Which comes first: The Chicken or the Egg? The Medium or the Message?

Filed in Blogging , Journalism , LinkedIn , Twitter 119 comments

Long ago, business was all about building a better mousetrap and force-feeding it into homes. Long ago, publishing was all about dollars and cents (don’t mistakenly read “sense”). Long ago, free speech was easily regulated — and not particularly “free.”

Today’s technology advances are creating a New Normal, and intelligent folks who want to work and prosper in these revolutionary times must accept and embrace the challenges and opportunities.

How does one do this? How does one keep up with — and even stay ahead of — change.

My online course Social Media for Journalists [beginning today, January 24] will offer a roadmap, i.e., GPS turn-by-turn instructions, to a variety of destinations from a selection of career paths to a better understanding of today’s world.

In preparation for the course, I posted a Discussion Topic on a number of LinkedIn groups where online journalists congregate. I asked them what topics, issues, and skills they would emphasize in a course teaching student journalists about social media. Below is a listing of their responses.

My students will be asked to choose one of the responses and write a comment below. I invite all my readers to do the same.

What online journalists say about social media and the future:

  1. The way to revitalize the journalism “industry” is to use the new technology to build community, connections, and most important — solid relationships.
  2. Publishing today is not just about offering something of value; you need to know what people really want and how they want to receive it.
  3. Integration is key: we are losing separate distinctions between journalism, PR, marketing, and advertising.
  4. Journalists are the storytellers and disseminators of news — they connect people to information, and social media is the newest means to accomplish this.
  5. Media outlets are using Foursquare and other local apps to find people at the sites where news is breaking.
  6. Cheap, high speed internet access and social networking has broken up the mass audience into social, economic, geographic, and business “niche” communities.
  7. Search engines, blogs, and social networking have made everyone a publisher.
  8. Twitter and Foursquare have become valuable tools for sourcing and feedback; the impact of instant public feedback in the writing/creative processes of the journalist.
  9. Students will help create knowledge and process.
  10. Journalism and the stuff that looks like it is less reliable and requires more consumer skepticism.
  11. When access to social media both as a contributor and reader is so easy, what value can a journalist bring to the mix?
  12. Posts on social media become news.
  13. Stories can be updated throughout the day on social media sites.
  14. Social media is not a one-way street; you must listen and engage, not just post.
  15. One problem with social media is that it has convinced people that they have superior observation and analytical skills as well as original ideas.
  16. Interacting with people on a one-to-one basis helps grow relationships, spread information, and gather new facts.
  17. Missing from online blogging is the filter between the writer and the public — the copy editor or news editor.
  18. Visual and audio media convey emotion in a way that print never could. In fact, when using multimedia, it may be extremely difficult to separate the emotional content from the informational content.
  19. Traditional news values and techniques are valuable and should be studied. There are some things the internet should never change.
  20. Ideally “old school” and “new school” news sources will challenge each other to do a better job. A competitive news environment benefits all.

Do any of these statements resonate with you? If so, please write a comment telling us which one and why.

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   24 January 2011
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Jan 24, 2011
12:58 pm
#1 Berlyn Traylor :

comment for item 14:
Anyone can post anything about everything, but in order to have the most knowledge and respectable words, you must listen to what others say and do — sometimes meaning that you must take a step or two back to re-gather information.

Author Jan 24, 2011
1:14 pm

Berlyn, welcome to our online dialogue for Social Media for Journalists.
You are the First Contributor. Good Going!
Regarding your comment, yes, I agree that many times when we simply respond online without careful deliberation and/or further research, we may regret what we have written. And we are all learning that once we have put something online, we cannot take it back.

Jan 24, 2011
6:26 pm
#3 Wil Yi Donoy :

Comment on items #12 & 13

These are both true but especially within my areas of interest (gaming & technology). All the major news and announcements for any new product coming out generally hit the net first. Tech gur’s and gamers have a healthy assortment of magazines they may gather their info from, but I prefer blogs and websites. They’re faster, they’re updated and much more convenient, especially now when the internet is literally at our fingertips.

Jan 24, 2011
6:28 pm
#4 Susana :

9) Students will help create knowledge and process.

This comment is much like the one where you ask, which comes first: the chicken or the egg? The answer is hard to find because without one, the other cannot exist. In a classroom setting the teacher is “supposed” to know all and the students are to learn from them. However, without students there cannot be teachers; therefore no learning process can happen. The questions that the students ask are what makes the class a learning experience for everyone.

Jan 24, 2011
7:10 pm
#5 Vanessa Jensen :

Hello everyone,
I agree with #16, interacting with people on a one-on-one basis does help relationships grow and nothing can ever change that but I feel with the help of social media a journalist can spread information across the globe with just a click of the mouse — it’s amazing. It’s also amazing how anyone can research literally ANYTHING they can think of and find so many facts about the topic.

