Posted in journalism, multimedia journalist, Social Media

Open discussion: Separating your personal and professional life on social media

By Ameena Rasheed, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force Intern

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.

Posted in Education, Equipment, multimedia journalist, Social Media, Technology

Friday Fast Five – Your Guide To New Media

By Ameena Rasheed, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force intern

1. Read Write Enterprise – Top 7 Most In-Demand Tech Skills For 2013 

2. The Daily Muse – 10 Apps That Will Ramp Up Your Job Search

3.  International Journalists’ NetworkFour TED Talks Worth Watching 

4.  PBS Media Shift5 Tips for Transmedia Storytelling 

5.  HubSpot InBound Marketing BlogEvaluate Your Facebook Page With This Simple Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted in multimedia journalist, News, Social Media, Technology

How-to: RebelMouse


By Ameena Rasheed, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force intern

If you have been following the NABJ Digital blog long enough, then you know that we love social media curation tools like Storify and Storination. For today’s multimedia journalist, these types of things are a God send. No more pilling up blog posts with separate pieces of media from across the Web. Now, you can drag and drop online content (Tweets, photos, urls, etc.) into one cohesive space. While Storify has taken over, I’m excited about one of the newer sites called RebelMouse, it is a little like Storify on Steriods, but packaged up like Pinterest.

What you can use it for:

Let’s get started:


When you visit RebelMouse, you are given the option to log in or sign up through several different social networking sites. Once logged in, you will see your homepage (pictured below). Your homepage will display all of your connected social media streams.

A screenshot of RebelMouse's dashboard.
A screenshot of RebelMouse’s dashboard.

To start customizing your RebelMouse homepage, go to the “Dashboard” section on the upper right hand corner of the page. Once on your “Dashboard” page (pictured below), you will be able to add which sites’ content you want on your RebelMouse homepage. What’s unique about RebelMouse is that you actually get to invite others (via email or RebelMouse name) to help add to the content, too! This is great for group projects. Depending on your purpose of using this tool, the types of social media accounts you use may vary. If you hover your mouse over each section you are able to edit the content (change the title, add or remove photos and more).

Connect various social media sites to your RebelMouse site.

For Twitter: You are only allowed to connect one Twitter account. Keep in mind that ALL of the tweets with images and links from that account will appear in the RebelMouse feed, so pay attention to what you post.

*An easy way to filter the content, whether you are working as an individual journalist or you are covering a story with several others, is by using a unique hashtag to make sure that all the content is on one accord.

For Facebook: Like with Twitter, you can connect only one page. **For Facebook, it will post all content that isn’t marked as private.

*If you click on the “Content & Feeds” button (pictured below) that is to the right of the “Sites” button, you get more advanced options to for connecting your social media feeds. There you can add other sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr. By inputting various usernames and hashtags, you are able to filter the content even more. Once you input the username or hashtag, you have the option of choosing how that content is gathered and shared.

RebelMouse’s advanced filter for your feeds.

**Since RebelMouse is all about what’s visually appealing, the tweets without media (photo or video) will go into your drafts. Facebook posts that are marked private and photos you like on Instagram are also compiled into the “Drafts” section. From the “Drafts,” you can either post or delete the content.

If you are interested in sharing your stream, you can go to the “Embed” section to retrieve the HTML to place in any blog or site or  just use the WordPress plugin. I used the WordPress plugin for my online portfolio as a “front page” to share my favorite news headlines and what I’m reading online at the moment.

Extras: Do you use Google Chrome? Add the “Stick” bookmarklet to your browser so you can add content to your RebelMouse account while surfing the Web.

A screenshot of RebelMouse's dashboard.
A screenshot of RebelMouse’s dashboard.

Add navigation to your site by creating RebelMouse pages for specific topics. At the top of my page (pictured above), I have several tabs going across. To the right of my tabs, there is a “More” button. If you click the pencil to the right of that button, you are able to create, edit and delete specific pages. You can reorder each page by dragging the navigation items by the handle on the left column.

Edit your navigation pages on RebelMouse.

NABJers, are you using RebelMouse? Let us know in the comments!  And check out the NABJDigital page.

Posted in journalism, Social Media, Webinar

Social Media As A Reporting Tool – The Recording and Slides

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

 We had a great webinar tonight with Niketa Patel of  She gave us an update of the latest and greatest social media tools being used by news organizations and journalists.  She also offered some great tips on features on some of our favorites — like Facebook and Twitter — to optimize the experience.

