Tag Archives: website

Spotlight’s On: Trina Chiasson

trina.chiasson

Trina Chiasson, CEO and Co-founder of InfoActive

The future of data journalism is looking brighter than ever. InfoActive, a data visualization upstart is turning data into eye-catching visuals to be used in stories. Co-founder and Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow Trina Chiasson designed this data graphics tool to help take professional data collecting and usage to the next level.

Tell us about InfoActive.

A little over a year ago, I started a web startup that simplifies the process of creating interactive info graphics with live data. We’re building a software in the form of a web application that is a self-serve platform that people will be able to use to import data and help them tell visual data-driven stories. We’re also working with the Reynolds Journalism Institute to do some research on how newsrooms use data visualizations.

What made you start your company?

I started InfoActive because I was having a hard time making data driven stories myself. Most data tools weren’t built for design and most design tools weren’t built for data. There was a gap in functionality; it required going through lots of different steps, and it was really difficult. At the same time, I’ve spent a lot of my life and my work on the web. I thought there should be an easier, simpler solution that takes advantage of the interactivity of the web. So I thought it would be fun to build it! I started playing with some code and talking to people to about it. Then, it started gaining attention, traction and interest.

Who are you targeting?

We’re definitely working with a lot of data journalists. They have a huge need for data visualization and it’s a difficult thing for small newsrooms to invest the time in creating the best graphics. There’s also a big need in nonprofits and academics institutions. Students need this as well. There’s also a big need amongst marketers, advertisers and companies that are trying to present information to their clients about campaigns they’ve been running. So, there’s a pretty wide variety of people who see value in this tool.

How is data collected?

Data is collected in so many different formats. It’s being collected automatically through analytics, online surveys and different social networks. We’re finding that a lot of organizations have data that they’re collecting [through] these different formats, and often data journalists are collecting it through governments that are getting much better about collecting data about their populations. There are also different data sets to work with, and it can be very daunting [to sort through]. For someone using the application [InfoActive], they would start with an existing data set that they have from any one of these sources—and sometimes they’ve collected data too using survey tools to collect information about their audience. Then they would import these data sets into InfoActive’s platform. Our platform programmatically looks at the data and then draws visualizations that make sense. You work with text blocks, interactive filters and different charts to organize the visualization story.

What are your future plans for InfoActive?

We’re expecting to launch a public beta in March. People will be able to login, try it out and create an infographic. For more advanced usage, there will be a monthly subscription cost. After we launch in March, we have a few stretch goals that we’ve hit through our Kickstarter campaign. Those include new visualization charts, an icon library, and analytics on how people interact with infographics. We plan to launch an API so people can connect their custom data streams to different infographics and build new ways to use our platform. The API is a way to enable developers to hook into our platform in more robust ways and create their own connections to our platform. For example, if they have their own custom data stream and they want to fuse that into infographic templates, the API would be a place to do that.

On December 18th, InfoActive’s Kickstarter campaign generated nearly 5 times its pledge goal of $12,000. Chiasson talks about her excitement about the campaign and launch, “I really appreciate all the support we’ve gotten so far. It’s been really amazing to watch customers get involved in the process and see the product evolve because of that. I’m really excited for all of the new supporters that we have through the Kickstarter campaign and to launch our public beta in March.”

To learn more about InfoActive, visit : infoactive.co 

Sadiyyah Rice is the digital intern for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force, recording secretary for the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists and producer and editor for Higher Education Channel Television (HEC-TV).

Journalism Professor Uses Crowdsourcing To Track Patch Layoffs

By Benét J. Wilson, immediate past chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/eNewsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

The rumors about layoffs at AOL-owned hyperlocal network Patch had been growing and stories started appearing on Aug. 9. But when the announcement was made on Aug. 16, Michelle Ferrier was already on the job with a Wiki and a blog post to encourage people to help document the job losses.

 Ferrier, a professor at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication has had a long-time interest in hyperlocal sites, seeing them as an antidote to media deserts and media organizations that tend to neglect the news of diverse communities. She created the wiki because, she said, it was hard to tell who was let go and what websites were being shuttered.

“My ultimate goal is to find sustainable models in journalism for low-served areas,” said Ferrier.  “I’m trying to validate that with data from the wiki. We’re using it to find out which sites were cut and editors were released and match that to local demographics to see how media deserts are created.”

