Indy #ONAcamp: A few cool things

Lots of information from Friday’s ONAcamp in Indianapolis (see a Storify here). Here are a few things I found interesting:tumblr_inline_nlfe70fWXj1s49mrd_500

-NOLA Listening Post: You’ve seen those “We buy old houses” signs on the interstate off-ramps, right? Now imagine that with questions for your community. “Why did you stay in NOLA?” “What’s missing in New Orleans?” What an interesting way to engage in the community and get story ideas.
-No Slack-ers: Billy Penn is engaging Millennials in Philly by having conversations about stories (even if they didn’t write them). They’re starting to use a public Slack channel as a way to have conversation with their communities.  Plus they’re showing people how to take action after they’ve read a story:

-Why didn’t I think of that: When searching Twitter for people on the ground in breaking news situations, think what they’re broadcasting to the world: “I just saw…” “I’m OK…” “My (relation) works at …” Plus remember to SCREENSHOT EVERYTHING. In a matter of seconds, someone deletes a tweet or takes their account offline. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
-Video vision: Lots of people don’t listen to the audio on Facebook videos (because they’re at work, on the train, slyly scrolling in a meeting), so your video has to convey a point without sound. Add text, add graphics—make sure people can get the gist.
-Talking traffic: At USATODAY, 65 percent of traffic is on mobile. Mobile gets priority in their newsroom, for example when it comes to creating graphics. They have #MobileMonday where staffers are encouraged to use their phones to see how work translates there. (The same day, NYTimes announced it was blocking homepage access at its office.)

 

-Homepage? What homepage? NowThis News is only on social media now. They figure that’s where the audience is, so why coax them to their page when they can live on the social network? That in mind, each social network and its audience are unique—there is no one-size-fits-all approach to social. Their rule: If you wouldn’t share the story, don’t do the story.

Customer service through social media

Have you ever tried to get in touch with someone via email, and they just refuse to answer you?

I was running into this problem with a bakery I was hoping to work with for my upcoming wedding. I initially contacted them to see what they offered. I got a response a few days later (which, to someone who nearly always responds to emails within 24 hours, seemed like a lifetime). Last week I shot them another email wanting to finalize an order. No response. This week I sent another email. No response. I was getting anxious – wedding planning has been stressful, and I wanted to get things nailed down. I even went to the bakery’s brick and mortar location and was told I needed to contact the person via email (the same one I’d been trying to reach).

Yesterday I was on the bakery’s Facebook page when I noticed its Twitter feed. Though my emails were going unreturned, I saw that tweets were posted multiple times per day – one even within the last two hours. I quickly sent them a tweet:

 

 

 

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How to start a hashtag trend on Twitter

Tech cleanse: taking a break from the noise

For the past few days, I’ve been taking a bit of a technology cleanse. Granted, I haven’t gone balls to the wall on it because I’ve had a few things to tend to, but just this little bit has been really refreshing.

With a job in news, I feel like I always have to be tapped into what’s going on, constantly reading some article or weighing in on Twitter with my thoughts on a certain issue. So I’ve severely limited my Internet time over the past few days to get away from it. And it’s felt so good.

Sometimes we need to get away from all the noise. The world doesn’t come crashing down if we don’t check our e-mail right away. Life is bigger than the technology that surrounds us.

Welcome to the 21st century

In the past few days, three big things happened in the world of media, IMHO, and they caught my eye, mainly because I wouldn’t mind participating in any of them.

1) The launch of TBD.com. In the spring, I made a trip to WJLA-TV, the D.C. ABC affiliate and the mastermind behind this hyperlocal journalistic venture. They were still conceptualizing the site (apparently this took longer than they had planned since it was supposed to launch June 1 and it’s now August), and I admit I totally didn’t envision what they were talking about. Groupon deals, snazzy multi-media content, traffic updates, an entertainment calendar, edgy reporters like Amanda Hess. This would be one-stop shopping for me if I lived in D.C. I really think this thing is going to take off like gangbusters and prove that there is money in local reporting. And I hope similar sites pick up in other cities (like, Chicago, and, hey, they could hire me!). Love love love.

2) The first MTV TJ. MTV decided to put a person on the front of its social media efforts, enter “Gabifresh.” She’s a bubbly, plus-sized fashionista from Chicago, and while I didn’t follow the competition to crown the first TJ, I’m glad someone like her won and not some jerk who wears Ed Hardy or a Lilo wannabe with a spray tan. While still a small percentage of the populace uses Twitter, I’m sure this competition alone made many more 18-24 year-olds join the Twitterverse. As someone who loves “the Twitter,” as one of my blogger colleagues calls it, this is really exciting. Companies realize the value of social media to the extent that they’re launching entire campaigns around it. Having the mega-brand MTV behind it looks promising. And based on the competition, hopefully people learned you are only interesting on Twitter when you’re posting interesting things, engaging with an audience, and *gasp* being interesting. NOT tweeting that you ate a ham sandwich.

3) BlogHer2010. It’s the largest gathering of female bloggers, perchance in the world. I saw a headline that I think summed it up perfectly “Women: the 5G Network.” Women are the ones putting out great content on fashion, being a mom, marriage, sex, budgeting your money. And advertisers are taking notice! Last year’s FCC mandate that bloggers state whether a product they’re reviewing was given to them by the manufacturer was, in part, caused by the huge power that these women wield. Power to the people female, peeps!

That is all.