Category Archives: Social Media

Friday Fast Five + Five: The Twitter Edition

Twitter is one of my favorite journalism tools, so I’m always looking for tricks to make it even more useful to use.  Below are 10 hacks that may be helpful to add to your Twitter arsenal.

  1. TwitterTwitter for newsrooms and journalists
  2. MediaBistroFive Habits To Help Yourself Tweet Once Per Day
  3. MediaShiftErica Anderson’s 6 Tips for Journalists on Twitter
  4. Intuit10 Rules for Crafting the Perfect Tweet
  5. MashableHow to Spend Only 10 Minutes Per Day on Twitter
  6. Open ForumHow Many Of Your Twitter Followers Are Fake?
  7. Forbes31 Twitter Tips: How To Use Twitter Tools And Twitter Best Practices For Business
  8. MashableThe Beginner’s Guide to HootSuite
  9. MashableThe Beginner’s Guide to TweetDeck
  10. AllTwitter6 Tips For Shorter Tweets [INFOGRAPHIC]

Benét J. Wilson serves on the board of the Online News Association. She is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and is the social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  She is also a freelance aviation journalist and blogger and is the Air Travel Expert for

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events


  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism presents the free webinar, “Social Media ROI for Journalists” on March 25, 2014.  The Arizona Republic’s Chad Graham and the Reynolds Center’s digital director Robin J. Phillips provide tips for harnessing social media to reach your brand’s fullest potential online.
  • On March 27, 2014, the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism presents the free afternoon workshop, “Detecting Corporate Fraud,” in partnership with the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Theo Francis, investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and Roddy Boyd, founder of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation, offer techniques for analyzing SEC filings and other disclosures.
  • Make your plans now to attend the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, March 27-29, 2014, in Phoenix, Ariz. Michael Lewis, author of “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side,” will be among the keynote speakers as he accepts SABEW’s Distinguished Achievement Award. The conference will conclude with a banquet honoring winners of the 19th annual Best in Business awards competition. The conference, to be hosted by The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, is expected to attract several hundred business editors, reporters and producers as well as a wide range of exhibitors.
  • The Society of Professional Journalists is holding its Region 2 conference March 28 and 29 at Georgetown University, 640 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. The conference will start on March 28 with a screening of “A Fragile Trust,” a new documentary about the plagiarism and fabrication of Jayson Blair. There will be a full day of programs and a Mark of Excellence awards luncheon on March 29. 


  • The Society for Environmental Journalists is calling for award entries. SEJ’s awards honor the best environmental journalism in seven categories, bringing recognition to the most important stories on the planet. Journalism broadcast or published in print or online is eligible. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2014.  SEJ’s 2014 Awards will be presented on Sept. 3, 2014, at SEJ’s 24th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. $500 will be offered for first-place winners in seven categories. Enter environmental stories produced between March 1, 2013 and Feb. 28, 2014. Click here to see past winners and learn how to apply.
  • The post-graduate, multimedia fellow manages and maintains the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire’s website. He or she creates multimedia projects for our website, works with undergraduate interns to develop multimedia projects and provides leadership to a team that produces news stories and projects. Qualified applicants must have professional-level expertise in HTML, content management systems and CSS. Applicants must also have high-level skills in reporting and writing, shooting photos and video using a DSLR camera and editing video. This one-year, post-graduate, multimedia fellowship will begin in late summer 2014 and run through mid-August 2015. The fellowship includes a $22,155 stipend, plus free housing in a furnished apartment shared with the program’s undergraduate interns.  The deadline to apply is April 1.

  • The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 6th Annual Media Institute on Health: Health Policy and Health Inequities in Washington, D.C., at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center at The Kaiser Family Foundation April 10-12.  It is the only conference of its kind to focus exclusively on health disparities in communities of color and provide print, broadcast and digital journalists with tools to effectively report on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act of health care reform and health policy on underserved communities. Journalists and media professionals will leave with resources to inform and empower readers and viewers to action.  Registration is $79 for members and $129 for nonmembers.


