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September 15 2011

17:51

AP managing editors meeting: news executives say mobile delivery future of news

Seattle Times :: News executives opening the Associated Press Managing Editors meeting in Denver on Wednesday said mobile news delivery offers newspapers and other media companies a good opportunity to make money in the digital world. Tom Curley, The Associated Press' president and CEO, said media companies lost revenue opportunities with the Internet but have a chance to change that with mobile.

Continue to read Kristen Wyatt, seattletimes.nwsource.com

April 18 2011

08:40

Who's New to Net2 Local?

Since November, we've added 2 new NetSquared Local groups to the map, bringing the new official number to 80 groups in 26 cities worldwide! NetSquared Local groups meet to network and learn about using web and mobile technologies to make social change happen. Each one of these groups is volunteer run and community driven, and each one is totally unique and at the mercy of the interests, cultures and expertises of the group members.

New Net2 Local Groups

Below is a list of the groups that have started in the last few months. If you're interested in getting involved either as a co-organizer or a participant in one of these cities, go to the group website and give the organizer a shout!

Just Getting Started

We also have several other groups that are "Just Getting Started". This means that we have at least one person in the city who is interested in helping to get a NetSquared Local group off the ground. Just getting started groups are indicated by yellow markers on the map.

In the last few months we've had interest from people in:

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Kasese, Uganda
  • Kumbo, Cameroon
  • Bellevue, CA, USA
  • Derby, KS, USA
  • Kalawana, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Denver, CO, USA
  • Boulder, CO, USA

Are you in one of these cities and want to become a co-organizer to help get the NetSquared group off the ground? Let us know and we'll connect you with the other folks who have expressed interest and provide you with all the resources you need to make it happen!

Are you in another city and want to get involved?

Learn more about NetSquared Local and check the Net2 Local map to see how you can get involved with an existing group, a just getting started group, or to start your own!

August 19 2010

18:05

Social Media, Entrepreneurship Dominate AEJMC 2010

news21 small.jpg

Education content on MediaShift is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.

The problem with five jam-packed days of panels and events is that you can't do it all. Presentations and business meetings for the 93rd annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), which was held in Denver earlier this month, ran concurrently from 7 a.m. until, for some, after midnight. I hustled from my booth in the exhibit hall to sit in on sessions across the different groups, but especially to eavesdrop on discussions among attendees and peek over their shoulders as they tapped silently on their iPhones. Below are five key messages I overheard in Denver.

1. Boots on the Ground

"I have to be on the ground, witnessing events with my own eyes ... [War reporting] is not just a cocktail party -- you can't just drop in." - Anne Garrels, former foreign correspondent for NPR

Garrels commanded the room during a keynote address that saw her recount harrowing experiences during her six years as an embedded journalist during the Iraq War -- including false accusations made on her Wikipedia page that she believes could have gotten her killed.

In the face of "raw information" quickly disseminated through new social mediums, Garrels emphasized committed, responsible, on-the-ground reporting. "Having knowledge to put events into context is really key," she said. "Otherwise, information is pretty hollow."

2. Editing Skills to Pay the Bills

"We need to get our students to think of themselves not just as reporters, but as editors." - Eileen Gilligan, assistant professor, SUNY Oswego

Gilligan said the above during a session about teaching convergence in the midst of a climate of ambiguity surrounding priorities in journalism education. Her session, "Teaching through Transition," presented data from several research studies conducted by AEJMC members that revealed an alarming disparity between the skills needed in convergent newsrooms and the core curricular priorities in U.S. journalism schools.

The data underscored the importance of superior storytelling skills. But interpersonal skills (such as the ability to develop sources), news judgment (the right story, the right way), and multi-tasking (the hardest of the three) were cited by news directors as necessary traits to succeed in converged newsrooms. Gilligan said the most meaningful feedback was that editing is a core skill for current students and future journalists.

3. Social Media Everywhere

"Social media showed me that people don't just care about the news, they care about the people who write it." - Arizona State University student Sebastien Bauge, as quoted by Serena Carpenter in her presentation in the AEJMC social media competition

Social media was popular during the conference, both in panels and in practice. One session, "Social Media in the Classroom", shared how instructors incorporate these tools in their courses. Examining Twitter updates during current events -- like the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year -- and hashtagging course names for classroom conversations were among the suggestions discussed. One course at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invited Pizza Hut's public relations coordinator-turned-"Twitterologist" as a guest speaker to discuss corporate social media strategies. Mich Sineath, who tweeted for @AEJMC during the conference, called it the "hands-down BEST panel of #AEJMC10."

