- LinkedIn – How to not make newcomer mistakes on LinkedIn
- JeffBullas.com – 12 Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make on Twitter If You Want More Followers
- Life Hacker – The Best Extensions to Make Google Maps Even More Awesome
- Mashable – 12 Best iPhone Apps of 2014
- IJNET – Analice.me helps journalists automatically analyze thousands of documents
It’s the end of the month, and very close to the end of the year. So below are not five, not 10 but 20 hacks, tips and tools you can try out as you work on boosting your digital storytelling skills in 2015. Enjoy, and happy new year!
- Medium – How they did it — Part 1: Spotting storytelling tools in the wild
- Knight Blog – New Digital Tools Every Journalist Should Try
- LinkedIn – The Top 10 Get Sh*t Done Tools
- PBS – 8 Digital Tools Every Journalist Should Try
- Gigaom – How to get faster answers to your searches in Google Chrome for Android
- IJNet – SoundCite makes it easier to add audio clips to text stories
- Blogging Tips – Top 10 Essential URL Shorteners
- Knight Center, University of Texas – Maps, timelines and infographics: 5 tools to build your own interactive visualizations
- RebelMouse – 7 ways to write better headlines
- Re/Code – Here’s the Twitter Tracking Tool More People Should Know About
- PBS – 10 Social Media Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
- Mashable – 7 Tips for Surviving The Leap From Employee to Entrepreneur
- Buffer Social – The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research
- Gizmodo – 10 tricks to make yourself an Evernote master
- PBS – 11 Steps to a Better Twitter Stream
- Knight Digital Media Center – Tools for mobile community engagement
- Mashable – How I Gained 68,000 Followers by Live-Tweeting
- Socialbrite – 9 time-saving tips to write more blog posts
- Blogging Tips – 8 Ways to Use Video the Right Way on Your Blog
- MediaBistro – The 7 Elements of an Optimized Twitter Profile [INFOGRAPHIC]
With everything going on in digital journalism these days, you can never have too many tools, tech and toys at your disposal. So below are some suggested gifts to buy the ink-stained wretch in your life. Enjoy!
- Mophie Juice Pack — with all the ways we use our iPhones and iPads on the job, we will inevitably get to a place where an outlet may not be available. That’s when Mophie comes to the rescue. There are different versions, but I carry the Mophie Powerstation Duo, which allows me to charge my iPhone and iPad at the same time, quickly. Nice!
- Belkin Mini Surge Protector — Speaking of outlets, I carry this one, which has three plugs and two USB slots. The Belkin can be rotated to fit any outlet space.
- QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earbud Headphones — sometimes when I’m working on deadline, I need to listen to one of my calming playlists and cut out the noise in the newsroom. So I decided to pay $299.00 for a pair of these puppies, which can also be used for conversations on the iPhone.
- Brydge Bluetooth iPad Keyboard — You can read my review of the Brydge here.
- Newsprint skirt — I saw a woman wearing this skirt at ta journalism convention and loved it. It is custom made by theVintage Galeria Etsy store for $45.95.
- AP Stylebook app – I’m loath to actually pay for an app. The most you’ll get out of me is 99 cents — until I saw this app. It costs $24.99, but it is worth every penny, putting the book on your iPhone. You can mark your favorites.
- GorillaPod Flexible Tripod — Jeremy Caplan of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism did a great presentation, “21 Ways to Awesome-ize Your Mobile Toolkit,” and one of his tips was using this tripod when shooting video with an iPhone.
- Membership in a journalism organization — nothing shows the love like paying for your scribe to network and work on their craft in professional organizations. I’ll recommend the three that have me as a member — the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Online News Association (I’m on the board).
Benét J. Wilson serves on the board of the Online News Association. She is the immediate past chair of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and is coeditor of AirwaysNews.com. She is also a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.
I’ve started using my iPad and Brydge keyboard to write my stories when I don’t feel like lugging around my MacBook Pro. In the olden days, I used to use the iTalk app on my phone to record some of the people and events I used in my stories.
Users can highlight the track while playing or recording audio. You can also add
attachments, including notes, tags, and pictures to any part of the recording, which improves the ability to search for certain items. Check out how Recordium works!
Happy New Year, everyone! As we get settled into the new year, I hope that this Tuesday feature will serve as inspiration for those who resolved to step up their digital journalism game in 2014.
Today’s #TryItTuesday item is TimeMapper, created by the Open Knowledge Foundation Labs. TimeMapper allows users to create really cool and embeddable timemaps quickly and easily from a Google spreadsheet. Give it a try!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
As news continues to be delivered at an ever-increasing pace, it’s only natural for multimedia journalists to put down those heavy, complicated DSLRs and pick up their mobile phones to shoot, edit and deliver breaking news.
“I’ve seen people use their phones more and more for parts of a report and to relay news quickly to a station for publication to a website.” said Sharon Stevens, a freelance journalist who has noticed the trend in her reporting travels. “While the resolution is not a good as using a video camera, I don’t see it stopping anytime in the near future. The news directors and general managers who choose to [use mobile footage] will just have to look for those phones that will give you that better resolution and supply them to their [employees].”
Journalism graduate Raven Ambers has used footage shot on her iPhone for web reports. “The iPhone was quick and easy,” she states, “For a tease, which we did with one continuous 10-15 second shot, it was easier and much simpler to upload to web.”
Reporter LaDyrian Cole of KTAB in Abiliene, TX, agrees, “I’ve used my phone for a tease that [was] uploaded to the web.” She continues, “It’s simple to shoot and easier to upload to the web and on air systems.”
Journalist Rajneesh Bhandari feels the same. In an article for IJNet, “Top apps for journalists shooting video on mobile”, he states, “[Mobile phones] are handy and you don’t have to carry a lot of things…just a mobile, a light tripod and maybe a pin [lavalier] mic.” The article goes on to list some popular mobile apps for the journalist “on the go”.
Among the things leading this charge is the advent of the mobile app. From CNN to your local newspaper, more and more people are getting the information they need by accessing their favorite apps.
If you’re a young journalist who believes that you have an idea for the next generation of mobile apps, Dr. Michelle Ferrier of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University is looking for you.
Dr. Ferrier is part of a group that is beta-testing a two-week mobile innovation module. The module will teach students about mobile app development in course curricula. Through a broad overview of the mobile market, students will learn mobile app development, audience research, user interface design, and using prototyping among other topics.
The module will also benefit professors by coaching them on how to teach mobile development to their students.
“My philosophy is that if schools are going to offer the “just in time” learning that students need, we need some flexibility in our curriculum in order to be able to do that,” Dr. Ferrier says.
The module will demonstrate some of the things that students need to know about mobile development in two weeks in hopes of becoming a fixture in full semester courses later on. The module also supports the Scripps College of Communication Innovation Challenge, a student pitch competition around media industry issues. Students will have the basic knowledge to develop a mobile app as a potential solution to the challenges with the chance to win prize money or a grade in a class.
Dr. Ferrier finds the appeal in mobile apps in their inclusiveness of all communities. “They basically have bridged the digital divide. For underserved and underrepresented communities [and] people who have limited income, their phones most likely are their devices of choice not just for making phone calls but also for reaching the internet and getting information off of the internet. They can still get and participate in things that are necessary without having to have a laptop for the most part.”
Currently, Scripps College of Communication is looking for external reviewers for the module to get more feedback and eventually offer the module in multiple schools.
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).