  • The Global Editors Network  hosts the GEN Summit June 11 – 13 in Barcelona. Discover ‘robot journalism’, and be updated about drone journalism and data journalism. This is the event to meet with the media industry influentials and drive business.
  • The best in the business will gather for more than 100 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats at the 2014 IRE conference June 26-29, 2014 in San Francisco. Speakers will share strategies for locating documents and gaining access to public records, finding the best stories and managing investigations. Join the discussion about how to practice investigative journalism in print, broadcast, Web and alternative newsroom models.


  • The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Boston July 30-Aug. 3, 2014. Thousands of journalists, media executives, public relations professionals, and students are expected to attend to network, participate in professional development sessions and celebrate excellence in journalism.


  • The Online News Association 2014 Conference & Awards Banquet is the premier gathering of highly engaged digital journalists shaping media now. Learn about new tools and technologies, network with peers from around the world and celebrate excellence at the Online Journalism Awards. ONA  is looking for your input on sessions for ONA14, Sept. 25-27, in Chicago. Submit your session proposals  from March 20 to April 18. Submit one here

If you have items you wish to include, please email them to me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM. Thanks!!

Friday Fast Five: Your Guide To New Media

  1. Lifehacker – Top 10 Worthwhile Uses for Tablets
  2. SourceBuilding News Apps on a Shoestring
  3. Business 2 Community – 5 tips for writing online headlines
  4. IJNet – Four tools that aim to make journalists and their data more secure
  5. Blogging Tips – 10 Ways to Keep WordPress site Safe from Hacking

Best of DJTF Blog: Twitter: Avoiding The Pitfalls and Building Your Brand

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post lists tweets from attentees of the Region 1 Conference who tweet their thoughts and reactions about a panel on brand building.  It originally ran on May 2.  Also, join the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force for a virtual conference “New Year, New You,” on Saturday, Jan. 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. In four hour-long sessions, attendees will learn mobile journalism tips and tricks, how to create an online portfolio, steps needed to create your journalism brand and taking your resume to the next level.  You can take 1, 2, 3, or all 4 webinars, and they will be recorded in case you can’t make it. Click here for more information.


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Andy Carvin, senior social media strategist at NPR, with his Knight-Batten Award for being the [Twitter] DJ of the Arab Spring revolution.

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Best of DJTF Blog: Tools to Help You Tap Into Your Inner JournoGeek

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from DJTF immediate past chair Benet Wilson, who highlights 10 digital tools to help bring out the tech savvy journalist in all of us!  It originally ran on Sept. 28.  Also, join the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force for a virtual conference “New Year, New You,” on Saturday, Jan. 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. In four hour-long sessions, attendees will learn mobile journalism tips and tricks, how to create an online portfolio, steps needed to create your journalism brand and taking your resume to the next level.  You can take 1, 2, 3, or all 4 webinars, and they will be recorded in case you can’t make it. Click here for more information.


Earlier today, DJTF Co-Chair Kiratiana Freelon and I did a presentation - Tools to Help You Tap Into Your Inner JournoGeek   – at the NABJ Region 1 conference. We went pretty fast, so below are some of the tools I highlighted.