Author Jan 24, 2011
9:44 pm

it really is an exciting time to be part of because we are getting to create our own futures. I’m certain that we will all be amazed at how different even things will look five years from now. Maybe then blogs won’t be as convenient as something else . . .

Author Jan 24, 2011
9:47 pm

Susana, I totally agree. This is the reason why it is “silly” for anyone to call him or herself an “expert” these days as things change daily . . . even more often than that! And, given your last sentence, what is ONE QUESTION that comes to mind now?

Author Jan 24, 2011
9:48 pm

This opportunity to find out virtually anything at a moment’s notice still amazes me as well. You do know that YouTube is especially wonderful for learning how to do just about anything. YouTube is actually the second most frequently used search site.

Jan 25, 2011
12:37 am
#9 Neysa Ordaz Sifuentes :

13) Stories can be updated throughout the day on social media sites.

In my opinion i think it’s great that you can update stories, events, and feelings throughout the day on social media sites. It’s a way to stay in contact with family members, friends, and the world in general. With everyone’s busy schedules nowadays social sites have made it easier to interact with people, such as finding out how school is going, wishing somebody a happy birthday or simply sending a smile to someone on a bad day. You no longer have to wait for a letter or a phone call; you can just simply click away and find out.

Jan 25, 2011
1:02 am
#10 Stephanie Ortega :

Hello fellow classmates and teacher,

my comment is on #4 and #12:

The journalists of the news are known to be the storytellers on the events that are happening around the community or even the world.

Journalists go to places where something is happening and try to get the most information they can and write a report on everything, or the journalist is writing the report can apply their own perspective or input to what is going on.

This could make an effect on the news report because they are going to make people think that what is being said is true. What journalist also do is narrow down reports and pick what events they want to report or publish to the people. This can be a good and bad thing, just because some reports don’t get broadcast on television that may be important for people to know.

The good thing about the social media is that you can find full news reports about what was said in the news or more. It is another way that people stay connected on what is going on around them. Now the news on social media websites might not be news for everyone but it could be news for family and friends to stay informed on what is going on in ones life. There are different types of news that people might be interested in and it could be found by newspapers, website, television, radio station and many more.

Author Jan 25, 2011
1:08 am
#11 Shari Weiss :

Neysa, let’s take this “fact” and apply it to journalism. What is the implication of updating news/stories throughout the day?

Author Jan 25, 2011
1:13 am
#12 Shari Weiss :

Stephanie, are you familiar with “newsworthiness” and what makes an event or story “news”? It goes without saying that what is news to one person is not necessarily news to another.

Jan 25, 2011
1:20 am
#13 Amanthis Miller :

#6 Cheap, high speed internet access and social networking has broken up the mass audience into social, economic, geographic, and business “niche” communities.

I definitely agree with this. Everyone I know tends to focus on a news site that publishes the stories on things that interest them already – be it politics, tech, x-culture lifestyles and happenings, so on. Then these online communities already speak a common language. I think that the casual reader will go to a site that supports and aligns with their own views already.

But at the same time, this doesn’t seem too entirely new. Consider news outlets like Fox and CNN. Each has a bias that attracts a certain kind of a viewer. And unless a person reads a newspaper cover to cover, aren’t they more likely to head to their favorite section instead?

Jan 25, 2011
1:21 am
#14 Neysa Ordaz Sifuentes :

With updating news stories throughout the day, its a way for us to be up to date with what is happening in our community or even in the world around us. Every day there is a different story, it can be a crime, a miracle, or a new discovery, and with social websites available to the public it is much easier to be informed. For example during the oscar grant trial, i was logging on to the internet every couple of hours or so to update myself on the trial. This is a perfect example of how updating stories on social media websites can be actually be very informative.

Author Jan 25, 2011
1:32 am
#15 Shari Weiss :

nice., Neysa

Author Jan 25, 2011
1:33 am
#16 Shari Weiss :

Amanthis, what are your favorite sections?

Jan 25, 2011
1:42 am
#17 Stephanie Ortega :


I am some what infromed to newsworthiness. Correct me if im wrong, what is said to be worth broadcasting for people to know is news and events that are going have peoples reaction and attention. For example: The news report on the Arizona senator has been broadcasted over and over because the government was affected and also the other people that were involved were affected along with their families. It’s also “big” news to Arizona just because Arizona has been getting so much attention already with recent immigration laws, and now this recent event has brought even more attention to the state of Arizona.

Jan 25, 2011
3:21 am
#18 Susana :

haha my question is now is how come i cant leave a comment on your “follow me along revolutionary road” blog

Author Jan 25, 2011
3:34 am
#19 Shari Weiss :

Susana WOOOPS, that comment section IS CLOSED. So thanks for discovering that for us. Sorry about that.