Ferrier, creator of LocallyGrownNews.com,  is hoping to use this and other data to research what journalism models can sustain hyperlocal ventures. “We put together a database that has more information that’s on the wiki,” she said. “We wanted to list all the Patch websites, then go back in a month. If they haven’t been updated, we will assume they have been shut down.”

The project started on Aug. 9,  when Ferrier started using social media to find laid-off editors and the names of decommissioned or consolidated Patch websites. “The wiki itself just went up on Aug. 20. We have about 1,000 sites on the list. We created the list so that folks could add information and offer a layer of transparency,” she said.

The goal is to let people know there was a source available to offer information on which Patch sites have shuttered. “We also wanted a place for those affected by the layoffs to tell their  stories,” said Ferrier. “I have already spoken with some Patch editors,who are telling their stories.”

Ferrier said she hopes she can see patterns in how things functioned, how things were out of whack with what was being asked and how communities have lost a local news source. She is looking at data including what the affected communities look like, their demographics, and possible solutions.”The Patch layoffs address a critical issue to democracy,” she said.

The wiki is using existing news sources and offering links on specific sites and former editors who lost their jobs, said Ferrier. “Our goal is to then compare these news reports and go back in a month to look at all the sites and see if they’ve been updated,” she said. “At this point, there’s still shuffling going on and AOL is still consolidating, but we want to capture what we do know.  We’re also trying to see if journalists of color and those communities were affected.”

Ferrier is using Facebook, Twitter, journalism and hyperlocal news groups and word-of-mouth to get the word out about the Wiki. “We want to get the word out, and we hope that people will spread it across their own networks.”

 

Resources To Build That Perfect Portfolio Website

By Benét J. Wilson, chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/eNewsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Editor’s note: please join me for a free webinar, “Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Resumes,” on Tuesday, July 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET.  I’ll offer my tips and do three live demos of my famous resume review. Please share this link and encourage folks to attend. It will be recorded for those who can’t make it.

As preparation continues for this year’s National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention and Career Fair, I can feel the excitement and preparation that is taking place.  One of the key items you need to have in time for the convention is an online portfolio where potential employers can see your work all in one place.

Michelle Johnson, Associate Professor of the Practice, Journalism at Boston University, NABJ Educator of the Year AND one of my digital journalism heroes, did a workshop at the 2011 Philadelphia convention –The One-minute Media Mogul: Creating Online Portfolios — that is my go-to resource.  When I got laid off in October 2011, Michelle was one of the first people I called. I wanted to get her notes from her great presentation so I could create my own portfolio.

She kindly gave me permission to share them, so here they are, as promised. I’d love to hear from you on which site you decide to use, and send links to see what you came up with.  Thanks!!

For Building a Free/Low-cost Portfolio or Website
WordPress.com
Wix.com
Tumblr.com
Weebly.com
Squarespace.com
Bluehost.com (for setting up a “self-hosted” version of WordPress)

Tips: Creating an Online Portfolio Using WordPress
WordPress is not just for blogging! It’s a full-fledged “content management system” that you can use to build a web site. With just a few tweaks, you can easily and quickly launch your own site. See these articles for details:
CUNY: Creating a Top-Notch Journalist Portfolio

How to Build a Distinctive Portfolio Site
WordPress.com vs hosted WordPress

“Self-hosted” WordPress Bluehost.com tutorials:
How to Install WordPress
Installing Themes
Setting up WordPress as a CMS
http://wordpress.forthenovice.com (videos)

WordPress.com Tutorials/Help
If you are using the free version of WordPress, look here for tips on how to configure your site: WordPress.com Support

Embedding documents
Do you want to embed :
Scribd.com - Need to embed a pdf of your resume? Try scribd.
Docstoc.com – Similiar to Scribd.
Tutorial: How to Embed PDF, Spreadsheets, etc. into WordPress
WordPress Plugin: Google Doc Embedder (Note: this works only for the self-hosted version of WordPress, not the free version.

WordPress Themes (aka templates)
Wordpress.com Theme Showcase: http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/

Note: The themes below are for “self-hosted” WordPress sites. You cannot install your own themes on the freebie sites available at wordpress.com.

Graph Paper Press: Great templates for photographers, visual types
Gabfire: For creating a news site.
Themeforest.net: My personal favorite. Tip: Click on “Wordpress” in the navigation bar first to filter out other formats.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
This article compares the two.

