Monthly Archives: March 2010

iPad: To Buy, Or Not To Buy? That Is The Question

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

As Apple prepares to ship out the first iPads, my work and NABJDigital Twitter followers  have been discussing whether or not to order their own.  I love to have the latest tech toys, but I’m just not feeling it for the iPad quite yet.  I have an iPod Touch, a Blackberry Curve and a Dell laptop.  I’m just not seeing how an iPad would fit into my life right now.  And $629 for a 16GB iPad with 3G wi-fi access is a bit steep for my pocketbook.

But if you’re still thinking about getting one, there is help.  Thanks to Mark Luckie of the 10000 Words blog for passing along a column from Wired magazine’s GeekDad blog, which has a cool flow chart that walks you through the process of whether or not you need to buy an iPad.  If you get one, drop us a line — we’d love to write about how you’re using it!

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

  • New York City’s Mediabistro is holding a workshop entitled Advanced Social Networking for Media Professionals, featuring Columbia University journalism professor Sree Sreenivasan, March 31, from 6:45-9:45 p.m.  You can get a 25% discount on the class price by using the discount code SREE25.
  • The Online News Association is holding a Webinar entitled “How Location-Based Services Are Changing the News” April 1.  The Webinar is free for ONA members and $27.95 for non-members.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding a Webinar entitled “Managing Your Journalism Career and Skills” April 7 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.
  • The Online News Association is now taking applications for its student newsroom at this year’s annual conference Oct. 28-30 in Washington, D.C.  Students will hands-on experience producing content for the ONA10 website.  The application deadline is Midnight PT, April 16.
  • Vanderbilt University is soliciting applications for journalists to attend its 2010 media fellowship “Securing Our Future: Energy Solutions and the Environment,” May 19-21, 2010 in Nashville, Tenn.
  • The Interactive Innovative blog posts about a series of multimedia training with Maine Media Training May 23 through Oct. 30.  Courses include Stills & Video for Multimedia; One-man Band; Intro to Web Design; and Audio Narrative.  For more information go to Maine Media Training.
  • The Digital Journalist has released its workshops — The New Platypus DSLR Video Journalism, Multimedia and Filmmaking Workshops for 2010. The first one will be held April 2-11 in Las Vegas; in Prague, Czech Republic July 9-18;  and Rockport, Maine, July 25-August 3 at the Maine Media Workshops.
  • Columbia University journalism professor Sree Sreenivasan is holding his Smarter Social Media for Journalists, Bloggers & Media Professionals April 6, 13, 20 & 27; 6:30 – 9 p.m.
  • The Online News Association is holding a 1-day seminar — Smart Phones for Smart Journalists – in Nashville, Tenn., April 9.
  • Region 1 of the Society of Professional Journalists is holding a conference — Surviving the Storm: How to Weather the Tough Times in Journalism – April 9-10 at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.
  • TEDx Seattle will be held April 16 in partnership with the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program at the University of Washington.
  • BusinessJournalism.org is holding a free Webinar, “Using Social Media to Cover Business Better” April 19-20.  The first hour-long Webinar will target those new to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The second hour will help you take your use of social media to the next level.
  • The American Society of Journalists and Authors is holding its 39th annual writers conference April 23-24 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Knight Digital Media Center is taking applications for its News Entrepreneur Boot Camp 2010 May 16-21 at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California.  The deadline to apply is February 19.
  • The Toronto Star is holding a series of new media workshops May 17-19, covering Visual Reporting, Mobile and Social Media Reporting and Web Reporting.
  • The Knight Center for Specialized Journalism offers the seminar Digital Life: Policy & Privacy Online at the University of Maryland College Park’s at the Philip Merrill of College of Journalism May 26-29.  Topics include Social Media and Crowdsourced Journalism, Knight News Challenge and Back-to-the-Newsroom.
  • NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force co-chair Andrew Humphrey and member Michelle Ferrier are among those putting together the next Journalism That Matters conference, in Detroit June 3-6.  The conference theme is Help create communities that initiate, innovate and incubate.
  • The Poynter Institute is holding a seminar – The Backpack Journalist – June 7-11.  Tuition is $995, and applications are due April 26.
  • The Poynter Institute is holding a seminar — Going Mobile With Your News – June 16-19.  Tuition is $895, and applications are due April 1.
  • BusinessJournalism.org is holding a free Webinar, “How to be an entrepreneur as a business journalist” Aug. 9-13.  The weeklong Webinar, which teaches how to use your skills to make a living outside mainstream media, will be taught by freelancer and National Association of Black Journalists member Maya Smart and “Ask-the Recruiter” blogger Joe Grimm will teach the five-hour course.
  • The Poynter Institute is holding a seminar – Multimedia Storytelling With Video – Sept. 20-24.  Tuition is $995, and applications are due Aug. 9.