Author Jan 25, 2011
3:36 am
#20 Shari Weiss :

Stephanie, when I teach newsworthiness to journalism and PR students, I specify certain elements like Timeliness, Location, Impact, Conflict, Human Interest, Celebrity. When stories have one or more of these elements, they can be of interest to a News Editor, who in many cases decides what the news is.

Jan 25, 2011
2:39 pm
#21 Leanna Marie Francis :

#3. Integration is key: we are losing separate distinctions between journalism, PR, marketing, and advertising.

This is why I chose to take this class: because I do not have obligations to any corporation, political organization or religion that would serve to obscure the message I want to convey. This is something that people my age can usually say until the reality of survival kicks in. With traditional journalism, there are always other interests behind the message, usually whoever pays the journalist or the organization that they work for.

Jan 25, 2011
5:05 pm
#22 Breanna :

7) “Search engines, blogs, and social networking have made everyone a publisher”

I think this is the same assumption that is made by those who purchase nice cameras and consider themselves photographers. In an atmosphere where the technology in which to preform a task is available to all (when that wasn’t always the case) it is easy to jump to the assumption that everyone can now do it. There are many issues that arise when making that leap, not the least of which are the quality of the final product and audience to which it is presented.

While a huge number of people have professional quality tools, most can agree that they are not professionals unless their intent is to produce at a professional level. This analogy should apply to all media publication – the trends on twitter, popular rss feeds and items that top the google searches are not the musings of random individuals in most cases but rather intentional and deliberate content created to education and inform others. This is what separates journalistic content from the perpetually unread tweets about what my aunt had for breakfast.

Jan 25, 2011
5:15 pm
#23 Stephanie Ortega :


Thank you, for the clarification. I get what you mean now and I was aiming to that direction. Now that you have explained newsworthiness with more detail, it helps me understand what it means and what you wanted me to understand from the word a lot better.
Thanks again

Author Jan 25, 2011
6:55 pm
#24 Shari Weiss :

Too true, Leanna. While journalists like to aim for objectivity, unfortunately circumstances [e.g. advertisers] sometimes dictate otherwise.

Author Jan 25, 2011
7:08 pm
#25 Shari Weiss :

WOW, Breanna, Beautifully Stated!
Are you on LinkedIn?
I’d love to see this comment on #7 added to the Discussion “Bloggers vs. Journalists” on the LinkedIn Group “Online Reporters and Editors”
If you join LinkedIn AND that group, you can post this.

Jan 25, 2011
7:50 pm
#26 Taniesha R. :

#7: “Search engines, blogs, and social networking have made everyone a publisher.”

Personally, I feel like people just have their own opinions, and some people feel that if they are to “publish” it in a “professional” manner, it will be looked at and examined more carefully. No, not everyone is a publisher; however, everyone does have a right to “publish” how they perceive things (no matter how right or how wrong). It’s like, just because you have a story, doesn’t mean it can always become a book; you have to have the proper tools to assist you and the proper knowledge to be able to back up your facts.

Jan 25, 2011
9:15 pm
#27 Billy Rivera :

#12 Posts on social media become news.

With celebrity blog sites like Perez Hilton and TMZ ruling the interweb, and a majority of students surf time, celebrities can announce their “news” and reach millions of people in the matter of seconds. The definition of “news” has been blurred in today’s digital culture. For example, more people around the world knew that Michael Jackson had died before most of his immediate family. TMZ was credited with being the first “news” site to announce his death, and we all know that was the biggest news story of that summer.

With a cultural domination of iPhones, Blackberry’s, Smartphones, Laptops, etc., people have access to updates as they happen in real time. I can’t think of one major newspaper in this country that doesn’t have a Facebook or twitter account to follow, so instead of waiting until the evening news to find out current events we are given the story moments after it happens.

Author Jan 25, 2011
10:37 pm
#28 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Group: Online reporters and editors
Discussion: If you were going to teach a course in How Social Media Has Changed Journalism, what are the THREE main topics you would discuss?

Posted by Patrick Robinson:
I’d just like to add to my previous post that by moving some content to a more restricted platform…such as the iPad (and PREVENTING) instant cutting and pasting, rss feeds, and dozens of other “sharing” tools if the information has value to begin with it is enhanced. By sharing it…the value is debased.

It’s remarkable how this simple idea…supply and demand is misunderstood even by otherwise intelligent people.

Of course there’s a difference in the KIND of information we are talking about. Simple facts as pure information…Deaths, earthquakes, fires, attacks..all the ‘fast twitch” news will now forever more belong to the twitterverse…and the churn of competition will be the red ocean where profits will remain small to non existent. Too much blood in the water.

But “slow twitch” information…that isn’t instantly copyable, retransmittable and shared across a thousand sites will have more focused and long term value. Abstracts for these stories and data will still go out…but the better, more in depth, more resource intensive content will will be restricted …not by a pay wall per se…but by the controls of the App or DataBox within which it is presented. You pay for the box…you get that content. SOME of what’s in the box will be fast twitch too of course…there for convenience.