  1. Storify - a storytelling tool that uses Tweets, Instagram/Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and links to tell a story. You can see the stories done by NABJDigital here.
  2. HootSuite - I use this tool to handle my myriad Twitter accounts. I love that I can use HootSuite on my laptop or as an app on my iPhone and iPad. I can shorten links, schedule tweets and keep up with up to five accounts for free.
  3. SoundNote ($4.99) – this iPad app allows you to take notes and record at the same time. And if you need to check on something that was said, just tap a word and the recording goes right to that section.
  4. RebelMouse - this curation tool calls itself “your social front page.”  It allows you to connect your social media accounts, including  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram and show it off on a beautiful page. The feed can be embedded int websites. Check out my RebelMouse page here. And see how Al Jazeera America used it for a series on fast-food workers here.
  5. Timeline JS – this is a simple to use, yet striking timeline creator. You can use media including Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, Wikipedia, SoundCloud and other things to power your timeline. The Denver Post used Timeline JS as part of their coverage of the Aurora movie theater shootings.
  6.  Flipboard/Pocket - If you are a news junkie and have an iPad or iPhone, you need to have Flipboard. This app allows you to create a customized digital magazine of your favorite publications and blogs. Mine is a mix of journalism, tech and aviation/airline stuff. If you want to save a story to read later offline, save it on the Pocket app.
  7. iTalk (free or $1.99 for Premium) – we all know the built-in iPhone recorder is crap. iTalk allows you to record at good, better and best levels, with no time limits. With the free version, you can email smaller files, but need to download a program on your laptop to upload larger files. With the paid version, you can send the file to Dropbox or share it on SoundCloud.
  8. iPrompt Pro – this is a great app for multimedia journalists because it turns your iPad or iPhone into a teleprompter (although I don’t recommend it for the iPhone).
  9. Clear Watermark ($1.99)/Text on Photo – Both of these apps allow you to apply a watermark on your photos or video while out in the field.
  10. Apps Gone Free – every day, this app offers for free between 4 and 10 apps. Be warned – you will see a lot of crap (photo editing productivity, games, to-do lists, etc.), but there will be some gems. I found SoundNotes, iPromptPro and Clear Watermark wth this app.

Best of DJTF Blog: Open discussion: Separating your personal and professional life on social media

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from former DJTF intern Ameena Rasheed, who opens discourse on journalists having separate social media accounts personal and professional use.  It originally ran on Feb. 13.  Also, join the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force for a virtual conference “New Year, New You,” on Saturday, Jan. 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. In four hour-long sessions, attendees will learn mobile journalism tips and tricks, how to create an online portfolio, steps needed to create your journalism brand and taking your resume to the next level.  You can take 1, 2, 3, or all 4 webinars, and they will be recorded in case you can’t make it. Click here for more information.


Having separate professional and personal social media profiles is one of the first signs of mental illness. Ok, not really, but the stress of juggling several social media accounts is enough to make anybody go crazy — especially me.

There are some social media websites, such as LinkedIn, that cater to one’s professional network and nothing more. Other sites like Twitter and Facebook are not as clear. Platforms like those are used in various capacities, both professional and personal. For early adopters of social media, like myself, having social media began first as a leisurely activity, long before I ever thought about having it used as a vital part of my career.

It wasn’t until around 2010, when I started using social media to tell stories. In the fall of 2010, I took an online journalism course. While I was in that class, I fell in love with digital storytelling. I was forced to use platforms like Twitter and Facebook as reporting tools, which ended up leaving little room for me to be reckless on social media.

I could have created separate accounts just for that one class, but who has the time for that! I wanted my professor to take me seriously, but I didn’t want the hassle of juggling several accounts. Also, as a journalist I think that having separate accounts for your professional and personal lives might become a little confusing for those who follow your work. In my eyes, it splits your following and I would just prefer to send people to one place for each platform that I’m on. Plus, I have been to enough IRE functions to know that nothing is “private” on the web. If I’m trying keep certain thoughts and events of my life unknown to the greater public, I should keep certain things to myself.

On my accounts, I try to do a healthy balance of lifecasting, sharing my life, and mindcasting, sharing my ideas and the work of others. One of the best pieces of advice I received was about how to share content via social media was from founder and CEO of brand development company Medley Inc., Ashley Small.

She told me to think of three positive things that you want to be known for, three negative things you don’t want to be known for and then filter your content by what is on those lists. I think that NABJ member and Fox 26 news reporter Isiah Carey does this perfectly.