How To Get DIGITALLY Ready For The NABJ Convention

janine mackBy 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 firstnamelastname.com 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 otherwise. WordPressAbout.me and Weebly are good places to start building a simple portfolio.  Some great examples of each come from Vanessa Deggins, Sarah 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 Siek, Fadia 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.

Resources To Build That Perfect Portfolio Website

By Benét J. Wilson, NABJ Program Chair, NABJ DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

Yesterday, Marissa Evans, a student at Marquette University, posted an item from the 10000 Words blog: 5 Free Sites to Help Journalists Build an Online Portfolio – 10,000 Words. But the good folks weren’t at last year’s NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair discovered a better resource.

Michelle Johnson, Associate Professor of the Practice, Journalism at Boston University (and one of my digital journalism heroes), did a workshop at last year’s convention –The One-minute Media Mogul: Creating Online Portfolios — that was much more informative.  When I got laid off last October, Michelle was one of the first people I called. I wanted to get her notes from her great presentation.

She kindly gave me permission to share them, so here they are, as promised. I’d love to hear from you on which site you decide to use, and send links to see what you came up with.  Thanks!!

For Building a Free/Low-cost Portfolio or Website
WordPress.com
Wix.com
Tumblr.com
Weebly.com
Squarespace.com
Bluehost.com (for setting up a “self-hosted” version of WordPress)

Tips: Creating an Online Portfolio Using WordPress
WordPress is not just for blogging! It’s a full-fledged “content management system” that you can use to build a web site. With just a few tweaks, you can easily and quickly launch your own site. See these articles for details:
CUNY: Creating a Top-Notch Journalist Portfolio

How to Build a Distinctive Portfolio Site
WordPress.com vs hosted WordPress

“Self-hosted” WordPress Bluehost.com tutorials:
How to Install WordPress
Installing Themes
Setting up WordPress as a CMS
http://wordpress.forthenovice.com (videos)

WordPress.com Tutorials/Help
If you are using the free version of WordPress, look here for tips on how to configure your site: WordPress.com Support

Embedding documents
Do you want to embed :
Scribd.com - Need to embed a pdf of your resume? Try scribd.
Docstoc.com – Similiar to Scribd.
Tutorial: How to Embed PDF, Spreadsheets, etc. into WordPress
WordPress Plugin: Google Doc Embedder (Note: this works only for the self-hosted version of WordPress, not the free version.

WordPress Themes (aka templates)
Wordpress.com Theme Showcase: http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/

Note: The themes below are for “self-hosted” WordPress sites. You cannot install your own themes on the freebie sites available at wordpress.com.

Graph Paper Press: Great templates for photographers, visual types
Gabfire: For creating a news site.
Themeforest.net: My personal favorite. Tip: Click on “Wordpress” in the navigation bar first to filter out other formats.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
This article compares the two.

 

NABJDigital Profiles Kelly Virella of Dominion New York

By Talia Whyte, founder and principal of Global Wire Associates and freelance journalist

Kelly Virella

There is a growing number of journalists who are leaving traditional media outlets to create and run their own online news sites.  Kelly Virella is one of those enterprising journalists.  She left her job as the deputy editor of City Limits magazine and website last year to start the news organization, Dominion of New York.  I spoke to her recently about life as a journalist turned entrepreneur.

NABJ Digital: What is Dominion of New York and why did you start it up?

Kelly Virella: Dominion of New York is the online magazine of black intellectual swagger. We report about innovative thinkers, artists and leaders. We investigate complex issues and we blog about current events relevant to the global black diaspora from a progressive-to-radical political perspective. We take our name from the hip-hop refrain, “We run New York,” which symbolizes the aspirations of the hip-hop generation for freedom and power. I started DoNY because I knew a lot of people who wanted a black publication that was more cerebral and stimulated critical thinking. I aim to create one that is commercially viable by giving it beautiful and accessible graphics and editorial.

NABJ Digital: In addition to your contributors, how many people help you run it, or is it all you?

Virella: About 40 people have contributed to the site thus far and another 30 are working on projects in the pipeline. My business partner, veteran ad sales executive Darryl Dye, is our sales leader. My social media consultant is Demetria Irwin, the former managing editor of MadameNoire.com. Also helping me is my husband and co-investor Michael Starkey.

NABJ Digital: How does your website stand out from other sites geared towards African-Americans?