Social media happened to me, too. When inside the large, glass-walled room for Poynter's News University presentation (and announcement of its new syllabus exchange program), I tweeted from @CQPJournalism that it was one of the most well-attended sessions I had seen. Within minutes, professor Jake Batsell of Southern Methodist University responded that he had at least "40+" attendees for his panel on creating and running multi-platform student news websites. Turns out, Batsell was sitting two seats away from me.

4. Entrepreneurship the Answer?

"I'm not even slightly interested in saving the industry." - Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University

The lack of viable business models that can sustain an increasingly complicated news marketplace was still the elephant in the room this year, especially in light of the fact that the conference showed that traditional news jobs continue to disappear. In fact, panelists for the "New Media Economics" panel admittedly had little to offer in terms of successful strategies. Gillmor, author of "We the Media" and a forthcoming book called Mediactive, went on to say, "I've given up the idea that the industry wants to be saved. We've moved on."

By that Gillmor meant that the news industry should look toward new types of social and media entrepreneurship. He explained that journalists and entrepreneurs must have an appreciation of risk and be attuned to the current media culture.

"Innovation," he said, "is doing something better than how somebody else is doing it."

5. Enrollment Changing Along With the Industry

"Everything is changing, not dying" - Guy J. Golan, chair of the new Political Communication interest group

During the conference, I frequented the Starbucks on 16th street, just across from the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel. It was a place to refuel, charge my laptop, and access free wireless, which was not available in the conference rooms nor in hotel rooms. When I reached over to unplug my laptop, Golan handed me my cord and we chatted about the conference. He corrected my assertion that the common perception is that the news industry is "dying" and yet enrollment rates are rising in journalism schools.

It's the PR and advertising programs that are gaining students, he said, along with niche beats like sportswriting and political coverage. That was an interesting distinction to note. It was also borne out by some of the association business that was taken care of during the conference: political communication and sports communication became newly-minted interest groups this year, and the Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk Interest Group (ComSHER) was raised to division status at the conference.

Golan, currently a "free agent" professor, interviewed for work during the conference job fair, along with the many grad students I ran into at a school-sponsored evening social. He said there are "lots of jobs, and lots of candidates" in the world of journalism and communications education.

Christina Mueller is an Assistant Editor in the College Division of CQ Press, a division of SAGE Publications. She comments at @CQPJournalism and blogs for the journalism and mass communication line of books. The opinions of this post are that of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of SAGE Publications.

news21 small.jpg

Education content on MediaShift is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

August 02 2010

21:17

AEJMC workshop: Journalism schools as news providers

The annual AEJMC conference in Denver kicks off with a pre-conference workshop on Tuesday 3 August journalism schools as news providers.

The workshop brings together journalism practitioners and educators to discuss how j-schools are filling gaps in news coverage through student journalism.

At the UBC Graduate School of Journalism, you can see examples of student reporting on local issues on TheThunderbird.ca and on our sister video site, ThunderbirdTV.ca.

I’m looking forward to learning about what other schools are doing and sharing ideas for best practice.

Here is the schedule for the Denver workshop.

3:00 – 3:15 pm Registration
3:15 – 3:30 pm Welcome by Geanne Rosenberg and introduction by Eric Newton

3:30 – 4:25 pm Panel One: What Is Changing and Why
Moderator: Joshua Benton.  Panelists: Karen Dunlap, Lynda Kraxberger, Nicholas Lemann and Geneva Overholser.

4:30 – 5:25 pm Panel Two: Grappling with Legal Risks and Other Challenges
Moderator: Geanne Rosenberg. Panelists: David Ardia, George Freeman, Jane Kirtley, Rose Ann Robertson, and Steven D. Zansberg.

5:30 – 6:25 pm Panel Three: Innovative Approaches to Community Journalism
Moderator: Steve Shepard. Panelists: Joe Bergantino, Monty Cook, Richard Jones, Paul Voakes and Leonard Witt.

Closing Remarks – Susan King

6:30 – 8:00 pm Networking Reception

January 24 2010

19:49

10 Ways Blogging Can Help Denver Businesses

- Increase visibility for your company

- Reach out to your customers with fresh content and frequent updates

- Enrich clients’ understanding of your business, products, services, etc.