Of course, everyone doesn’t share my sentiments. NABJ-ers, what do you think about having separate accounts for personal and professional use? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Best of DJTF Blog: Kiratiana’s Mini Kickstarter Guide

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from DJTF co-chair Kiratiana Freelon, who explains how kickstarter campaigns can bring one’s dream project into reality.  It originally ran on Nov. 15, 2012.  Also, join the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force for a virtual conference “New Year, New You,” on Saturday, Jan. 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. In four hour-long sessions, attendees will learn mobile journalism tips and tricks, how to create an online portfolio, steps needed to create your journalism brand and taking your resume to the next level.  You can take 1, 2, 3, or all 4 webinars, and they will be recorded in case you can’t make it. Click here for more information.


When it came time to publish my second travel guide, Kiratiana’s Travel Guide to Multicultural London, I didn’t have enough money to do the research, and pay an editor, designer and proofreader. So how was I going to fund this project? Thanks to new crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo a lack of money can never prevent a dream project from coming to fruition.

I decided to use Kickstarter to help me fund my dream of publishing a Multicultural London e-book.

Kickstarter or IndieGoGo?

Having funded more than 10 Kickstarter projects, I always knew that I wanted to use the Kickstarter platform. When I was researching other platforms around May of 2011, IndieGoGo appeared to be the lesser platform, the one that people used when they didn’t to get accepted to Kickstarter. It was for people who were too scared to do the ALL or NOTHING model. But I have come to respect IndieGoGo in recent months.

To use Kickstarter, you have to propose a PROJECT, which pretty much eliminates non-profits and trips. With Indiegogo, there is no specific type of campaign you must have to raise money. Anything goes. Indiegogo also allows you to raise funds and keep some of the funds if you do not reach your goal. Another plus for Indiegogo – it’s open to international people. As of now, Kickstarter is only open to the United Kingdom. Now I think the platforms are equal to each other and Indiegogo might have even passed Kickstarter as the most respected platform.

How Much?

Your decision on how much money to raise will be the most important decision of your campaign. Obviously, everything starts with the question of how much your project needs. But if your documentary or book needs $50,000 to complete, will you go for that?

Kickstarter says the average pledge is $70. That means for $50,000 you would need 714 pledges. A documentary that I’m working on, Fast Dreams needs this amount to be completed. Unfortunately the director, Harry Davis, is not a super networker (no Facebook or Twitter) and with me having tapped my own network for Kickstarter, our ability to raise $50,000 is limited.  To fundraise for a campaign so large, we would have to make it go viral. When I thought about my own Kickstarter, I knew that there were about 80 people out there willing to support me.

When calculating money, also think about the fees (5% on Amazon Payments and 5% on Kickstarter) and the few people whose credit cards will not go through. So the $6,000 just became $5,500 after all the fees.

How long?

Kickstarter recommends that you do 30 days or less to keep the momentum going through a campaign. I chose 35 days just to give myself a little leeway. If you look at the chart below, I did not really do anything for the first five days. It finally took a friend to push me to start campaigning the day before memorial day weekend. If you have the supporters and really push your campaign I don’t think it will matter how long your campaign is (30-60 days). But do you REALLY want to be doing a Kickstarter campaign for TWO MONTHS?! No.

The campaign went nowhere when I didn’t do anything for the first five days.

The Video & Description & Prizes

I spent more than 20 hours creating the video, description and prizes. For $6,000 everything had to look GREAT. When Kickstarter first began, many of the projects only had pictures. These days all successful projects have a video that describes their project. When you are creating your video, make sure that it can have a use after the Kickstarter project. With a little tinkering, I may be able to use my video as a trailer for my new book.

Creating prizes that were worth their value was very important to me. I had no intention of using Kickstarter for people to GIVE me money. I would offer them something of value you return.

$10 got you the book.

$25 got you the book and Black Paris Guide

$45 got you the book, Black Paris Guide AND PDF.  Okay I’ll admit that one was priced slightly more than it should have been priced.

Do you see a pattern?

Having a spread like this gives someone, no matter what their financial situation, the opportunity to pledge to your campaign. A young person out of college can pledge $10 and your mother can pledge $500.

The Strategy

 I had a relatively simple strategy to jumpstart and sustain my campaign.