Virella: We’re nerdier. LOL! Our mission is to nourish the life of the mind of people who love black culture. So we’re more cerebral and bookish than your average, with a lot of posts devoted to books, ideas and thinkers.  We also publish a lot of long, thoughtful, literary pieces that other sites wouldn’t touch.

NABJ Digital: Why do you think more black journalists should pursue entrepreneurial ventures?

Virella: I believe that every black family should aim to generate an entrepreneur because we need businesses to create jobs and economic growth that will help us assume leadership and control in our own environments. Journalists who do this can help elevate the global conversation about race and promote change.

NABJ Digital: Have you ever run a business of this nature before?  What skills are required to pursue such a venture?

Virella: Before starting DoNY I worked for almost 2 years as the number two editor for a small New York City magazine and website called City Limits. That helped me learn some of the ropes of editing and understand the business model of websites. But I’m definitely a first time business-owner and that’s an entirely different beast. You have to be patient, teachable, have foresight, vision and perseverance, and be able to use your power as CEO effectively. You also have to be willing to work at least 12 hours per day. It’s not rocket science. It just requires a lot of work.

NABJ Digital: What is the hardest part about running your website?

Virella: Finding experienced freelance contributors who know how to write good pitches is the hardest part.

NABJ Digital: What is your business model?

Virella: Our first revenue streams will be ad sales and event sponsorships.

NABJ Digital: How has the website been received by others so far?

Virella: Very well. Last month — our fifth month online — we had 55,000 unique visitors in 155 countries and territories.

NABJ Digital: What are the long term goals for Dominion of New York?

Virella: I want us to expand the brand into ancillary products like anthologies of our top articles. But more importantly, I’d like to see DoNY become a major voice in the black diaspora.

NABJDigital Profiles Loop21.com

By Stacie Bailey, online graduate student, Quinnipiac University

An accessible and open forum that provides in-depth coverage and original angles on issues that affect the African American community. That is Loop21.com.  The name Loop21  is about being in the know and being included in the topics of the 21st century.

Initially launched a year and a half ago, the site underwent a re-launch in August 2011 displaying the new format that is visible online today. The site was created in an effort to produce more accurate and unbiased coverage of issues within the African-American community and mainstream media.

The young staff consists of CEO Darrell Williams, COO/Executive Producer Ken Gibbs, Jr. and Editorial Director Chloe Hillard, among others, along with 40 freelance writers. With articles ranging from politics to culture, together, the team publishes almost 100 pieces of content each day reaching readers from their website as well as social media venues such as Twitter (@theloop21) and Facebook .

The Black-owned and operated site creates revenue through advertising while partnering with news publications such as Essence and NewsOne. Loop21 encourages participation and exchange of information among its audience. During President Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address, Loop21 held a live Twitter conversation, teaming up with a group of 100-200 professionals to respond to the event as it was occurring. Readers were welcome to join the conversation and respond with feedback.  In another instance, a similar discussion was held via social media during the Troy Davis execution. Loop21 is less about business and more about making a difference in the community.

“It comes from a new generation of thinkers, thinking about things in a forward looking way. [We’re] not just looking in the past, but looking for new opportunities and ways to manage our challenges. That’s what we’re about and that’s what our audience is about,” Williams said.

If you would like to get involved with Loop21, you can send questions, comments, story ideas and opinion articles to editor@theloop21.com. Op-eds are posted weekly. Internships are available year-round; just send a note of why you’re interested, your resume and up to three samples of your work to the email above.  Check out Loop21’s “About Us” page to get to know more about some of the people who make the site a success.

Friday Fast Five + Five

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

  1. 10000 WordsUse conversational video to bridge the gap between journalist and reader
  2. Journalism.co.ukFive great examples of data journalism using Google Fusion Tables
  3. Journalists’ ToolkitFlash Journalism Updates
  4. MashableHOW TO: Find and Land Freelance Work
  5. MakeUseOf5 Interesting Ways To Use Google News RSS Feeds
  6. SmartBlog on Social  Media6 tools to measure your personal branding efforts
  7. MediaShift Idea LabHow to Design Fast, Interactive Maps Without Flash 
  8. Lost RemoteCrowdsourcing a live video interview via Twitter
  9. NetworkedBuild your own website for free
  10. CyberJournalistFacebook tips for journalists, from Facebook

Top 10 Apps I Picked Up At NABJ 2011

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

At last week’s NABJ Convention, Val Hoeppner of the Freedom Forum taught MOBILE STORYTELLING 101 as a half-day Learning Lab. As part of the lab. Hoeppner showed us a bunch of iPhone apps that journalists can use in mobile storytelling, Here are my 10 favorites. All are free unless otherwise noted.

