Future of Journalism, Tools

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Have questions about best practices in modern journalism? You’re in the right place. We’re all figuring this out together.

Join a team of writers, designers, programmers, photographers, broadcasters and editors (plus those with more creative and nuanced job titles blending all of the above) to talk shop, share successes and failures, find people to help test an app you’re building, look for collaborators, or get help with something Google couldn’t answer.

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Social Media, Tools

The One Rule of Social Media: Experiment

Headshots of the panelists from Mashable's NextUp NYC

Today’s journalism landscape will change tomorrow. And that’s an exciting concept, no doubt, but it can also be frustrating.

So when I signed up to attend last month’s panel, called “The Emerging Skills of Tomorrow’s Journalist,” I thought I’d leave with answers. Would someone actually be able to point me in the right direction? Would I leave knowing which tools make it simpler for journalists to navigate this rough sea of social journalism?

Turns out, I didn’t leave with answers. The panel featured Mashable’s Vadim Lavrusik, New York University’s Jay Rosen, CNN’s Laurie Segall, the New York Times’ Jenna Wortham and All Things Digital’s Drake Martinet, but it quickly became apparent that even these leaders don’t have any magic beans in their pockets.

And in a way, this was the panel’s most powerful message: the secret is, there is no secret.

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Social Media, Tools

Why Journalists Should Care About RockMelt

Screenshot of the Rockmelt browser taken from the creator's website.

The buzz around RockMelt has been intense. Yet some journalists are wondering if this is something they need to pay attention to. If you haven’t heard, RockMelt is a new Web browser that directly integrates social media. If you’re still confused, the New York Times has a useful user manual that is pretty easy to follow and it also includes a guide on how to download it.

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Links, Mobile, Multimedia, Social Media, Teaching, Tips, Tools

Journalist’s Toolbox Updated for #spj10

This post was originally published on the Journalist’s Toolbox, a resource offered by the Society of Professional Journalists. It was republished here with permission.

SPJ National Convention

Some great links from Jeff Cutler’s online tools session and others on Monday: Buzz.Yahoo.com for mining story ideas; Search.Twitter.com Advanced for detailed Twitter and hashtag searches and WalletPop, a finance site that helps you find the most dangerous neighborhoods for crime. More to come later in the convention!

Add SPJ National Convention

The Journalist’s Toolbox will post tweets live Oct. 3-5 from the convention in Las Vegas. Just follow @journtoolbox and the #spj10 hashtag.

Copy Editing Resources

It’s not the fanciest site on the Web, but DrGrammar.org has a great quick-reference page. Another helpful tool: Thsrs, the shorter thesaurus, which produces shorter synonyms for any word you type in. It’s a very helpful tool for writing short, tight headlines.

Twitter Resources

We’ve added dozens of new resources, including Twitter guides for journalists, backgrounds, URL shorteners and other tools on the Toolbox’s Twitter Resources page.

Mobile Journalism Resources

The Toolbox has launched a Mobile Journalism page that features links to app-making tools, readings on mobile media strategy and a list of recommended apps for journalists to use on their smart phones.

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Tips, Tools

Advanced Delicious Search Operators

You can search bookmarks on Delicious using advanced parameters. By default, searches look at text in the description, notes or tags fields. Search operators allow you to narrow the search for specific results.

Let’s say I want to find a recipe that uses lettuce and tomato as ingredients, but I don’t want BLT references:

How does this work?

  • tag:recipe – only show items with the tag “recipe”
  • “lettuce and tomato” – limit to this phrase with all words in this order
  • lettuce:tomato – show results that include the word “lettuce” and “tomato” side by side in that order, but may be separated by punctuation.
  • (X OR Y) – include any bookmarks matching either X or Y
  • -bacon -BLT – exclude results that include “bacon” or “BLT”

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Teaching, Tools

Interactive Group Brainstorm: What is Multimedia Journalism?

What is multimedia journalism? That’s the question I planned to ask my class (WRI 430) to begin the semester. To have a “multimedia” discussion, I wanted them to be able to interact directly on screen. I needed something that would run in a Web browser because campus IT policy doesn’t allow us to install software in the lab.

I did some initial searching for free online mind-mapping tools, but didn’t have time to dig through all the options. I needed to bounce it off someone, so I asked for help on Twitter:

Recommendations for free web-based brainstorm/mindmapping service supporting multiple users simultaneously?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

(Tweet embedded using Blackbird Pie.)

I got a response from a contact I met at a Twitter meetup in Tijuana: @darleneluquin. He recommended MindMeister. We hopped on Gmail chat to coordinate a quick test to see how the real-time collaboration played out on screen. Sure enough, it worked like a charm, identifying each update by author as it was happening. (Thanks again, Jose!)

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