- Communicate effectively with your target audience and gain insight on upcoming trends

- Generate awareness for upcoming products and events

- Test new ideas by using your blog as a forum to gain valuable customer feedback

- Contact a global audience with a global medium

- Position yourself as a thought leader or nexus of change

- Manage projects and share knowledge internally

- Highlight success stories and relevant case studies

By now, everyone has heard the term “blog” somewhere, and it’s more than likely that almost everyone has read a blog at some point in the last few years. Blogging is fast becoming an integral part of many companies’ online marketing initiatives and web presence. Clearly, blogs aren’t just for tech nerds, obsessive political fanatics, and hippie teenagers anymore.

But how many of us know how blogging works and why it’s become so popular with online marketers? More importantly, how many of us actually understand how to use a blog to boost business online? Surprisingly, very few of us. This article will explore how to do just that by providing ten reasons you need to start blogging (if you haven’t already).

Within the online space, many marketers are conscious of the impact a blog can make on an online business. In fact, “Blogging in the Enterprise,” a study conducted by GuideWireGroup for iUpload, indicates that as many as 89 percent of companies currently blog or plan to start in the near future. The study also found that a much higher percentage of small businesses were blogging. Currently, almost sixty percent of the corporate blogosphere is composed of companies with 100 employees or less. So why are so many companies blogging?

The answer is simple yet profound. Blogs are a multi-dimensional communication channel that can be utilized for a variety of purposes. Whether you need to draw traffic to your site, get customer feedback, generate awareness, communicate with customers or those within your own organization, blogs are a quick, easy, and effective way to create an online presence without knowing even a single line of code. So, if you have a keyboard, a mouse, and an internet connection, you’re ready to start publishing your own blog. But before you begin typing away, consider which of the above goals you’ll use your blog to achieve. The company I work for, Denver-based Fusionbox, is one such company. Using a blog platform onsite, we’ve been able to create a place where employees can post content related to the services we offer, including web design, web development, and search engine marketing. Clients, both current and potential, can visit this section of the site to catch up on news, upcoming events and trends, or just read some of the articles we’ve written about the online marketing space.

So consider the following: Not only do blogs allow you to publish and distribute fresh content on as frequent a basis as you like, but also remember that Google and other search engines grant high value to blog content due to the frequent updates, links and networks, and archival nature of the blog platform itself. Thanks to the Google algorithm, this makes blogs a valuable tool for search engine optimization and improved organic search positioning.

As you’ve seen, blogs are the perfect channel for sustained communication with your customer base; they present a friendly, informal voice that visitors come to know and trust. So now that you’ve identified the purpose(s) of your blog, you can begin to create and publish content designed to further that ambition.

One of the most popular reasons companies (and especially small businesses) are blogging is to increase visibility. Use your blog to present information about your company and what you’ve got to offer that your competitors don’t.

Along the same lines, reach out to your customer base by placing your content where you know they’ll spend their time online. Research where they go and what they’re looking for, then position your content as the information destination. This will allow you to enrich clients’ understanding of your business. In addition, by updating your blog frequently (best practices show that you should add content at least three times a week, if not daily) you’ll begin to build a relationship with interested readers.

Perhaps the most important advantage of using a blog is that it allows you to generate awareness about an upcoming event or product release. Like a press release, your blog will act as a source of news and notify readers of changes you think they need to be aware of. The inherent ability of blogs to connect readers to you and each other is an excellent place to start building networks, and oftentimes you’ll be able to gain insight on upcoming trends through these connections.

On the other hand, your blog is an invaluable source of all types of feedback. Because nearly all blog platforms allow readers to post comments on your content, you can test new ideas and let customers tell your directly about their experience with your product or company. Similarly, blogs are a perfect tool to present success stories and relevant case studies to readers.

A blog is essentially the perfect tool for internal knowledge and project management. It acts as a public domain where anyone involved in the company can share their experiences or update co-workers on the status of a project.

As mentioned before, blogs are the ideal tool to create online content and then build connections around this content. The more readers that come to see what thoughts you’ve got to offer, the more incoming links you’ll gain as they link to your content. In this way, blogs also function as a tool for search engine optimization, and once you’ve built a community around your content, you’ll position yourself as an industry thought leader and nexus of change. Just make sure that the content you’ve got to offer is unique, engaging, and relevant.

As blogs continue to become the most efficient channel for businesses to communicate with a Web 2.0 audiences, it’s critical that you and your company begin blogging to either catch up with the competition or distance yourself from it. As we’ve seen, blogging is becoming an integral aspect of online marketing initiatives and web presence. So blog away!

Nick Yorchak is an SEO expert and Search Engine Marketing Specialist at Fusionbox, a full-service Denver Internet marketing, web design, and web development company. He can be reached at his Fusionbox email or at (720)956-1083.

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