Murdoch (love him or hate him) apparently understands that gathering news and doing quality journalism AT SCALE (less so at hyper local levels) costs money. To get it will cost the consumer something.

Author Jan 25, 2011
10:48 pm
#29 Shari Weiss :

All true, Billy, and how do you feel about this?

Author Jan 25, 2011
10:56 pm
#30 Shari Weiss :

Taniesha, you mention having the “proper tool” to assist you; what tools are you talking about specifically.

Jan 25, 2011
11:57 pm
#31 Billy Rivera :

Years ago when I got my first blackberry, I remember having a hard time adjusting to being so connected. After a couple months I realized I almost never checked my email on my desktop and when I did, there was never anything new to read. Once I got used to reading emails throughout the day, I came to appreciate not having to spend so much time on my computer at home. The same goes for Facebook and Twitter: I am constantly reading both on my iPhone. It definitely makes my day that much more thrilling when I can be out and about and still get my “news” — whether it be Roger Ebert’s latest tweet, my boyfriend’s most recent status update on Facebook, or keeping up to date on Shari Weiss’s blogs — without missing a beat.

Author Jan 26, 2011
12:29 am
#32 Shari Weiss :

Billy, your “blackberry” story reminds me how much the world has changed AND how differently the generations use communication tools. The key to this particular observation is how much we can ALL benefit by understanding one another.

Jan 26, 2011
12:00 pm
#33 Linda G. Cox :

I am amazed at how quickly progression is happening! It is exciting and I’m happy to be a part of ‘history in the making”!!! This social revolution is such a blast! It’s every social animal’s dream come true!
I really enjoyed this post!

Jan 26, 2011
1:56 pm

Shari, great points. I, especially, want to second the one you made in #7 “This is the reason why it is ‘silly’ for anyone to call him or herself an ‘expert’ these days as things change daily . . . even more often than that!” It strikes me as utterly absurd for people to claim authority for knowing the definitive rules of social media. Beware of self-proclaimed experts.

Jan 26, 2011
2:01 pm
#35 Nikolas Zelinski :

7. With almost unlimited access to high speed internet everyone is a publisher and can copyright their own material. Everyone has an opinion, at least those who take the time to blog on the internet. But this muddies the line between information and opinion and the listener or reader is left to decifer the meaning for themselves. I still find the most pertanent information to published in some form of print with an editor.

Jan 26, 2011
6:15 pm
#36 Taniesha Ramirez :

When I say “proper tools”, I am meaning what is needed in order to give an in depth story, so those tools may be; setting up an interview, doing extra research, going to the scene and starting point of the story, etc. That’s what I mean by “proper tools”, hoped that helped.

Jan 26, 2011
10:02 pm

Hello All. I am enjoying reading the comments/discussion here. Like Vanessa I am also commenting on #16. “Interacting with people on a one-to-one basis helps grow relationships, spread information, and gather new facts.”As a new-ish blogger I’ve been quite amazed at the people that you can reach/interact with via comments. A blog creates a community of readers that is not geographical. Where a certain newspaper, or certain news program – may only reach certain towns/cities/countries – blogs are international(or at least have the capability of being so) and they allow for almost instant feedback and the exchanging of ideas and information, from many sources.
I love that my little (non journalism related blog) has readers from Ireland, New Zealand, Japan and across the US.

I believe that these capabilities of the blog platform are are extremely beneficial to journalism.

Jan 26, 2011
11:16 pm

In response to number 15: I think that is a big issue with online journalism. Sometimes I comment on things thinking that just because I said it and I feel strongly about it, that everyone else will agree with me and the discussion will be over. That really made me realize that being a journalists isn’t about what I believe and want to know, but what readers want to know.

Jan 27, 2011
1:17 am
#39 Amanthis Miller :

Responding to #16

Like sections in the newspaper? If I get my hands on a legit “paper” like SF Chronicle, then I tend to flip through Section A, whatever it’s called, travel and Bay Area.

Jan 27, 2011
1:36 am
#40 Jena Perry :

3.Integration is key: we are losing separate distinctions between journalism, PR, marketing, and advertising.

As someone who grew up in the beginning of the Myspace era, i have seen the dramatic shift and increase of dependence on instant communication. as i went through the list, i didnt feel strongly about any of them; i personally am quite numb on the topic, and ironically may be due to desensitization of over exposure to the internet and social media popularity. The hypocritical tone in some turned me off, and others where just simply stating observations I already held. I feel that the internet, like most socially created phenomenons, only show or highlight characteristics of a society, good or bad; intelligent or dumb. Number 3 is one that stood out to me because it actually inspired me to delve deeper into my dependence on the internet and other forms of communication.

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:00 am
#41 Shari Weiss :

And so very exciting. I definitely agree. And I, too, am that “social animal.”