If you have any items that I’ve missed, please drop me an email via the DJTF Yahoo! Listserv or at regaviationqueen AT yahoo DOT com.  Thanks!

Friday Fast Five – The Mashable Edition

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

I’m seriously thinking of changing the name of the column to Friday Fast 10.  I thought that using our @NABJDigital Twitter account would help me clear the decks of this bookmark folder, but it hasn’t worked out.  So today, you get 10 items — nine  from the Mashable blog — because regular readers know I refuse to do this column without including an entry from the 10000 Words blog!

  1. 10000 Words shows some great visuals on how the media are covering the same-sex marriage debate.  (Mark Luckie would really appreciate your support in buying his new book, “The Digital Journalist’s Handbook”
  2. 7 Superb Social Plugins for WordPress – here are some great tips for those of us always looking for the next big thing to improve our WordPress blog!
  3. As if all our social media tools weren’t connected enough, now we have How To: Integrate Facebook, Twitter and Buzz into Your Gmail.
  4. More of us are creating portfolios so we can showcase our work in one place.  Mashable offers 5 Fantastic Free Tools to Showcase Your Portfolio.
  5. I have been looking for a designer for my ongoing branding project, and this post — 10 Fantastic Places for Finding Designers Online — came right on time for me!
  6. I’ve done several posts about how you can use social media to find that next job, and here’s How Job Seekers Are Using Social Media for Real Results.
  7. Along those same lines, Mashable tells us 4 Ways to Effectively Use Social Media as a Catalyst.
  8. Do you have a Facebook Group/Fan page? Here’s 4 Easy Ways to Engage them.
  9. I thought I’d include 10 Essential Social Media Tips for B2B Marketers because many of the tips can be easily used by journalists.
  10. And although I know most of you are covered, here are 11 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed.

USA Today Creates New Digital Marketing Team

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Alexandra Nicholson, who handled corporate communications for USA Today.  She was writing to tell me that she had been moved over to a newly created Digital Marketing team at USA Today as the manager, social media strategist.  She works with Brian Dresher, Manager, Social Media and Digital Partnerships.

This move, said Nicholson, is part of a larger development of social media efforts for USA Today. You can see some of the team’s work at the USA Today Media Lounge blog.  Nicholson discussed the development of the social media team and what we can expect to see from them moving forward.

NABJDigital: Why did USA Today decide to create a social media team?

Alexandra Nicholson: USA Today has been active in social media for some time. Our efforts have extended from Facebook and Twitter, to news sharing sites and beyond. This recent announcement just takes what was already being done and gives it new structure and a more clearly defined team with individual roles.  Brian Dresher, in his former role of Online Marketing Manager, has been critical to USA Today’s social media efforts already. And in my past role as communications manager, I was seeing the importance of using social media in getting out the corporate message.

ND: How many people are on the team?

AN: Brian Dresher and I are focused primarily on social media, reporting to Wendy Matney, the Director of Online Marketing. However, this position reaches into multiple parts of company, working with several people who touch social media and digital initiatives on the editorial and business side.

ND: What has the company charged you do to?

AN: Brian Dresher is responsible for social media training and will focus on off-site social media initiatives and strategic digital partnerships, cultivating new partnerships and leveraging existing relationships across the company. I am focused on research and development, strategy, social media as a public relations platform and on site efforts, working closely with editorial to integrate social media on-site and leverage social media for their off-site initiatives. We’re also increasing our presence at events to reflect the need to tell our story, engage with other thought leaders, and create new opportunities.