1)   Call my relatives and closest friends to personally ask for pledges.

2)   Develop an email campaign for my friends, family and acquaintances.

3)   Reach out to travel bloggers for support in the campaigns with blogs.

4)   FACEBOOK and TWEET it to DEATH.

The last one is what would really put me over the edge. In hindsight, I really wish I had focused on number 3 more. When I posted something about the campaign on the Racialicious blog, it started to go viral.

Facebook versus Twitter

Before I began my campaign I knew that I wanted to use twitter and Facebook to promote it. I also wanted to see if I could leverage my twitter following (about 3,500 at the time) to support the campaign. So I did the following:

1)   Encouraged celebrities to retweet the information about my campaign. While I am sure that this generated more awareness for the I could not find any connection between these tweets and pledges.

2)   Changed my twitter bio to reflect the twitter campaign. (Insert screen shot).  I was surprised by the impact of this relatively simple action. I received at least a dozen tweets from people who didn’t follow me telling me how cool the project was. Yes, twitter bios are extremely important.

3)   Near the end of the campaign, I DM’d my best followers to they could tweet out the message below. Once again, I did not see a direct connection between any tweets and pledges but I am confident that twitter helped to increase the awareness of the campaign.

Now your use of twitter could also depend on the type of project you are proposing. Nick Disabato publishes a quarterly magazine about design and technology and he’s raised more than $25,000 on Kickstarter. According to my twitter chat below with him, most of his campaign promotion is split between an email campaign and a twitter campaign.

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The Facebook Campaign

My Kickstarter campaign did not jumpstart until I launched it on Facebook. Obviously the easiest thing you can do is post it on your wall. Just doing that will not work. If you follow the steps below, I will guarantee you that your Facebook friends will start to pledge.

1)   Create an event for your Kickstarter campaign. When you create an event, make the duration of the event, the duration of the campaign. Then INVITE everyone from your friend list to the campaign. Once you finish inviting them, then start posting into the Facebook group about your Kickstarter. I found that when ever I posted or sent a message to this event, people ALWAYS started to donate.

2)   Send a Facebook message to 200 of your Facebook friends (Believe me people will be mad at you.

3)   Post your Kickstarter project on your Facebook page and tag about 15 of your closest friends. This will help it to go viral and friends will start posting the project on their pages.

4)   Tag anyone when they pledge to your campaign. When someone pledges to your campaign, give them props by tagging them in a Facebook Thank you post.

5) If I were launching a Kickstarter campaign today, I would use Facebook promoted posts to launch and sustain my campaign. Remember, people won’t give the first time they see the campaign. But after several viewings, they will probably do it.

The Email Campaign

Another important part of your campaign will be email. You MUST have an email campaign in which you send out multiple emails. I used Mailchimp to develop a nice looking email campaign.

1)   Send your email to your closest friends and acquaintances.  I sent an email to about 350 people. I sent the email twice to this list, but looking back I think I could have sent out one more email.

The Blogger Outreach and PR Campaign

This is something that I really wish I invested more time and energy into. I reached out to a few bloggers to blog about my campaign and they did as you can see here, and here. I think that their blog posts helped to raise awareness of the campaign but I can’t determine if it led to pledges. But with your fundraiser, you need awareness because on average, a person will not take action until they have seen something seven times.

It wasn’t until I did a guest post for Racialicious that I saw how reaching someone’s audience could help my campaign. It was only until then that I really saw my kickstarter go viral. I started to see new people that I didn’t know before pledge to the campaign.

The Final Product

After four months of researching, writing and fundraising for the book, I finally published it last week. Thank you to all of my Kickstarter funders, many of whom belong to the NABJ for helping me reach my 2012 dream.

Multicultural London

After five months of hard work (with the Olympic and Paralympic Games thrown in there), I finally published my book, Kiratiana’s Travel Guide to Multicultural London

Best of NABJDigital Blog: How To Get DIGITALLY Ready For The NABJ Convention

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from Syracuse University Journalism graduate Janine Mack, who advises 2013 NABJ Convention & Career Fair attendees on how to enhance their digital presence.  It originally ran on June 26.  Enjoy!

