After reading Shel Hotz’s article, How the social evolution process has altered my FIR news-gathering process, I finally had the better understanding I needed, essentially the how’s and why’s, to subscribe to my first RSS Feed. As I eagarly await my first slew of feeds via smartphone, I can share with the comment I left Shel over on his blog.

This article made my day because as someone who has never subscribed to any RSS feeds, I now have a better idea of the why’s and how’s. I can remember when the iPhone first came out I had a ton of friends telling me how great the RSS feeds were, and especially the convenience they brought, but I was always hesitant, mostly because I enjoyed browsing the actual sites rather than getting a quick stream of info. If I had known that you could actually store and save the news, it might had been a different story. Now that I have my own social media blog that offers the feature to have my readers subscribe via RSS, I might just give it a try myself. I’m also looking forward to checking out FeedDemon and NewGator. Thanks for the heads up, Shel.

Update: When going through the sites I read on a daily basis to find my first RSS Feed to subscribe to I ultimately decided to go with celebrity gossip queen, Perez Hilton. Seeing that I visit that site 3 to 5 times a day, why not take advantage of the RSS Feed so I could stop wasting valuable study time and instead check the feed during my commute. So far I am really enjoying reading through his RSS Feed.

Advertisements

Los Angeles based, Wedbush Securites, just released an interesting study about how the ‘net can be clearly divided into two distinct parts: The First Internet and The Second Internet. Leave it David E. Henson’s, The Scary and Fast Rise of The Second Internet to help make it easier to decipher all of Wedbush’s new information.

Dividing the ‘net into two categories, First/1994-2009, and Second/2009 to present, Wedbush argues that our online future “moves much faster than First Internet, is much bigger than the First Internet” and will benefit from being more “social” and allowing API to have the readers play a huge role in how The Second is modeled and shaped.

One of Wedbush’s charts that I found the most interesting was one that showed how the Huffington Post is nearly tied with the NY Times for online news visitors. This ties in greatly to what we’ve been studying about how curation might actually be the future of journalism.

Here’s my response to both the Wedbush info and David’s article:

I can appreciate Wedbush’s research paper for its solid charts that give us a clear picture of how the web has changed and is rapidly growing, but I’m not entirely convinced that we can divide the ‘net into two distinct categories. I would argue that 2003-2009 could be placed in a separate category, perhaps “the First and then some Internet,” because the “The Social Internet” was essentially created and perfected during those years. Like my classmate, Breanna, I also use both First and Second Internet sites on a daily basis, and I don’t really see that changing. Speaking on behalf of someone who has never read Huffington Post and has no plans to in the future, I think it has set the standard for “curated” news sites. One point that really stood out to me was when Wedbush said the Second Internet “would usher in another period of great wealth creation.”  If the Second Internet can help fix our economy, then I’m all for standing behind this argument.

10. Not only can LinkedIn connect you with people in your industry, expertise, or passion, it literally can help establish “connections” with professionals that can affect your career trajectory.

9. Of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the most helpful when taking an online course. Creating a class group (such as a our Journ65 group) is a great way to stay connected with classmates and the professor.

8. Advertising a “work-in-progress” blog [such as this one] on Twitter, no matter how big or small the posting, is the key to improving “traffic” and getting feedback/input from the general public.

7. Finding a great WordPress theme can enhance the look and feel of your blog. Do you like mine?

6. Attending your professor’s office hour can greatly benefit the content of your blog. Even when taking an online course, take advance of face to face interaction whenever possible.

5. Over the past 11 weeks I’ve gained a great deal of inspiration from reading my fellow classmate’s blogs. My advice would be to read everything you can get your hands on, and especially to leave them comments with constructive criticism. One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve been given came from another student: “Give HTML codes a try because it will make your blog standout from the rest.”

4. Think outside the box: for example, if you have questions that needs immediate attention, take them to one of the many search engines like Yahoo Answers, Wiki Answers, LinkedIn Answer, and especially YouTube.

3. Time management is critical when taking an online course. Just because the class happens to focus on social media, one still has to be diligent on a daily basis to read, write, and especially log your every step. Regardless if you’re a “citizen journalist,” or just a blogger, it is still important to think and act like an old school journalist.

2. When mixing social media with filmmaking, one can become a “citizen filmmaker.” When you mix social media with journalism, you can become a “citizen journalist.” When you mix social media with curation, you can become a “super journalist.”

1. Taking Social Media for Journalists was the smartest move of my college career. Just read through my last 17 blogs and you’ll understand why.

1. “If you want to do social media you need to engage your target audience and treat them intelligently.”

