By Benét J. Wilson, chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/newsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
I admit it — I’m exhausted from trying out new social media tools and toys while I’m still juggling the existing ones. At last month’s Online News Association convention in San Francisco, one of the workshops I really looked forward to was “Pinterest, Instragram, Google+: Keep Up, Keep Sane.”
I’m a newbie social media editor, and as such, I really need to find tools that work, tools that could make the cut and tools that need to go away. But it seems like every week my email box, Twitter account, Flipboard or Google Reader is telling me about some new tool that will be the next Facebook or Twitter.
The panelists were: Farai Chideya, Professor, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, New York University; Phoebe Connelly, Senior Editor, Yahoo News; and Stephanie Clary, Senior Editor, Breaking News / NBC News Digital. First, I was glad to hear that they were also exploring their social media options.
One great piece of advice, from NBC’s Clary, was to accept beta invites. I’ll even reach out to companies for beta invites. I asked Storination for a beta and told them I’d use it at the NABJ convention. Not only did I get that beta invite, but I did the Storination for NABJ in New Orleans and the UNITY NewU Startup Loft AND I was cited in a story at Journalism.co.uk and HerbertLowe.com about my use of this tool.
Some of the beta invites I’m currently holding are: Bitcasa; Siftee; Visual.ly; UberConference; Contently; WolframAlpha; Cowbird; Irrive; About.me; RebelMouse; and Medium. I’m taking my time and playing with them to see what fits for my needs.
The best advice I can give is to pick three or four tools and play with them. I’d love to hear about what you’re using and why, so please share.