ND: You mentioned that USA Today is looking to work with others on digital or social media projects. How would that work? Give an example of a project that could be done?

AN: I think the best example is a deal we made with Fark.com at the end of last year. This was actually a deal that came about over beers last year at South By Southwest [event]. USAToday.com’s Tech section became the exclusive host and sponsor of the Geek page on Fark.com.

The page is available at fark.usatoday.com. The partnership offered signature features from USAToday.com on the Geek page, including: USA Today Tech section header with USAToday.com navigation; Top News, offering the latest in technology news; and Talking Tech, regular videos from USA Today Tech Reporters Ed Baig and Jefferson Graham. As part of the arrangement USA Today manages advertising placements on the Geek page, extending USA Today’s online impressions to marketers and advertising clients.

We’ve seen wonderful results in terms of traffic and it’s created a new opportunity for advertisers to reach a desirable audience. We’re happy, Fark is happy, we all win.

ND: How will the team fit with the USA Today Social Media Lounge?

AN: Brian Dresher and I author the Social Media Lounge. We see it as a place to offer a look at what USA Today is doing every day through marketing, communications and social media efforts. We post tips, case studies, best practices and general feedback on social media, with an emphasis on what we have been doing in an effort to help people and organizations apply our key learning’s to their own social media programs. We also view this space as a place where we can start conversations with readers about what works best for them.

ND: How will you handle the team’s Twitter and Facebook accounts?

AN: We have been managing @USATMediaLounge for some time now and will continue to do so. Additionally Brian does a great job with @bdresher. It’s a great way to communicate directly, and quickly, with our readers and we love the conversation. Our Facebook presence is managed by a cross-departmental team of people from the business and editorial side. We will remain involved and see no immediate changes to how it is managed.

ND: Why do you think it’s important to have a social media team?

AN: It’s a growth area and as a media company we think it makes sense to put additional talent and resources behind social media. USA Today has long served as a conversation catalyst, and we’ve already seen the tangible benefits of being involved in social media We realize users increasingly turn to social networks as their primary destination for connecting with others and consuming information. For this reason, we need to be where our audience is and understand how to participate in these communities, so that when they go to a news site, USA Today can remain a top of mind news brand.

NABJDigital Interviews Black Girl With Long Hair Web Site Founder

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

First, please allow me to acknowledge a milestone for the NABJDigital blog: this post marks our 100th since we started back in October.  I’d like to thank all the contributors that have helped us reach 100 posts.  Now, on to today’s post.

One of the things I like best about NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force Yahoo listserv is the variety of people who post comments.  You just never know who will pop up and what they might contribute.

Leila Noelliste, Black Girl With Long Hair

I am always looking for inspirational stories on journalists who are taking that leap of faith and taking their fate – and their career – into their own hands.  This is how I found Leila Noelliste, creator of the Black Girl With Long Hair Web site.  She had a good career as a journalist, writing for publications including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Defender and the Associated Press.  She started BGLH as a blog in April 2008.  She went natural in late 2006, and started the blog after about a year and a half later after realizing that resources for her didn’t exist.   Our chat is below.

NABJDigital: How did you come up with the idea for the blog?

Leila Noelliste: It was because there was a lack of representation for natural hair. I went natural in late 2006.  I wanted to see pictures of what it looks like to have different styles, like Afros or exquisite styles and there wasn’t one location I could to go to for inspiration.  I gave out my email and asked women to send in pictures of their natural hair.  I wanted it to be real women, not models, and feature people who had stopped straightening their hair, and that’s how it began.

ND: Why did you think it was important to create the blog?

LN: I don’t know if it’s a slight sense of narcissism, but I wanted to be reflected in the media.  I felt it wasn’t fair that go through entire day and see nothing but straight hair.  I couldn’t do a TV show, but I can create this pocket where women can come and be inspired.  I needed style ideas and I wanted to know what other women were doing.  Natural hair has its own trends and I wanted to see what women were doing.  Natural hair is not just twists with Cori shells, and I wanted to see that.