You can see Niketa’s presentation slides here.  And you can listen to the one-hour Digital Journalism Task Force webinar here.

DJTF is committed to having at least one webinar a month right up until the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair July 31-Aug. 4, 2013, in Orlando.  You can help us with our programming by telling us what topics you’d like to see us cover in future webinars.  Please feel free to email me directly at benet AT aviationqueen DOT com, tweeting me at @NABJDigitalposting on the DJTF listserv or reaching out on our Facebook group page.  I look forward to hearing from you!!

Posted in multimedia journalist, Social Media

Friday Fast Five

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

Editor’s note: before we get into this week’s Fast Five, I have two housekeeping items.  One, today is the deadline to vote on panels for next year’s South By Southwest Interactive conference, and I’m asking for your support on two.  Leveraging Diversity For Your Business Portfolio, submitted by Dori Maynard of the Maynard Institute and  The Race Card Project  panel on digital storytelling, submitted by NPR’s Michele Norris.  Second, please register for the Digital Journalism Task Force’s free webinar, “Social Media As A Reporting Tool,” with Niketa Patel of  Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. EDT. For more details, click here.

  1. Apple iBooks storeMobile Reporting Field Guide. This FREE eBook is your personal teacher on everything you need to know about using your iPhone as a reporting tool, including videos.
  2. MashableApp Tells Freelancers How Much to Charge. When I fell into freelancing, I had NO idea what to charge. I got great advice from the NABJ Arts &Entertainment Task Force, but this app is a pretty good substitute.
  3. SPJ Networked blogGlowTrend joins growing list of social networking sites. The blog reviews GlowTrend, which appears to be the love child of Facebook, iTunes, Google+ Hangouts and Craigslist.
  4. SimplyZesty40 Tips To Help Journalists Turn Facebook Into The Ultimate News Portal.  There are some great tips in here for those of us still trying to fit journalism into our Facebook accounts.  I’ve started using polls with great success on my company’s Facebook page.
  5. AppadviceCall Recording Apps.  I use Google Voice, but there are others out there, as outlined on this blog,
Posted in Social Media

Five Ways To Keep Your Online Presence Tight – After You Take the “Google Yourself” Challenge

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

Students and young folks who are NABJ members know that I do resume reviews for free.  of course, the word got out and I do them when I can.  A young journalist recently asked me to review her resume.  At first glance it looks great.  She went to a good school, had great internships, graduated with the right degree and was doing well in her current job.

When I do these reviews, I always Google the name of the reviewee just to check how they look to the outside world. Needless to say, her profile — mostly Twitter — was a mess.  She was very active and there were tweets on there that made me blush.  She also had some questionable photos on her Facebook account.

When we did the resume review, I asked her when was the last time she Googled herself; she replied she hadn’t done it in at least a year.  When she did, she was horrified.

And she had every right to be.  This post on has a great infographic on exactly how much of your information is public and that information can affect your job prospects and even your safety. Below I offer my tips to keep your profile clean and professional.

  1. Create separate Twitter handles. I have accounts for my aviation and journalism professional worlds, plus I have a personal account.
  2. Think before you post on social media.  It seems obvious, but I still see folks posting crazy things that don’t enhance their reputations.
  3. Go through your Facebook timeline. Remove questionable items and photos.  And create separate lists to divide who sees what.  This article (ignore all the annoying ads) shows you how to do it.
  4. Complete your LinkedIn profile to 100 percent. More and more employers are using this site to look for potential employees, so you want to put your best foot forward.
  5. Be tough with friends, family and acquaintances. I have a cousin who I love dearly, but I had to cut him off my Facebook account because of his excessive cursing and obsession with Farmville.  You can’t regulate the behavior of others, but you can cut them out of your profile.

If you have bigger issues, you may need to hire a company to clean up your online reputation.  Some out there include or Veribo.  And even if things are pretty clean, you still need to Google your name regularly to ensure that nothing bad shows up.

Posted in journalism, Social Media

Using Social Media To Say ‘Good Bye’

By Nicki Mayo

Journalists don’t always get a chance to address the audience before leaving a position. Here are some ideas on how to use Facebook, Twitter and the like to talk directly to the people you cover.

Layoffs, buyouts, denied contract renewals and firings on the spot… American newsrooms are looking and feeling more like corpse filled battlefields than the people sent to cover the wars.