Jan 27, 2011
2:00 am
#42 Sulaymaan :

#20 I selected because I agree that any and all styles of journalism and reporting can only help to better this talent and art. We each have capacities to improve our sources. When we integrate and adapt other sources to benefit ourselves and those who benefit from us. We have a basket more bountiful to give!

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:03 am
#43 Shari Weiss :

Ariella, you would no doubt have “gotten a kick” out of some remarks made at a presentation I attended today that was conducted by some “old school” marketing types, one of whom couldn’t stop talking about the “value” of publicity in newspapers and magazines.
So that is the context.
The “interesting” remark of the speaker: Asking everyone to raise their hands if they were an “expert.” I’m the ONLY person in the room who didn’t raise my hand.

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:25 am
#44 Shari Weiss :

Nikolas, I imagine you will be interested in the conversation you will be reading in a few weeks — many experienced journalists commented on my article “What’s the one big difference between Bloggers and Journalists?”

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:28 am
#45 Shari Weiss :

Actually, Taniesha, the examples you list are more often labeled as “strategies” rather than tools. In social media terminology, we usually call things like analytical sites and blog platforms as “tools.” I hope that helps you.

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:31 am
#46 Shari Weiss :

Suzzanna, can’t you ALREADY see our community starting to take form. I noticed how you reached out to Susanna. That is EXACTLY how online influence grows. Good work!

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:36 am
#47 Shari Weiss :

wonderful insight, Kimberly
I’m certain you will enjoy the discussion we will read in a few weeks on the differences between bloggers and journalists.

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:38 am
#48 Shari Weiss :

Amanthis, were you responding to #16? it doesn’t look like it.

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:40 am
#49 Shari Weiss :

Jena, can you help me understand exactly HOW #3 inspired you?

Author Jan 27, 2011
3:32 am
#50 Shari Weiss :

Sorry, Sulaymaan, I do not understand your point.

Jan 27, 2011
12:31 pm

This comment is for the first post on this blog. #7. The Future of Advertising.
I’m not alone is really disliking being advertised to!And, now my current work involves advertising. Go figure!

I think like many people of my generation, I do not read newspapers – or even magazines – unless they are online. I do not listen to the radio. In fact I actually really dislike radio. Why bother with it when I can create my own itune mixes or use pandora or last fm? I hardly ever watch tv commercials I just record what shows I want to watch and skip all commercials. So the only places I’m even seeing ads are online and out on the street.

But even online many ads become peripheral – and I hardly notice many of them.

So advertisers really need to find a creative way to reach people where they are – and that’s online.

So the world of advertising has really changed since the days when I was a kid seeing ads all the time on tv.

Jan 27, 2011
1:46 pm
#52 Anthony Thompson :

14. I agree that social media shouldn’t be a one way street but i think it is .. so many people are quick to blog and post things about people and not even know the situation. a prefect example is I’m watching a show on E channel called the Kendra show. A radio personality calls her asking her we heard you and your husband were divorced through the tabloids. at the same time he is asking these questions Kendra and her husband are sitting right next to each-other laughing and kissing. But the the tabloids gave this radio personality that idea with out even asking Kendra or her husband. but if they were to ask Kendra they would have never wrote that.. I feel like the Media has to be a one way street because that’s how they make their money.

Jan 27, 2011
1:52 pm
#53 Anthony Thompson :

Follow Me Along Revolutionary Road Blog

I really look foward to this class because my involvement in music really keeps me in tune to the media and i think this class is going to be good for me to understand good media from bad ..

Author Jan 27, 2011
7:03 pm
#54 Shari Weiss :

Suzzanna, EVERYONE who markets to people UNDER 45 definitely needs to read this comment. In fact, you should think about expanding this into an entire BLOG POST, maybe even a Guest Post on my blog, so I can show it to clients.

Jan 27, 2011
7:23 pm
#55 Billy Rivera :

Amen, Suzzanna!

Recently I tried to turn over a new leaf, so I starting buying the newspaper every morning. I thought, “how adult of me…I’m reading the news like an ‘adult,'” but I would only end up reading the entertainment section, and at the end of the day, it felt like I was reading something I had already read online weeks prior. I even stopped taping TMZ on my DVR because I now have their iPhone app.

Here’s to keeping those online “commercials” in the peripheral!!

Jan 27, 2011
8:43 pm
#56 Billy Rivera :

RE: Follow Me Along Revolutionary Road

I completely agree that bloggers are the new influencers. My 17-year-old brother is a perfect example of how blogs influence kids today. Hopefully you’ve heard of Charles Trippy, or Shane Dawson, because I think just about every teenager in this country watches/reads their vlogs/blogs on a daily basis. Their YouTube channels have a gazillion views, they have millions of followers on Twitter, and their Facebook fan pages are a fun and hilarious read. They’ve gone from basically turning a camera on in their bedroom to hosting shows on MTV and being paid millions of dollars in endorsement deals. The first thing out of my brother’s mouth during our nightly Skype call is, “Did you read Charles Trippy’s blog?!” My usual response is, “No, but I read Perez Hilton all day!” 😉

Author Jan 27, 2011
10:54 pm
#57 Shari Weiss :

You GO, Billy and Suzzanna, I’ve got “plans” for the two of you. Email me if you want to know more now.