Val Hoeppner – Google+

If you need to take your multimedia skills to the next level check out our Advanced Multimedia Boot Camp in Nashville, Tenn. Oct. 12-16, 2011. Advanced Multimedia Boot Camp Offered Oct. 2011. Workshops and Conferences. Advanced Multimedia Boot Camp is for professional journalists, journalism educators, students and others with some multimedi…
2011 Convention – Tuesday and Wednesday – National Association of Black Journalists

NABJ BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING Location: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. REGISTRATION & WELCOME CENTER Location: Broad Street Foyer Make sure to visit the registration & welcome center for all of your convention materials. Sign up for the special events, including the golf tournament, the 5K Walk/Run, and purchase tickets to the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala and Saturday Gospel Brunch.
I have so many #nabj11takeaway moments, it’s hard to choose. I’ll pick @vhoeppner Visual Storytelling & @webbmedia top 10 #techtrends. #NABJ
NABJDigital
August 8, 2011
Let’s face it — even though we are all news gatherers, we are also voracious news consumers.  I’m shocked that I didn’t have the AP Mobile app on my iPhone, considering all the great content available on it.
AP Mobile

AP Mobile is an award-winning multimedia news portal developed by The Associated Press that provides anytime access to international, national and local news. In addition to AP’s own worldwide coverage of breaking news, sports, entertainment, politics and business, more than 1,000 AP members and third-party sources provide content for AP Mobile.
I’m one of those people who is addicted to the Notes function on my iPhone.  But the problem is, Notes is very static and I can’t access it when my phone isn’t around. In comes Evernote.  This app is Notes on steroids.  I can “Type a text note. Clip a web page. Snap a photo. Grab a screenshot.” I can snap a pic of a business card.  I can store web pages. I can copy notes from Twitter.  I could go on, but you get the point.  The bonus is that I can access my Evernotes from any device — iPhone, iPad or laptop computer!
Remember Everything | Evernote Corporation

Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see. Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there. Search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images. Get Evernote Download Now It’s free.
And here I thought my installed iPhone camera app was perfectly fine. Wrong!! I hate to pay for apps, but this has been worth every penny of the $1.99 cost.  I can use the camera flash as a continuous light.  I can better control and focus my pictures. I can shoot in different modes.  And I can automatically post to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Cool!
Camera+ …the ultimate photo app

Use the iPhone 4 LED flash as a continuous fill light to improve photo quality, especially for portrait and macro shots. Use the grid to line up your shots and eliminate tilted shots. Up to 6× zoom with advanced digital processing provides you with quality that simply blows away the competition.
You have a cool camera app. Now you need an app to edit and organize your pictures. Photoshop Express is it.  You can crop, change the exposure, add colors and tints and upload to your favorite social media outlets.
Photo Editor, Online Photo Editor, Photoshop Express | Photoshop.com

First things first… create an account Create a free Photoshop.com account so you can use Photoshop Express apps to upload photos, store and organize them, and create interactive slideshows-and to quickly post your edited photos to sites like Facebook. Does your photo need a quick fix? Crop, straighten, adjust color, and touch up imperfections.
Staying with the photo theme, Hoeppner told us about the Pano app, which allows you to easily take fantastic panoramic pictures.  I love that this app tells you just where to move the camera to use up to 16 photos for a 360 degree shot.

I’ve used the iPhone video camera, but the MovieCamera app just rocks! You can use your flash to light a scene, it has auto focus, exposure and white balance, you can go hi res and HD AND you can see the sound recording levels. Sweet!

iPhone – iPod Touch – iPad Apps

Finally! A motion picture camera app for the iPod touch, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 that allows your professional skills to shine. Movie Camera is designed for professional cinematographers who want to leverage the small size and portability of the iPod touch or iPhone but still want complete control over the picture settings.

