This continues a series on advice for new top editors in Digital First Media newsrooms.
I hardly care about a job candidate’s résumé or the clips she sends me. That’s the story she wants me to know. What I’m interested in is the more complete story I can learn about her online.
When you’re hiring journalists, you need to conduct an extensive examination of their digital footprints.
Check social media
Social media use tells you a lot about a journalist. First, if a journalist isn’t even on Twitter or Facebook, that will raise significant concerns about his suitability for a Digital First newsroom. Beyond that, how they use social media will tell you a lot about their journalism. For one thing, social media posts are nearly always unedited. If you want to look at a reporter’s raw copy, Twitter and Facebook are great places to find it.
If you’d like a chance to watch a job candidate in action, look to see whether he has done some livetweeting events and/or crowdsourcing. You will see resourcefulness if she is resourceful. You will see how she relates to the community, whether she is engaging or aloof, arrogant or fun.
I like it when I see a journalist who can show some personality and still behave professionally. Personality is, after all, part of being social. (more…)
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At the Gutenberg Museum
I originally posted this Nov. 30, 2007, on my Training Tracks blog at the American Press Institute. Since API’s web archives are gone, I am reposting it here because it is part of a series of three blog posts from 2007-8, one of which I mentioned in my keynote address for the Arizona Newspapers Association today. It originally was published without photos (I don’t think we could publish photos in that blogging software, but maybe I just didn’t know how). I have updated the links and added photos. I’ve added one update in the text and a lengthy update at the end. I think this was my first blog post about social media.
Can a graying guy who can operate a typewriter, recognizes a pica pole and remembers the smell of molten lead figure out the social-networking world of Web 2.0? I’m trying.
In the last few months, I’ve been adding friends on Facebook, connections on LinkedIn and sharing (presuming that someone has actually found them) bookmarks on Facebook plunge. Almost right away, people started finding me. This time I wasn’t passive. I used Facebook’s search for college classmates and found a woman who had worked on the staff of the Daily Skiff with me more than 30 years ago at Texas Christian University. We quickly reconnected, exchanged catching-up emails and became Facebook friends. I also found a former city editor with whom I’ve been sort of out of touch and reconnected with some other former colleagues.
While I found a lot of professional acquaintances on Facebook, I also found personal evidence that Facebook participation still has a wide generation gap: Of my 14 brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, I was the second to post a Facebook profile. I quickly added my sister-in-law (the youngest of the 14) as a friend. However, I found 10 nephews and nieces on Facebook (interestingly, though, none of my three sons; I’m not sure what that says about them or me). I did not invite any of my nieces or nephews to become friends; I’d read or heard somewhere that the presence of old folks like me is taking some of the luster off Facebook and MySpace for younger users. And I’m curious how long (if ever) it will take them to notice me and invite me to be their friends (can an uncle be a friend?). (more…)
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Perspective and context can entirely change how people view numbers. Which number seems larger: 16 percent or 30 million? Without perspective and context, it’s hard to say. In this case, they actually are the same number.
A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 16 percent of adult Internet users use Twitter (that works out to 13 percent of all adults, doing the math from the survey’s sample of all adults). If that strikes you as a small number, then consider 30 million instead. That’s the number you get if you apply that 13 percent to the nation’s adult population. For comparison, daily newspaper circulation in the United States is 44 million. (Readership is higher.)
Why should journalists or newsrooms care about a service that six out of seven adults don’t even use? That’s where perspective and context come in.
The Pew study also found that 20 percent of the adult Internet users use LinkedIn, substantially more than use Twitter. But what the study didn’t show is how much the people use each service. The question asked was:
Please answer these next questions by thinking about all the ways you use the internet with computers, laptops, mobile phones, and other devices. Please tell me if you ever use the internet or an app with any of those devices to use (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) (more…)
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Posted in Career advice, tagged About.me, Clippings.me, Elana Zak, Facebook, Flavors.me, Flickr, Google, Google Docs, Google maps, Intersect, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Pressfolios, Scribd, Storify, Timetoast, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube on May 30, 2012 |
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Journalists have lots of tools for showcasing our work.
If you’re a college student or recent graduate looking for work or a veteran journalist out of work or looking for a better job, you need an online showcase where prospective bosses can find your best work quickly and study your work at length if they’re interested.
The job-hunter faces a dual challenge: You need to catch a prospective boss’s attention quickly and you want to hold the attention, getting him or her to keep perusing your work, wanting to read or view more. You want to provide a quick overview and you want to help the interested person browse your work at length.