When managers deliver the bad news that a journalist is being let go it typically plays out like a Seal Team 6 mission. Fast, swift and stealth. The newsroom is often given a Human Resources crafted email resembling the following:

“John Doe is no longer with the company. We wish him well in his future endeavors.” -Management.

Losing a journalism job does not equal death, but it can sure feel that way when you don’t get a chance to say “goodbye” to your audience.  This is because most news organizations have had to cut costs so aggressively that the traditional newspaper letter, radio address or TV memory montage is not even part of the “usher you out the door” treatment.

‘Don’t Let the Door Hit You…’The dismissal process has changed a lot in this recession.

My experience has been the following pattern.

1. Management…

  • Announces “changes” are coming.
  • Sends out a mass email with the impending doom coming down the pipeline
  • Spontaneously cattle herds a group of employees into a room

2. Human resources bring employees into executives office one-by-one.

3. Fire at will. (all puns intended)

4. Remove the bodies. (A security escort may be involved)

5. Repeat dismissals as many times as necessary to balance the budget. This typically happens in mass around the fourth quarter (October through December) which is also the holiday season.

After all this “yuletide cheer” and an audacious exit, it’s understandable for anger to settle in. But it’s important to remain professional through it all.

Sure you may not have gotten a chance to say “goodbye” on the company dime, but there’s nothing stopping you from using social media to address your audience directly. This is the time to put your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to good use to preserve your professional brand.

Your Cheerful Departure
Write or record the “goodbye” you want your audience to see. This is a chance to tell your positive story, minus the negative feelings. So no matter how bad the working relationship was, negative energy has no place in your “goodbye.” Simply put, it looks unprofessional and comes off like sour grapes.

I resigned from my last position in January. I was lucky enough to use my work web page to video record my farewell to the people I covered in Crofton, Maryland. This method is good for offering closure while preserving your professional brand.

Say It With a Picture
I turned to my (then) 3,000-plus friends on Facebook to say “Gotta Go Buffalo” when my contract ended in Western New York. I spent week taking photos with my favorite people around Western New York. Then I posted a photo gallery on Facebook for all to chime in. The 120+ comment thread shows how this wasn’t a one-sided farewell. The audience community wanted to say “goodbye and thank you” too. This method is great for strengthening audience engagement at a time when you are disengaging from your media organization.

Tell Your Side
Sometimes you just want to tell your side of the story. Meteorologist Justin Berk used his Facebook fan page to pen his “Goodbye WMAR, But Not Baltimore” message to viewers. That post garnered more than 500 comments, 50 shares and 720 likes from followers. The letter to viewers detailed Berk’s time in the Baltimore market and what he love most about serving the Charm City community. This method is ideal if you plan to stay in the market and maintain your brand and audience following.

Clean Tweets 
I’ll never forget listening to the “Big Tigger Morning Show” on WPGC-FM Dec. 22 as the host celebrated his birthday on the air. Then reading hours later to find out the 20-year veteran was ousted the same day. Darian ‘Big Tigga’ Morgan posted the following tweet the same day:

“FYI @WPGC & I have agreed 2 part ways. The BigTiggerMorningShow W/ Free is no more! Thanx 4 ya support & stay tuned! Now Back 2 my Bday:) RT”
Tigger is not a journalist, but this was a good example of what could happen to any anchor, reporter and the likes. “Here today, gone tomorrow.” Twitter is a great way to break the news that you’re “no longer with the company.” Just be sure to keep it clean as you respond to inquiries as to what happened from your supporters. This method is a good way to get in front of the story. Word travels fast and rumors more even faster.
There are countless other ways to say good-bye using social media. The key is to always stay professional. Remember you possibly signed a contract with a confidentiality clause that prohibits you from speaking freely of your employment and company privileged information. plus frankly,  it’s just not a good look. My rule of thumb is public knowledge is public. Any secrets and company business should stay within the company. You look like a jaded ex speaking negatively of your previous employer. So just avoid it at all costs. 
Journos,  your reputation and credibility are the legs of your brand. Don’t lose either on your way out the door, you won’t be left with a leg to stand on as you walk into your future.