ND: Are you still freelancing?

LN:  No. The blog is what I’m doing full-time.  It was very scary to quit my job.  I went to Wheaton College and decided to be a reporter and had a good run.  I worked at WGN Radio News as an intern.  I worked for StreetWise magazine, which was a newspaper combined with a non-profit organization for the homeless.

Then I went to the Chicago Defender, where I was full-time staff.  I was 22 at the time, and they saw potential. A few of my stories were picked up by AP and I got to interview some cool people.  But the paper fell on hard times and they had to let me go.  I found a job doing courts and legal affairs reporting for the Daily Journal.  I was doing well there, but I just thought blog was filling a void. It became popular so fast I knew it needed attention.  It was a huge leap of faith, and I decided to quit in November 2009 because I had to see what happens with the blog.

My parents are supportive and I make money on sponsorships.  All my advertisers are black females.  A lot are women who also work on the blog.  It’s been so exciting to help them get to a broader audience.  When comes to beauty, we need things that are unique to black women, and it’s cool to be able to help support that.

ND: How do you attract the advertisers for your blog?

LN: I think it’s been really organic.  I made an announcement on the blog to sell ad space and it snowballed.  There is a large community of black women online.  Because there are so few services and media directed at black women, we’ve created online communities for ourselves.  There are blogs on fashion, art, hair, beauty and politics; there are huge assets out there.  As the word spreads, I don’t have to seek advertisers.  I have actually had to turn away ads.

It’s important for black journalists to know that when you’re doing a blog, there’s so much potential, because there’s so little established media for us.  My blog has about 3,800 subscribers, but I’ve seen natural hair forums with 100,000+ members.  It’s amazing that there are so many women who want to be part of a community.  I feel very blessed.

ND: How did you develop the skills to create and format your Web site?

LN: I’m the content person.  I’m blessed to have Shari Nicole Neal Design on my team.  Shari did the Web design.  I actually made the transition from blogger to my own domain.  On the old blog, I couldn’t have tabs.  When I transitioned, I went to my archives and found recurring themes and created the tabs.  I have amazing pictures and I chose my favorites, and that is the most popular part of the site.  My list of natural hair salons all came from my readers.  There’s also a tab where people can buy products and that all comes from my readers.  You get information that’s current and validated when it comes from readers.  Everything has been tested and proven.  I don’t endorse anything.

ND: What advice would you give to those who want to do what you’ve done?

LN: The first thing is to really think through it.  Make sure you have a quality, unique product.  Even though there’s a lack of representation in the black community, there’s still a lot of repetition.  Blogs are a dime a dozen, so think about how yours is unique.  And have a financial plan.  My parents help me, I do freelance and I live with my finance.  In hindsight, I might have stayed at my job a bit longer, but I’m now bringing in money.  You do have to think about monetization.  It doesn’t pay if you don’t think it though.  Just go for it, because there’s such a low representation of black culture, and what’s out there is dated.  You need to take time to bring it to light.