“Every movie or TV project has a core audience, and the Internet is the most strategic way to get to those people. This allows you to do the EPK [electronic press kit] and other advertising much later. The concept is ‘Production is the new Promotion,’ and the sooner you engage your audience the sooner they are going to grab onto it, and follow the different phases to the point where you get to your last news release or airing. There will be much more information that surfaces to the top of Google than there would be in putting out a short release over six weeks.” [two quotes from Movies, Writers, and Producers article: Social media adds powerful punch to movie marketing campaigns experts reveal]

“Social media and the new online landscape are changing the way screen content is marketed and word is spread. There’s an obvious opportunity for independent filmmakers and small distributors, since these platforms are more affordable, by and large, than traditional, “old media”, especially if you stumble upon the holy grail of online marketing: the appropriation of your messages by the audience.” [source]

2. Here are a few notes towards a social media toolbox, which may be relevant to filmmakers:

  • Build a fan base during production
  • Use Twitter to spread the word
  • Involve online communities in the design
  • Find celebrity endorsements
  • Stream the film to journalists
  • Cheap awards campaign
  • Ask for fan-generated screening requests [source]

3. There are lots of media platforms and thousands of social media websites [to use for marketing your film]:

  1. Wikipedia.org: Signup for Wikipedia.org and write about your movie summary and provide the casting members and the information about the production company of the movie. If you have external links than place a reputed link which provides more details about your movie. Update your wikipedia.org page with the time by time as new activities and events happens with your film team and members. To have listed your website on wikipedia.org will itself provide a good amount of traffic.
  2. YouTube.com: Submit trailer of your movie in YouTube and optimize the video in better manner as it rank in top of the results for the related category in videos this will definitely helps you to drive decent amount of traffic towards your website.
  3. MySpace.Com: Having a account and connected with friends from the relevant industry in Myspace.com will help you to make good discussions about your upcoming movie and what I think it will be the best way to generate a successful buzz about your movie in online media. Always be consistent and keep the details updated.
  4. Facebook.com: Facebook.com works and helps in the similar manner what does myspace.com does for your website. Facebook.com will helpful to generate good buzz about your movie in outside US as in US still myspace.com holds the big market.
  5. Twitter.com: The great format of blogging which is defined as micro blog where you can express what are you doing. Still you must need a perfection to provide events and activities wisely which generates really hot topics discussions. Don’t over twitting.
  6. IMDB.com: List your Movie site in IMDB.com and see the difference. However it provides paid inclusion services but the most reliable source to get excellent movie targeted traffic.
  7. Rotten Tomattos: The best movie forum available on the web to produce generous discussion about every thing about your movie. Place review of your website and stay connected all the time with the members gently and promote your website in the Rotten Tomattos Forum.
  8. Commonsensemedia.org: A very good website to submit your upcoming movie reviews.
  9. Bebo.com: Nice social networking websites which help you to interact with the people you are interested. And finally,
  10. Your Website official Blog: Your Movie Blog is the best place to produce latest events and activities buzz about your movie. You must be consistent in blogging and write about the every one who is associated with the movie. Don’t write to promote your film only but keep your blog for your readers and let them read some interesting news and information around the film industry in which they are mostly interested. [source]

4. Plant your [social media] marketing seeds [early]…

“Plant your marketing and distribution seeds at pre-production / production stage. Think about your audience in advance of making your film and think about your title carefully from a marketing point of view too. Do a little research to see if the title has been used recently and might cause confusion with another film currently in the market.”

“Buy up all related and possibly desired urls and start on the site, draw in traffic and collect names and contact info.  Make sure your set photography is top-notch from a marketing and publicity point-of-view. Start building community around your brand as a filmmaker and the film itself, and possibly even sharing parts of the content with your future audience.” [two quotes from Shari Candler Marketing and Publicity‘s, TFC Tidbit of the Day 26-Planting your marketing seeds]

Billy’s analysis:

As an aspiring filmmaker looking to the web for guidance, one has to fully grasp the power that social media can bring to film marketing. Just as we see the emergence of “citizen journalists,” the same is true for “citizen filmmakers.” Everyone with a smartphone or a flip camera has the capacity to shoot a low-budget film, and with the help of YouTube, that film can go viral in a matter of minutes. So just think what can be done with an actual marketing campaign budget. With the help of social media, a film can be popular before the first piece of film stock has been loaded into the camera, and by the film’s release date, it is literally buzzing with word-of-mouth praise.

This blog is in response to Is Curation the Future of Journalism?, by Shari Weiss on Sharisax.com.

I feel like the premise of this argument is flawed from the start with a title asking if curation is the future of journalism. Without reporters, columnists, and bloggers, there would be no content for an editor to aggregate. Perhaps a more precise title would be “Is Curation IN the Future of Journalism?” It seems that if information continues to proliferate at its current momentum, there will be an ever-increasing need for someone to gather all the scattered media into organized chunks for easier consumption (i.e. Drudge Report/Huffington Post).

With that said, I think it’s fun to play around with new and juxtaposing ideas to better understand where journalism is headed. For the sake of the experiment, curating information from different sources into one concise location can definitely lead to a greater understanding of any subject. The internet is also making aggregation easier for non-journalists, especially when you factor in social media. Twitter, for example, is essentially the museum curator’s dream, with Tweetdeck serving as the Louvre of social media. Facebook is like the having a curator in the family; placing the home deep inside the art gallery, only instead of art we get a vast array of multimedia in the form of the “update.”