Author Jan 27, 2011
10:56 pm
#58 Shari Weiss :

I suspect I’ll have to put Charles Trippy on my radar.

Author Jan 27, 2011
11:02 pm
#59 Shari Weiss :

One problem, Anthony, is that they are no longer making money that way.

Author Jan 27, 2011
11:04 pm
#60 Shari Weiss :

and how do you feel about “making media” yourself, Anthony

User-generated content is what it is all about.

Author Jan 28, 2011
12:17 am
#61 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Group: Online reporters and editors
Discussion: If you were going to teach a course in How Social Media Has Changed Journalism, what are the THREE main topics you would discuss?
1. Expanded marketplace of Ideas.
2. Expanded definition of gatekeepers and watchdogs.
3. Empowerment of citizens to determine what is news, follow it, help shape it, and help disseminate it for multiple audiences in real time.

Author Jan 28, 2011
12:17 am
#62 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Group: Online reporters and editors
Discussion: If you were going to teach a course in How Social Media Has Changed Journalism, what are the THREE main topics you would discuss?
1. I would concentrate an entire discussion area on Facebook: How to best utilize it on a daily basis, how to optimize its display on your web pages, and how to attract more followers and friends.

2. I would also focus on identifying and using other viable social media and content sharing websites, and discuss the practices and SEO techniques on how to best use them. There are a number of great websites which can be used to increase your news traffic if you cater to them effectively.

3. Additionally, I would also concentrate on ethics – identifying what sort of sharing and social media practices are permissible, and cautioning journalists on what to avoid doing.

Philip Tortora
Web Editor
Burlington free Press

Jan 28, 2011
12:51 am
#63 Vanessa Jensen :

Shari, this is in response to your follow me along revolutionary road post *
The need for creative thinking remains constant. So true!! Without new creative ideas this world would become a stagnant heartless mass of people wandering the globe pointlessly. It is SO important that we all keep experimenting with new ideas…always trying new things.

Author Jan 28, 2011
12:52 am
#64 Shari Weiss :

Vanessa, CREATIVITY will be the key to success going forward with Facebook Fan Pages — I’m convinced!

Author Jan 28, 2011
1:54 am
#65 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Groups

Group: Online reporters and editors
Discussion: If you were going to teach a course in How Social Media Has Changed Journalism, what are the THREE main topics you would discuss?
I would focus on:

1) How to link multiple social media accounts together to allow for one update to be broadcast via multiple social media Web sites. Trust me it makes your job waaaay easier.

2) How to build an audience and generate site traffic by actively engaging with your readers via social media.

3) Expanding outside of known national social media sites to hyper-local social media sites like http://www.windycitizen.com .

Lastly, I agree with Johnathan that readers will respect, and even prefer, quality over speed or quantity. That “getting the scoop” mentality that arose around the same time the telegraph was first embraced by journalists over a century ago is obsolete.

Just because we now has the ability to upload a story/photos via smart phone in mere seconds, often while the news event we covering is still happening, doesn’t mean that we should.

However from what I’ve seen in the industry old habits are hard to break.
Posted by Alex V Hernandez

Author Jan 28, 2011
1:55 am
#66 Shari Weiss :

LinkedIn Groups

Group: Online reporters and editors
Discussion: If you were going to teach a course in How Social Media Has Changed Journalism, what are the THREE main topics you would discuss?
I’m not going to list three “main” topics, but I will suggest one driving point. In the current age of social media and speed of light information dissemination, the emphasis on “getting the scoop” has shifted. In today’s age, trying to beat the competition with the latest, newest information often leads to incorrect or un-checked “facts.” To a certain extent we have to learn to concede that someone is probably going to “get the scoop,” simply because of the nature of how fast information is spread nowadays.

In the age of social media, there needs to be more emphasis on “correct” information not new information. Quality over speed or quantity. If this point of emphasis can be impressed upon the next generation of reporters, the social media of our time can benefit the news environment rather than corrupt it.
Posted by Jonathan Samples

Jan 28, 2011
2:09 am
#67 Berlyn Traylor :

Follow Me Along Revolutionary Road

That was an awesome piece. i made me really stop and think about how much the worlds now use technology today to connect and communicate with one another in more ways then one. HOW HAVE WE COME SO FAR?? :) THIS CLASS IS GOING TO ROCK!