The iPhone comes with a perfectly good audio recorder.  But iTalk (the free version) is SO much more!! You get three levels of recording (good, better and best), a huge red record button and it puts your files in alphabetical order.  You can email smaller files, but need to download iTalk Sync to transfer larger files to your computer.  But if you buy iTalk Pro for $1.99, youcan use Dropbox to transfer your files.

iTalk Sync Free Download for Mac and Windows | One More Tap

Griffin Technology has just released a public beta version of iTalk Sync for Windows computers. iTalk Sync is a companion program to iTalk. iTalk Sync for the Mac is also available and requires Mac OS X v10.4 or greater. iTalk turns your iPhone, iPhone 3G or 2nd generation iPod touch into a high-quality recording device.

Hoeppner had nothing but high praise for Tumblr,a microblogging site that can be used via browser, phone, desktop or email.  Tumblr allows you to post content including ext, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos.  Check out how NPR is using Tumblr, below.

When analyzing the black women who are 35 and older, the percent who have never been married drops to 25 percent, indicating that a solid majority of black women get married before they turn 35.

The Dragon Go app lets you speak to find the things you need.I used it in Philadelphia to find a restaurant that had late-night delivery because I was still starving after an evening reception.  I highly recommend the soup dumplings!  This app links you to everything from local businesses to books to maps to weather — all by voice. Keeping it in the family, I also like Dragon Dictation, which records you speaking and allows you to send an email, a tweet or a status update on Facebook.

Dragon Go! Say What You Want and Dragon Go! Delivers Across the Mobile Web

Imagine – one app access to everything you want on the mobile web! That’s Dragon Go! You just say what you want and Dragon Go! not only hears what you say – it also understands what you want and gives you direct access to the best sites on the Mobile Web delivering what you want.
Compose message and update Social Networking status – by voice on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch

Dragon Dictation, powered by Nuance’s world-renowned Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, allows you to stay connected all the time, even when your hands are busy.

We ended the session with Hoeppner sending us out into the halls to use one of our tools to do a small mobile storytelling project.  I chose to use Audioboo, an app that lets you record up to five minutes of audio and attach a photo, that is easily posted to Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr or Friendfeed.  Below is one I did with one of my fellow attendees. Enjoy!

Carnival of Journalism: What Tools Do You Use To Work Smarter?

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

I am one of those people who love the latest in tech tools, toys, apps and programs that help me do the business of journalism.  Every Friday on this blog, I share some of my favorites as part of the Fast Five series.

Which is why I began to drool when I saw the topic for this month’s Carnival of Journalism: “What are your life hacks, workflows, tips, tools, apps, websites, skills and techniques that allow you to work smarter and more effectively?“

That being said, I’ll narrow my list down to my top five:

  1. Twitter: this program (and its accompanying tools and apps) has become my number one tool to getting the job done.  I use it to post stories, find sources, get story ideas and crowdsource for information.  I use Echofone on my iPhone, UberSocial on my Blackberry and split between TweetDeck and HootSuite on my desktop.  And a bonus for me is both TweetDeck and HootSuite give me access to Facebook, which I don’t use as much as a professional tool.
  2. 10000 Words: this website is at the top of my Google Reader.  Ever since Mark Luckie started it up, it has been my go-to site to keep up with all the latest  in tips, tools, apps, websites specifically targeting journalism.
  3. iPhone 4: my dad bought me the 32 GB version for my birthday last year, and I thank him for it every time we speak.  I can update my WordPress blogs, shoot live video with Ustream, edit video with iMovie, access all my contacts using LinkedIn and Plaxo, take and send pretty good photos, record interviews/podcasts and post them on AudioBoo, I can check the AP Stylebook and upload to my YouTube channel. Oh – I can also make phone calls!
  4. A tie – The Digital Journalist’s Handbook by Mark Luckie and the No-Fear Guide to Multimedia, by Prof. Mindy McAdams: when I started on my road to multimedia nirvana, these two guides were extremely helpful.  Even today, I still look at them as inspirations.
  5. A pad and ink pen: amazingly enough, this is still a very effective tool for getting your stories.  I always have at least one pad and three ink pens on me at all times.

I love all the stuff that has helped this old-school journalist make the transition and keep up (somewhat) with the kids.  But I always emphasize that while you can have all the tools in the world, they aren’t worth a pitcher of warm spit (hat tip to former FDR VP John Nance Garner) if you don’t have the basic writing/reporting/editing skills down pat.  So have fun with the toys, but don’t forget the skills that actually make you a journalist.