We’re way past the days of deciding which half-dozen hard-copy clips to stuff into an envelope with your résumé. Unless an employer specifically asks for a hard-copy application, you should apply by email with a hyperlinked résumé. Even if the employer asks for hard-copy (and if you want to work for someone who needs hard copy), you need a URL (or a few) at the top, guiding your future boss to a place to study your work at length.
Trust me: As someone who’s received hundreds of résumés from wannabe employees, you shouldn’t send a résumé longer than one page to a prospective employer. If I can tell the story of my 40-year career in a page, you can keep yours to a page; a few years ago when I was job-hunting, I thought my long career justified multiple pages. But then I got my job and started getting résumés from people who wanted to work for me. I then resolved to keep it to a single page if I ever was job-hunting again. You have a few seconds to stand out from the others. Make your case in a single page, but use links to make that page a table of contents for the prospective boss who wants to know more. At the top of the page, include a link — or a few links — to a place or places where they can learn about your career in depth and see your digital and social skills at work.
Even if, like me, you’re enjoying your job and feeling secure, with no interest in leaving, a strong digital profile is a good idea. Sadly, many journalists have lost their jobs with little warning. And even while you’re working, a strong online profile can help build credibility with sources and colleagues (who are Googling you, whether you know it or not).
Partly because I’m constantly checking out new tools and partly because people looking for jobs contact me frequently, I’ve dabbled with a variety of tools to showcase your résumé and your portfolio or help you tell your career story (founders invited me to try out a couple of new tools). In most cases, I have not fleshed these profiles out as fully as I would if I were looking for a job. I would need to upload more photos and clips from my pre-digital years if I wanted to use these tools to their fullest effect. (more…)
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Sometimes people who are making good use of a social media platform still overlook a basic step or two. Like including a web link in your profile.
Take a few moments to check out your basic profiles on such social tools as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or About.me. Twitter allows a single link in your profile. Others allow multiple links (I have lots of links in my Google and About.me profiles and still haven’t hit the limit, if there is one). (more…)
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Posted in Entrepreneurial journalism, Georgetown class, tagged Crowdmap, entrepreneurial journalism, Facebook, Flickr, Georgetown University, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Storify, Twitter, YouTube on November 23, 2010 |
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Our entrepreneurial journalism class at Georgetown will be discussing social media the next two weeks. Of course, you could do a whole course on social media, which offer some of the most important tools an entrepreneurial journalist will use, so this will be an overview more than a deep dive.
Social media can be part of the solution for all three of the key challenges an entrepreneurial journalist faces: content, distribution and monetization. (more…)
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Posted in Career advice, Journalism, Personal, tagged Allbritton Communications, American Press Institute, Creighton University, Drew Davis, Facebook, Flickr, Gazette, Howard Owens, Jim Brady, Joe Grimm, Kansas City Star, LinkedIn, Minot Daily News, Newspaper Next, Nieman Narrative, No Train No Gain, Omaha World-Herald, Twitter on March 8, 2010 |
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I knew a lot about journalism in 1997. I was 26 years into an exciting career, enjoying a rewarding run as a reporter following success as an editor. But I’ve redirected and rejuvenated my career twice since then. Those efforts led me to opportunities and success I could not have imagined 13 years ago.
From 1997 to 2005, I consciously developed my skills, experience, connections and reputation in the field of journalism training, eventually getting a full-time job in the field. I was always interested in innovation and took steps in the mid-1990s to learn digital skills. Starting in 2006, I made digital innovation my primary pursuit and have consciously developed my digital skills, experience, connections and reputation (I still have a lot that I need to do). That pursuit led to two new jobs, first as editor of The Gazette and gazetteonline and now I’ve left the newspaper business to join a digital local news operation in the Washington metro area. (more…)
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Posted in 2008 Iowa floods, Complete Community Connection, Historic front pages, Personal, tagged 2008 Iowa floods, 9/11, Aardvark, American Press Institute, C3, Des Moines Register, Facebook, Flickr, Gazette, LinkedIn, mobile first, Newspaper Next, No Train No Gain, Omaha World-Herald, SlideShare, TripIt, Twitter, YouTube on December 30, 2009 |
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This decade is ending with much less fanfare than the past one, which was the turn of both a century and a millennium.
This decade passed without really getting a name — the Oughts didn’t quite stick, like I guess they did a century earlier (they so didn’t stick that I don’t even know or care whether Oughts or Aughts would be the preferred spelling).
If you don’t have much patience for self-indulgent reflections, this might be a good time to go read something else, because I’m going to look back on the past decade of my career. (more…)
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