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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Reynolds’

Tumblr logoTumblr has been an underused instrument in my social media toolbox.

It’s easy to justify ignoring a tool you know is useful, because you have so many tools to use and so little time. But I want to keep learning about social tools and I sort of need to for my job. So it’s always kind of nagged at me that I haven’t done more with Tumblr.

I gave it a try three years ago during the Super Bowl with a Tumblr on trivia about Super Bowl quarterbacks. Somehow that topic caught my fancy back in the 1970s, when I noticed that six of the first eight Super Bowls were won by four different quarterbacks from Alabama (Bart Starr twice and Joe Namath) and Purdue (Len Dawson and Bob Griese twice). So I spent the day of the Super Bowl (maybe the day before, too; I can’t remember) tumbling about Super Bowl quarterback trivia. I don’t think anyone noticed. I got more response to a few tweets this year about quarterback trivia. And besides, that’s kind of a one-day blog. Or at best a couple weeks a year. How could it catch on?

Tumblr works best with visuals and I wasn’t posting photos or gifs of the Super Bowl quarterbacks, just questions. So that was a bust, but I kind of got my feet wet.

I used visuals and was more persistent with my DFM Engagement Tumblr, but again, I saw no sign that people were actually engaging with it or reading it at all. (We’re still engaging; maybe I’ll catch it up sometime and give it another try.)

Colleagues were having success with Tumblr. Ivan Lajara’s News Cat Gifs went viral. Martin Reynolds does a nice job with Rules of Engagement. Buffy Andrews promotes her novels. Zack Harold tumbls his adventures. Mandy Jenkins tumbls her cats and other stuff. But I was pretty much AWOL when it came to Tumblr.

I was amused/flattered by our CEO’s recent reference to me as our newsrooms’ Educator in Chief. Then this week, I was called a honcho and a news futurist blogger (guilty). So I decided to have some self-indulgent Tumblr fun with how the Internet refers to me, noting that I’ve self-inflicted some unusual  titles (with a prod from another CEO).

Please check out Buttrynyms and let me know what you think.

I will try to make it more funny than boastful. I won’t include all of Mimi’s references to me (I make it into her tweets often), though I used a few when I was getting my initial posts up last night.

I welcome your advice. How do I make a Tumblr blog successful? (What is success?) How do I Tumbl better? Where are the best posts with advice for journalists using Tumblr?

I don’t know how often I’ll update (the Internet isn’t talking about me constantly, fortunately). Occasionally I’ll dig up some past references in an attempt to keep it fresh. And maybe I’ll finally master Tumblr.

 

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Martin Reynolds (in the doorway) shows off the News MoJo to Northern California Digital First colleagues.

Martin Reynolds (in the doorway) shows off the News MoJo to Northern California Digital First colleagues.

This week I led engagement workshops at The Reporter in Vacaville, Calif., and at the Santa Cruz Sentinel for Digital First Media newsrooms in Northern California.

I’m posting the links and slides here for the benefit of people attending the workshops.

Martin Reynolds led sessions on Oakland Voices (particularly discussing a post by Adimu Madyun) and on the forums and workshops he leads for the Bay Area News Group, including forums on asthma, Trayvon Martin and diversity in San Mateo and a workshop on public records. Martin also showed the News MoJo van and discussed how it can help in community engagement and news coverage.

Lanz Christian Bañes led a session on photo engagement (assisted by Chris Riley in the Vacaville workshop), discussing their Our Town and Generation Snaps projects. (Watch for more on those projects soon on the Inside Thunderdome blog.)

Here are Lanz’s slides: (more…)

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People gather for a reception at the Oakland Tribune’s downtown community newsroom Thursday evening. The Community Media Lab where the refreshments are served is usually set up with computers for community use. In the background is the Tribune’s newsroom.

I heard it again and again Thursday evening: “I’m glad to see the Tribune back in downtown Oakland.”

Martin Reynolds emcees Thursday’s opening reception at the Oakland Tribune’s downtown community newsroom.

Yes, the Tribune is back. I went out to Oakland for a reception to celebrate the return to downtown and to welcome the people of Oakland to a community newsroom with computers and meeting space for public use.

As companies like Digital First Media seek to develop a business model for the future, the brand names of newspapers are valuable assets to build upon. But the Oakland Tribune stands out for its rich heritage and emotional connection with its community, giving it almost iconic status.

When I worked for the Des Moines Register in the 1970s and ‘80s, it was a similar icon, delivered in every county in Iowa and covering statewide news like no other newspaper in the country. The Register won Pulitzer Prizes for agricultural reporting and gained national prominence for our coverage every four years of the Iowa caucuses that launched presidential campaigns. The Register had a brand identity throughout Iowa that was hard to measure and impossible to match. As a reporter, when I showed up in a small Iowa town, the Register name commanded respect (even from Iowans who considered our editorials too liberal) and persuaded people to talk unlike any other brand I ever worked for. (more…)

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Oakland Voices correspondents (from left) Michael Holland, Edward Cervantes, Debora Gordon and Katrina Davis discuss their stories Wednesday evening with Christopher Johnson in the Oakland Tribune community newsroom.

I hope to see more community engagement projects like Oakland Voices.

At many of our Digital First Media newsrooms, we organize networks of people already blogging in the community and offer to help people launch blogs. Oakland Voices, a project of the Oakland Tribune, trains and pays people to tell the stories of communities in the East Bay area.

I led a writing workshop Wednesday for seven community correspondent/bloggers from Oakland Voices Wednesday at the Tribune’s new community newsroom in downtown Oakland. I’ll be speaking briefly this evening at a reception to celebrate the opening of the downtown newsroom.

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson, a former NPR reporter and producer, directs the project, funded by a grant from the California Endowment. Martin Reynolds, Digital First regional engagement editor, is executive director of the project, a partnership with the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. This is the second group to go through the nine-month project, which started in 2010.

The correspondents are highly motivated to tell the stories of their communities, neighborhoods in East Oakland, Christopher said.

“They feel almost to a person that Oakland is getting a bad rap,” he said. “They know a different city than they are reading about, seeing on TV.” (more…)

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I’ve long known that any manager’s success rests with the team working for you. Again, I am fortunate to have a great engagement team.

Mandy Jenkins starts work today as digital projects editor for Digital First Media. In addition, I will be working with Martin G. Reynolds, Ivan Lajara and Dan Petty as regional engagement editors. Each of these journalists brings outstanding experience and skills to the engagement team, and I am excited about working with them.

I was amazed repeatedly by Mandy’s performance at TBD, where we were colleagues. After joining the Journal Register Co. in May, I learned swiftly how widely respected Ivan is throughout the company. Martin and Dan were among the first journalists I met in September after MediaNews became part of Digital First Media, and I quickly came to see what outstanding journalists they are.

The loose organization of the team reflects how Digital First focuses more on working effectively than on silos or organization charts. The regional engagement editors will split their time 50-50 between their regional duties and local duties (for which they will still report to local editors). Mandy will be part of the engagement team, but the digital projects she undertakes will not be limited to engagement. (All four of these editors have skills and experience that go beyond their specific engagement duties, so I anticipate we’ll use them all in many ways to elevate our journalism.) (more…)

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