I think it would interesting to take a non-journalist’s Twitter or Facebook account and aggregate their entire tweet/update history into one publication. It could prove that curation can apply to social media in ways we haven’t seen before. I also wonder if a writer would use this method to write biographies. For example, if another Elizabeth Taylor biography ever comes out, will it include her Twitter voice? The process of organizing those Tweets I could see at true curation, because once these personal works have been “published,” they will be open for public “viewing.”

Using the web to answer FAQ (Frequently asked questions) offers many options. After reading my fellow classmate’s blog, The Showdown: LinkedIn Answers vs. @answerme vs. Wiki Answers, and I totally hate Yahoo Answers, I went searching for a more practical way of getting my questions answered without having to weed through the hundreds, if not thousands, of online resources. It then dawned on me that as a musician, I often use YouTube to learn how to play cover songs on guitar, and to watch lessons on how to play various instruments for beginners. So I got to thinking (and asking), could YouTube also help me learn the in’s and out’s of social media? The answer is yes! Finding answers on YouTube is simple and easy. Just type your question in the search box and then find a video that fits your needs. Just like any search engine, multiple videos will come up; therefore, it is up to the viewer to make an educated judgment on what videos to trust and not trust.

Below are five examples of how I was able to get answers using YouTube.

1. With the current debate on whether the internet and recent growth of citizen journalism will forever kill print journalism, I wanted to hear opinions from professionals on the subject.

Q: Has the internet killed print journalism?

A:

2. As a relatively new LinkedIn member, and a student looking to the future, I need to know exactly which LI tools I can master to maximize my potential for landing a  job.

Q: How can I use LinkedIn groups to find a job?

A:

3. With the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan, and the impending “big one” on the U.S. west coast, one must be prepared to face disaster head on. Although we cannot predict when it will come, we can use social media as a tool to stay connected with the rest of the world.

Q: How can I use Twitter to let friends and family know that I’m OK after a disaster strikes?

A:

4. In order to keep your finger on the pulse of social media, one has to stay on top of new trends. One good way would be to research which trends will be most popular for the year.

Q: What will be the top social media trends in 2011?

A:

5. I’m sure one thing that’s been on the mind of everyone in my Social Media for Journalists course at some point is if we can actually make a career out of blogging. As we pour our hearts and souls into our class blogs, we can’t help but wonder if professional blogging is a viable option.

Q: How can I get paid as a professional blogger?

A:

As you can see from the videos above, not only did I get the answers I was looking for, but I also learned an entirely new set of skills, simply by weeding through the videos and finding the one that fit my needs perfectly. Don’t hesitate to take your questions to YouTube, especially if you benefit more as audio/visual learner.

YouTube university is now in session!


For me, this week was about reflection. I took a look back the past ten weeks and asked myself what I’ve learned; but I realized the core essence of this class is less about learning and more about what I’ve gained. From starting my first WordPress blog, to learning the ins and outs of what it means to wear a journalism “tool belt,” and how to make it fit perfectly. What I love most about this Social Media for Journalists class is the inspiration I get from reading my fellow classmates’ work. It’s rare in most cases that you get to read another paper that your peers have written, but in this case, it’s both encouraged and appreciated.  Ever since starting this blog, the feedback has been stupendous. I look forward to the day that I can start large discussions with my readers the way my mentor’s blog, Shari Sax Is Out There, does so well. With that said, I enjoy the process of learning as a way to grow, so here are a couple key points that I’ve learned so far.

Facebook

There is more to Facebook than meets the eye. At first, you connect with friends and family, reconnect with old friends, maybe take part in a cyber high school reunion or two. Then you dive a little deeper by finding a couple fan pages to “like” and follow, join a group with a niche that caters to your interest, and finally, realize that you’ve just wasted an entire day in what seems like two hours. Taking a deeper look will uncover the vast array of groups you can join to discuss topics of any interest. My entire class uses a Facebook group to share blogs, stay updated with assignments, connect with our professor, and have important questions answered.

Twitter

What seems like a useless way to keep up with the Hollywood elite quickly turned into a resourceful tool to get updates on global news, share personal insights, and connect with blog readers. Once you’ve grasped the power of social media’s mini-blog format, and take advantage of hashtag discussions, retweeting, and learning who to follow to further one’s own knowledge (or one’s own agenda), then Twitter can change your life for the better.

LinkedIn

Never in a million years did I think I would join LinkedIn, but take my word, ever since I joined I’ve felt like a million bucks. Finally, a new piece of social media that can offer me something more valuable and durable. I officially see more future for me in LinkedIn than in Facebook and Twitter combined. There is enormous potential to make connections, earn recommendations, and use LI groups to engage in current media trends; even in this economy, the possibilities seem endless and my future never looked so bright.

As I set forth to complete the final weeks of the course, I know there is still much to learn. The relationships I’ve formed with my classmates, my professor, and even some of the star guests like Gregory Stringer, will transcend social media to a more personal level of real friendships and exchange of information and shared interests beyond the keyboard and screen. The answers to what we’re seeking are provided by others out there, not the medium of the software. Something I’d like to explore in more depth is the concept of interest mapping or interest-based social networking. Some sites at the forefront of this revolution are Splore and Zapon.

The journey continues…