Nicki Mayo is a multimedia journalist in Baltimore, MD. She has reported and produced for Aol/, YNN Buffalo, WJHL-TV Newschannel 11/, BET News, WJZ-TV13, SNN 6/ and CTV 76 PG County .
Posted in journalism, Social Media

When Social Media Bites Back

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation journalist/blogger

Yesterday I got a call from a friend who is a reporter at a major metro newspaper.  He was calling to get my thoughts on the controversy over NABJ member and CNN commentator Roland Martin’s tweets on Super Bowl Sunday, which some found to be homophobic. You can read about the situation in Richard Prince’s Journal-isms.

My friend is a great reporter and I’ve been trying to get him more active in social media to enhance his journalistic efforts.  I’m a big fan of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter.  I feel that both of them have helped me write better stories, interact with my readers and put a human face behind the reporter.   I wanted my friend to also reap the benefits of social media, but he has always been wary.

I told him that I understood his concerns, especially because since our conversation, Martin has been suspended over his remark.  But if done following some simple guidelines, social media can help you — not hurt you.

My biggest piece of advice is never write/tweet/post anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother or an employer to read — or have printed on the front page of the New York Times, which covered the Martin story.

I like the fact that social media gives people a sense of my personality and allows me to be part of a community. I feel that Martin’s 92,000 followers feel the same about his tweets.  But you need to come up with your own social media posting guidelines. I avoid politics, religion, sexual orientation and my family life.

On my aviation and journalism accounts, I stick to those topics. But I’ll also do an occasional aside, like a song on my iPod (“Unchained Melody,” the Righteous Brothers), a book (Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See) or article I’m reading (“Technique: Wind Warrior,AOPA Pilot magazine) or the random post on the number of days until Christmas (319) or this year’s NABJ Convention (132). If you have to ask if you should post it, then don’t.

I feel that Twitter has been a big factor in the establishment of my brands in aviation, where I’m @AvQueenBenet and in journalism, where I created and oversee the @NABJDigital account.  In the end, it’s pretty simple — if you have to ask if you should post something, then don’t.  So I ask you — what are some of your tips for keeping your social media accounts under control?

Check out some of our past social media blog posts, below.

Twitter Intrigue

Make Sure There’s No Shame In Your Social Media Game

Separate But Equal: Juggling the Personal and Professional with Social Media

The Thin Social Media Line

Friday Fast Five: The Social Media Edition

Posted in multimedia journalist, Social Media

NABJDigital Profiles

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  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 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.

Posted in journalism

Another Journalist Layoff: My Own Story, The Update

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair

First, I must apologize for how I’ve let this blog go.  I really thought that during my unemployment, I’d have much more time to devote to it.  But that wasn’t the case.  In some ways, I worked harder while unemployed that the regular day-to-day operations of a regular job.

The good news is that I did find another job. My first day was Monday.  In my original post on Oct. 7, I offered tips on how those of you in my old situation could jumpstart — or start — your job search efforts.  They work.

I moved away — quickly — from the mourning of the job loss.  I kept hearing how well I was taking the layoff, but I really didn’t have time to look back.  Having that resume ready was very helpful, because I could literally send it at a moment’s notice. Even if you have a job and are comfortable in it (like I was), have the resume ready to send out tomorrow if need be.

One of the three jobs that were offered to me came as a direct result of my 100% updated LinkedIn profile.  My network and groups were great resources for job and freelance leads.  And the recommendations were mentioned in all of my job interviews.

I was a BIG fan of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+) before my layoff, and I’m an even bigger fan now.  I received 2 other job leads (that resulted in offers) from Facebook and Twitter.  And Twitter and Google+ led to a nice pile of freelance work that continues to this day.  I’ve managed to build two great networks — aviation and journalism — using my social media outlets.  And they were my salvation after the layoff.

In the end, I was offered a journalism job, a communications job and an editorial job for an association.  I did struggle, because I thought I wanted to stay in journalism.  But I ended up becoming the director of media relations for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  This job offered the perfect blend, allowing me to use my communications/PR, community manager, social media consultant and aviation media/marketing skills.  And did I mention that one of the perks is free flying lessons?

So that’s my story.  I want to say thanks to all of you who sent me words of encouragement.  I want to thank my freelance folks for giving me all kinds of great advice for getting set up and what to charge.  I want to thank all my Aviation Week colleagues for their support and personal recommendations.  And thanks to my fellow aviation journalists and the aviation community for the job leads and freelance work.

And for those of you out there still searching — don’t give up.  Work your network and think outside the box — that next job is around the corner!