Jan 28, 2011
2:53 am
#68 Neysa Ordaz Sifuentes :

responding to: follow me along the revolutionary road:

Not to long ago social media may have been limited to a simple profile with information for people to look at, but in the past years facebook, twitter, blogging and other social networks have become such a popularity to the people. its not longer just a page but a network, a promotion, a future business connection and so much more. From a business perspective, with all the social networks on the internet now a days, there is a vast variety of people out there that may relate or be interested in your line of business like it shows on the conversation prism. Which makes the internet a huge open door to networking

Author Jan 28, 2011
3:03 am
#69 Shari Weiss :

Berlyn . . .a RocK Class is my intention. Glad you are already getting a lot out of it!

Author Jan 28, 2011
3:04 am
#70 Shari Weiss :

Neysa, yes, the networking, i.e. community, engagment, interaction — is all key to success in today’s “social” world.

Jan 28, 2011
5:43 am
#71 Stephanie Ortega :

Responding on First blog

The social media is growing larger and larger as days pass. As known before the only group that would use social networks like MySpace were younger age people. While people that were in college would use the social website of Facebook, but it is now known that not just college students are using social networks, you have mothers, father, uncles, grandmothers, aunties, priest, friends, company’s, the president, celebrities and all sorts of people. Its a growing evolution of society having a new way to get together and having ways to talk and keep in touch with one another no matter how far a person is you can know how there day is going. If the person has a twitter then you can follow them all day. I have a facebook and that a way I keep in touch with family in Texas, Mexico, Los Angeles, and friends in other states going to college. I do believe that it is a great new way to stay connected.

Jan 28, 2011
7:26 am
#72 Jake Birnbaum :

In response to #7, I partially agree with the statement. I think that with the advent of social media websites, blogs, and search engines it has made everyone a true publisher to the world, with or without them even knowing so. A single tweet/facebook update/foursquare update, etc are all searchable now on google essentially making what you say and do publishable and searchable by the global community. Before the advent of this the only time you could have had your voice heard on a true global scale was to publish a sucessful book/movie/be on the radio, etc.. Now all you have to do is sit at home in your bed and type.

I think it’s interesting to note that it is only becoming easier and easier to publish your thoughts. Now with mobile devices you can transmit where you are to your facebook wall or twittter feed and publish your thoughts at the click of a button.. Maybe soon everything we do will be published without us even thinking twice about it.

Jan 28, 2011
7:45 am
#73 Jake Birnbaum :

@ shari. I’m responding to your first post since comments were closed on that post. I particularly liked your comments regarding web 2.0. I think it’s interesting to see how lucrative a thing like web 2.0 has become for companies who first started out as web 1.0 companies. For example, google was initially a web 1.0 being just a simple search engine, but now it has expanded into a highly lucrative community for shopping/networking/researching etc. Also, many other websites such as amazon have upgraded to a more web 2.0 look with things like “like” buttons and having the abilitiy to comment about products or services posted on the site. It’s the simple things like this that most people don’t think twice about because they are so simple, yet genius in that they have simplified and made a value on something most people do everyday.

Jan 28, 2011
7:50 am
#74 Mike Maynard :

Yesterday, I bought pens and notebooks they seemed to go together; like chickens and eggs. I could have added envelopes, files and no end of additions. The additions to social media is only limited if you lack imagination; otherwise it is endless…

Author Jan 28, 2011
11:52 am
#75 Shari Weiss :

Creativity coupled with flexibility!

Author Jan 28, 2011
11:55 am
#76 Shari Weiss :

And Jake, can you even imagine what Web 3.0 and 4.0, etc. will be like?

Author Jan 28, 2011
11:56 am
#77 Shari Weiss :

Jake, herein likes a problem/challenge, i.e. being “published without us even thinking twice about it.” My advice is that people DO need to be DELIBERATE when they post anything online.

Author Jan 28, 2011
11:57 am
#78 Shari Weiss :

So, Stephanie, the next steps are What To Do with All These Connections?

Jan 28, 2011
12:31 pm
#79 Wil Yi Donoy :

In response to “Follow Me Along Social Media Revolutionary Road”

I completely agree Shari, bloggers are definitely the new influencers. I get most of my information off blogs, for example Sony held a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday and the only way I knew what was going on was because a website I frequent held a “Live-Blog” of the event because they were invited. They often do this with major press conferences and it’s a lot faster than waiting for any News paper or channel to let me know what HAPPENED as opposed to what is HAPPENING.

However, I slightly disagree with you newspaper death knell… But only slightly. I feel that newspapers are actually read, just not the paper. For example the NY Times and USA Today (among others) are available as apps for my phone. Newspapers need to embrace the digital medium if they are to survive.

Jan 28, 2011
12:32 pm
#80 Stephanie Ortega :


Put them to use and spread out all kinds of information that you want other people to know.

