- 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 a new year, and it’s not too late to add a work-related resolution — learn new digital skills. Don’t be afraid. We’ve compiled this list of 10 simple things to get you started!
- Hold and record a Google Hangout.
- Step up your game on Twitter.
- Record and upload a story on Soundcloud.
- Create an embeddable map using Google Fusion Tables.
- Try your hand at coding – for free!
- Test out these alternatives to a PowerPoint presentation.
- Learn how to make infographics.
- Take a Skillcrush class on becoming a WordPress developer.
- Whip up an embeddable timeline using Timeline JS.
- Learn Google Analytics with a free online course.
It’s 2015, and yes, we’re all making our New Year’s resolutions. One of yours should be to step up your digital journalism skills to keep you relevant in your current newsroom or help you become a star in a new one.
To that end, NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force and the Diverse Social Media Editors and Digital Journalists Facebook group will host a free series of webinars — New Year, New You, Part 2 — in January, all designed to boost your digital skills in 2015. Click here to see what we did in 2014.
First up, on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at 8:30 p.m. ET, is “Tech & Tools Journalists Can Use,” a free hour-long webinar where panelist will share and demonstrate their favorite tools, websites, apps and technology that help them do their jobs smarter and better. We’ll leave time for questions after the presentation, which will be recorded. Our media partner for this event is AllDigitocracy.org.
Watch this space for other webinars we’ll be holding this month to boost your skills. And if there are webinars you want to see, let us know. Here’s to a great 2015!
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]
When I do my free resume reviews for students and young journalists starting out, many times I either see gaps in employment or not enough internship experience or time on school media platforms.
When I discuss the findings of my reviews, I note the lack of experience or the gaps and ask what they are doing to continue to perfect their craft. I get vague answers about how hard it is to find freelance work, and the conversation peters out.
The lack of freelance work is NOT an excuse. With all the free and low-cost web-based platforms out there, there’s no reason why you can’t use them to showcase your work. I found a great article forwarded to me by one of my Twitter followers from the International Journalist’s Network blog: “Six tips for journalists on launching a successful blog.”
I blog here. I also created AviationQueen.com back in November 2010, and I regularly guest post on journalism and aviation blogs. My blog and others were godsends when I got laid off in October 2011. Some gigs were paid and some were not, but all of them got me exposure and led to job leads.
But blogging is not the only thing you can do. Create a talk show on BlogTalkRadio on the topics you hope to cover. I met Hezzie McCaleb, one of the founders of Barbershop Sports, at the NABJ convention in San Diego. Check out their website and how they use BlogTalkRadio.
Other ideas to get your work out and practice your craft:
- Create your own stories using tools like Ustream and post them on your own YouTube or Vimeo channel;
- Start a Tumblr blog on a specific topic;
- Offer to guest blog on blogs you admire and have some expertise in;
- Create your own podcasts using tools such as SoundCloud, Cinch or AudioBoo;
- Comment on blogs and websites you admire, using the URL for your blog so people can follow your work; and
- Sign up for social media platforms to further promote your work.
I understand that we all have bills to pay, and sometimes we have to take that job outside journalism to make sure we have a roof over our head and food in the fridge. But with all the tools out there, you have zero excuse not to keep up your journalism skills. Good luck!!
Benét J. Wilson is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force. She also serves on the board of the Online News Association. She is the coeditor of AirwaysNews.com and a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.
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.
Every week we share five articles/tips/hacks to help you do your job as a storyteller easier and smarter. Here are this week’s entries.
- LinkedIn – 7 Social Login Myths Debunked
- PBS – 6 Great Apps to Help You Write
- BusinessWeek – Five Things Developers Wish Their Nontech Colleagues Knew
- Gigaom – Journalism isn’t just about informing readers, it’s also about helping them take action
- Business Daily – The Best Add-Ons for Google Drive