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

  • The Online News Association is holding a meetup with the Society of Professional Journalists in Seattle March 23, in Los Angeles March 24 and in Chicago March 24.  The events are free.
  • The Knight Digital Media Center has set a March 26 deadline to apply for its Multimedia Reporting and Convergence Workshop, being held at the University of California-Berkeley May 16-21 and June 13-18.  The workshop will offer technical skills needed to produce quality multimedia stories including audio/video recording and editing, Flash graphics, digital cameras, Photoshop and web design concepts.
  • New York City’s Mediabistro is holding a workshop entitled Advanced Social Networking for Media Professionals, featuring Columbia University journalism professor Sree Sreenivasan, March 31, from 6:45-9:45 p.m.  You can get a 25% discount on the class price by using the discount code SREE25.
  • The Online News Association is holding a Webinar entitled “How Location-Based Services Are Changing the News” April 1.  The Webinar is free for ONA members and $27.95 for non-members.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding a Webinar entitled “Managing Your Journalism Career and Skills” April 7 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.
  • The Online News Association is now taking applications for its student newsroom at this year’s annual conference Oct. 28-30 in Washington, D.C.  Students will hands-on experience producing content for the ONA10 website.  The application deadline is Midnight PT, April 16.
  • Vanderbilt University is soliciting applications for journalists to attend its 2010 media fellowship “Securing Our Future: Energy Solutions and the Environment,” May 19-21, 2010 in Nashville, Tenn.
  • The Interactive Innovative blog posts about a series of multimedia training with Maine Media Training May 23 through Oct. 30.  Courses include Stills & Video for Multimedia; One-man Band; Intro to Web Design; and Audio Narrative.  For more information go to Maine Media Training.
  • The Digital Journalist has released its workshops — The New Platypus DSLR Video Journalism, Multimedia and Filmmaking Workshops for 2010. The first one will be held April 2-11 in Las Vegas; in Prague, Czech Republic July 9-18;  and Rockport, Maine, July 25-August 3 at the Maine Media Workshops.
  • Columbia University journalism professor Sree Sreenivasan is holding his Smarter Social Media for Journalists, Bloggers & Media Professionals April 6, 13, 20 & 27; 6:30 – 9 p.m.
  • Region 1 of the Society of Professional Journalists is holding a conference — Surviving the Storm: How to Weather the Tough Times in Journalism – April 9-10 at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.
  • TEDx Seattle will be held April 16 in partnership with the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program at the University of Washington.
  • BusinessJournalism.org is holding a free Webinar, “Using Social Media to Cover Business Better” April 19-20.  The first hour-long Webinar will target those new to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The second hour will help you take your use of social media to the next level.
  • The American Society of Journalists and Authors is holding its 39th annual writers conference April 23-24 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Knight Digital Media Center is taking applications for its News Entrepreneur Boot Camp 2010 May 16-21 at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California.  The deadline to apply is February 19.
  • The Toronto Star is holding a series of new media workshops May 17-19, covering Visual Reporting, Mobile and Social Media Reporting and Web Reporting.
  • The Knight Center for Specialized Journalism offers the seminar Digital Life: Policy & Privacy Online at the University of Maryland College Park’s at the Philip Merrill of College of Journalism May 26-29.  Topics include Social Media and Crowdsourced Journalism, Knight News Challenge and Back-to-the-Newsroom.
  • NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force co-chair Andrew Humphrey and member Michelle Ferrier are among those putting together the next Journalism That Matters conference, in Detroit June 3-6.  The conference theme is Help create communities that initiate, innovate and incubate.
  • BusinessJournalism.org is holding a free Webinar, “How to be an entrepreneur as a business journalist” Aug. 9-13.  The weeklong Webinar, which teaches how to use your skills to make a living outside mainstream media, will be taught by freelancer and National Association of Black Journalists member Maya Smart and “Ask-the Recruiter” blogger Joe Grimm will teach the five-hour course.

If you have any items that I’ve missed, please drop me an email via the DJTF Yahoo! Listserv or at regaviationqueen AT yahoo DOT com.  Thanks!

Friday Fast Five

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

The good news is there continues to be a great deal of digital/new media related material coming out every day.  The bad news is that it’s piling up in my Friday Fast Five folder quicker than I can get it published here.  I say that to say you get another bonus five in this week’s edition.  And my 10000 Words streak continues unabated. Take that, Cal Ripken Jr.! Enjoy!

  1. 10000 Words – 5 Ways to improve your writing and concentration (and please support Mark by buying his book, “The Digital Journalist’s Handbook”)
  2. Mashable – Create Custom Backgrounds for Twitter, YouTube, & MySpace
  3. Networked – 7 Social Media Tools for Journalists
  4. Smashing Magazine – Finding Inspiration in Uncommon Sources: 12 Places to Look
  5. Mediactive – Audio Editing on a Budget or Away from Home
  6. MakeUseOf – 3 Ways To Use Google Reader As An Online Archive
  7. The Comms Corner – 5 online tools making social media simpler in 2010
  8. TwiTip – The Best Way to Find Better People to Follow on Twitter
  9. Social Media Explorer – How to Keep Readers Coming Back to Your Blog
  10. WebWorkerDaily – 6 Ways to Stop the Social Media Madness