitter users in the past two years have tripled. Businesses and news providers are learning the benefits of the 140 character message.
- Tablets – The iPad 2, Dell Streak 7 and Sony Dash are creating a market frenzy as consumers and tech-thusiasts willingly pay hundreds of dollars for the next “it” tech item.
Citizen journalism. Uttering the buzzword in the middle of a newsroom is kin to sparking a fire in the middle of an old forest. Journalists typically have an opinion on everything – because they typically have to know a little bit about everything. However, just like any industry, those most effected by a trend are going to express those opinions the loudest.
Industry opinion is split on citizen journalism. Some, like (CBS) Frédéric Filloux, a Paris-based freelance writer and media consultant, despise the notion, according to CBSNews.com.
“First, would you trust a citizen neurosurgeon to remove your kid’s neuroblastoma? No, you wouldn’t. You would not trust a citizen dentist for your cavities either. Or even a “people’s” car repairman. So when it comes to information, why in hell would we accept practices that we wouldn’t even contemplate for our health, let alone our washing machine?”
Others, believe it is the revitalization of the media industry. Ron Ross, former publisher and co-author of The Handbook for Citizen Journalists believes in the power of citizen journalism –
“It’s my opinion that courageous citizen journalists have an opportunity to fill the void left where the media outlets have left off.”
However, before you can form an opinion you must know what citizen journalism is.