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By Janine Mack, recent graduate, Syracuse University, master’s in broadcast and digital journalism

Editor’s note: Guest blogger Janine Mack offers tips to digitally prepare for the NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair July 31-Aug. 4, 2013.

It’s that time of year when I urge those in my network to start getting ready for the annual convention. Successfully preparing for NABJ can make the difference between landing an awesome first job or internship and heading back home empty handed. Here are a few tips to get started now.

1. Get an online portfolio! If you do not have a website with at least 8 to 12 clips of either video stories that aired or published print articles, then you are already behind. Ideally, you want your that way when people Google your name, your web presence will be the first thing to come up. I didn’t thing people Googled me until my website showed me and Weebly are good places to start building a simple portfolio.  Some great examples of each come from Vanessa DegginsSarah Glover and Kirstin Garriss, respectively.

2. Google yourself. I always thought people were crazy when they said this, but one day I found old comment I thought was deleted and pictures of other people named Janine Mack half-naked. Recruiters and prospective sources will look so should you. A good rule of thumb is to delete anything that you would not want on your website.

3. I have a website, now what? Make sure to put your resume, some details about what you do and your aspirations, your clips and a nice professional picture of you doing whatever aspect of journalism it is that you do. Some of my favorite examples of how it’s done are Wesley LoweryStephanie SiekFadia Patterson and Eva McKend. Don’t forget to update it whenever you get a new job or an internship, to have it critiqued BEFORE you head to the convention and that the link is on anything you hand out such as business cards, resumes, demo reels, etc.

4. Build up your social media presence. Start accounts with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Storify, etc. These accounts should also be as a fine balance of personal, but professional with of course no on grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. Every account should be customized with your first name, last name, a picture and a brief biography of you on it. Once the accounts are established, link them to your webpage and begin to familiarize yourself with each one. You want as many ways as possible for recruiters to search for you, to add you to their network and to keep in touch after the convention is over. Plus, it’s fun to live tweet at the convention.

Best of NABJDigital Blog: What Journalists Can Learn From the Yahoo-Tumblr Alliance: Build It or Buy It

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from DJTF co-chair Tracie Powell, who gives her take on Yahoo!’s acquisition of tumblr. and  how this relates toother news organizations.  It originally ran on May 21.  Enjoy!

yahoo tumblrYahoo’s $1 billion purchase of the blogging site, Tumblr, is being heralded as a cool move by media watchers everywhere. It’s cool because the alliance brings in younger users to an aging Internet giant, a demographic advertisers crave, which translates into growing revenue—something legacy news media companies need.

Angel Investor and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis wrote for LinkedIn over the weekend that the then-pending deal had journalists livid. “Journalists are one of the first groups to lash out. Why? Because they have no chance of making big money in their jobs, and they have to fight for $5,000 raises while their pensions are replaced with 401ks. Also, they tend to have covered startups like Tumblr from year one and they can’t reconcile how something that didn’t exists five years ago is now worth $1 billion — and that they don’t have to balls to create something.”

I agree with Calacanis that the big-media purchase has many journalists more than a little bit jealous. But not because of our dwindling paychecks, which (for most of us) have always been rather paltry. But because journalists know – but aren’t saying out loud – that this purchase is just the latest right-left hook to our dying business model. We, along with everyone else, are waiting for the dreaded knockout punch while marveling ringside at such a gargantuan media buy.

We also know that our parent companies — be they newspaper giants, cable or broadcast stations – don’t exactly have a billion dollars laying around that executives or stockholders are willing to risk on a blogging site filled with porn, copyright infringing material and racist bullcrap—content advertisers don’t typically like.

That said, not all is bleak for journalists. The one thing we have going for ourselves is that Yahoo’s purchase shows, once again, that content is still king. We, content creators, just have a hard time  believing it. Both “Facebook and Google have demonstrated that a vast audience for free content can bring in significant advertising revenue,” reports The Wall Street Journal, a fact news executives surely take into consideration as they mount more pay walls. What the Yahoo-Tumblr purchase also represents is an opportunity for individual journalists (and some companies that can be cool enough for the younger crowd) to build their own brands while reaching a new, more coveted, audience.

For news organizations this purchase should not just be viewed as yet another opportunity to use somebody else’s platform to build a brand and distribute product. That’s alright for individual journalists, but for legacy media companies this purchase underscores the fact that they should be investing or creating their own innovative platforms that combine social networking with content to reach a critical mass of people. Sort of like The Atlantic Media Company did when it created Quartz, a mobile-first business news site, last September. Quartz exceeded its own expectations by receiving nearly a million unique visitors in its first month.

Not all of us can be like The Atlantic, which is navigating the digital age better than most of its contemporaries. But if we can’t build it, buy it. You know, like Yahoo just did.

Best of NABJDigital Blog: Four Ways Journalists Can Use Pinterest

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from former DJTF intern Ameena Rasheed, who offers up ideas on how journalists can incorporate Pinterest into their work.  It originally ran on Jan. 16.  Enjoy!

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A screenshot of Pinterest’s homepage.

By Ameena Rasheed, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force intern

Pinterest, a virtual pinboard where you can share and organize images and video through “pins,” has become a popular social media platform since its launch in 2010. In 2012, it was the third most-visited social networking site, as reported by CNN.

As journalists and news organizations look for various ways to interact with its readers and viewers, and users are seeking to engage with more visual social media content, Pinterest provides a platform which can potentially facilitate both sides’ interest in promoting, distributing and sharing content.

Here are four ideas that we’ve gathered from across the Web and compiled together for how journalists can start using Pinterest.

1. Use compelling photos to share hard news headlines

While Pinterest is most known for its foodie and wedding posts, CTV News has created several boards to chronicle breaking news stories with its Occupy Wall Street, Tragedy and triumph and The World We Live In boards. Al Jazeera created The faces of Egypt’s voters board to capture to feelings of Alexandria’s residents in the historic election to choose the country’s next president.

2. Give previews of what you are working on

The Houston Press, an alternative weekly publication, releases its print issues every Thursday, but gives its readers a sneak peek at its creative covers every Wednesday on its Under the Covers board. Time magazine also does the same with its TIME Covers board.

For those times where you don’t have that perfect image to sell the story, follow the lead of The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Quotes board and highlight memorable quotes from your stories. You could also get a little creative and use infographics like on Mashable’s Infographics board, or like The Salt Lake Tribune’s Bagley Cartoons board and share editorial cartoons.

3. Display photo galleries, feature stories and reviews

It’s no secret that one of Pinterest’s most popular categories is food. The Salt Lake Tribune is taking advantage of that with its SLC & Utah Restaurants & Bars board to share its restaurant and bar reviews. The Orlando Sentinel has boards dedicated to local attractions such as Walt Disney World and Florida Travel. There is also a Feature Pages–Collaborative board, which features pages from newspapers across the nation.

4. Involve your audience

Some good examples of utilizing user-generated content on Pinterest are CTV’s Canada Through Your Eyes and PBS NewsHour’s Childhood Cancer Awareness: Your Photos. The New York Times asked for submissions to its Your Holiday Dessert Pins and then featured some of the best pins on its website.

Al Jazeera has a Crowdsourced News board, where users can share newsworthy items that Al Jazeera is and isn’t covering. Al Jazeera also has a web community and daily television show, The Stream, which is powered through social media and citizen journalism, and shares content from its viewers on Pinterest, too.

Last, but not least, NABJ experimented with Pinterest boards at the 2012 convention in New Orleans, creating boards on NABJ 2012 New Orleans, NABJ2012, NABJ Fashionistas & Fashionistos and New Orleans Food.

Please share how you’re using Pinterest in your work!