Jan 28, 2011
1:11 pm
#81 Amanda Rodriguez :

The social media world has open many doors for all people. One can have a relationship and interact on a one to one basis without ever having to meet the person. It is a great way to network and a great way to spread and share information.

Jan 28, 2011
1:45 pm
#82 Amanda Rodriguez :

Revolutionary road:
This article helped me to now get a clear idea of what social media is and what goes on in the social media world. Until this article I had not realize that I was apart of the social media world. What caught my attention was the web 1.0 vs web 2.0. With the web 2.0, people have opportunities to make their buisness grow and network.

Author Jan 28, 2011
2:20 pm
#83 Shari Weiss :

Group: Online reporters and editors
Discussion: If you were going to teach a course in How Social Media Has Changed Journalism, what are the THREE main topics you would discuss?
1. How wheat and chaff sorting has become more difficult with the explosion of material out there. How users need to understand the difference and why real news and reporting matters.
2. How journalists can use and benefit from eyewitness reporting.
3. The differences between free and paid for and that is both in the consumption of media and being paid for writing it.
Posted by Bridie Pritchard

Author Jan 28, 2011
2:24 pm
#84 Shari Weiss :

Hi Wil, glad to hear that you are still reading “newspapers.”
You may be among a minority in your age group — unless I’m mistaken about what generation you are in.
RE: Live-Blogging. There is also the Twitter Back Channel, where people like me use a supplied “hashtag” to take notes on a conference or webinar, so there is a steady stream of news and quotes from the event.

We will practice some of that in this course.

Author Jan 28, 2011
2:24 pm
#85 Shari Weiss :

Sorry, Stephanie, I missed the “context” for this response??

Author Jan 28, 2011
2:28 pm
#86 Shari Weiss :

Amanda, has social media opened any doors for you? If so, this would be the ideal way to write a comment, i.e., giving a personal example.

Author Jan 28, 2011
2:30 pm
#87 Shari Weiss :

Who knows, Amanda. We may find ourselves in the midst of Web 3.0 while this course is still going on.
Of course, we may not find out that it is Web 3.0 until much later — much like we “found out” that the recession was over a year ago. HMMMMM.

Jan 28, 2011
10:09 pm
#88 Suzzanna Matthews :

@Shari I always think about what other changes are coming to the ‘web’ I know that they are not as popular as Facebook or Twitter, I’m curious as to what will happen in the future with other social networking and media tools/platforms like stumble upon, digg, and pinterest. I’ve recently started using pinterest as a tool to keep track of my likes on the web, but it also has a networking aspect and you can share and discuss your favorites with others.

Actually, if anyone in the class is interested in having a pinterest account I can invite you to join. just let me know.

@Billy – I know what you mean about your blackberry. I thought the same at first – Now I have to say my first connection to the web is through my phone – I can blog on the go – check fb – email – etc.

Author Jan 28, 2011
11:22 pm
#89 Shari Weiss :

Suzzanna — and class members — you may use all new comments AFTER the weekly report for the next week’s activities IF you choose to “work” overtime on the weekend
Re: pinterest. I’ll have to check this out. Hadn’t heard of it. I suggest you invite people during this coming week’s “twitter discussion.” Stay tuned for instructions on Monday.
:-) Oh, yes, most of these sites try to build communities. Some work. some don’t.

Re: Which sites to use; which ones will stick, and which ones may go away —— My believe is that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are here for the “course”: other platforms may or may not be sticky as well [or not].

Jan 29, 2011
3:21 pm
#90 Vanessa Jensen :

@Suzanna_Thanks for telling me about pinterest * I checked it out an it’s a very nice site full of inspiration…Do you think you can invite me to join? Thanks again.

@Shari_I also feel facebook and twitter are here to stay for the moment…well, that is untill the next new and imrpoved social media site is released then they too will slowly fade out, just as myspce is.

Author Jan 29, 2011
3:50 pm
#91 Shari Weiss :

Vanessa, I suspect with the power and money behind facebook and twitter, that neither will fade out like MySpace. Look at Google

Jan 29, 2011
4:55 pm

@Vanessa, of course! Just send me your email – you can get my email address via my blog http://www.iwasthegoldengirl.blogspot.com

@Shari, I have to agree. I think that facebook is here to stay. I hate to use this term but for lack of a better way to put it – facebook has become part of the fabric of all our communications – for businesses – for personal use – it’s done what myspace couldn’t do. It advanced past having niche users. It’s not just for ‘young people/ and musicians’. It was smarter in it’s business strategy, and was first in integrating usage with other social networking platforms. That is something that Twitter seems to be doing as well.

Author Jan 29, 2011
6:02 pm
#93 Shari Weiss :

Suzzanna, your response here regarding Facebook and Twitter will definitely be a subject for us to discuss in more length during the course.

Jan 29, 2011
9:10 pm
#94 Jena perry :

@Shari, LOL( can we even use that type of slang here? :P) after reading my comment again, i can see how the “how” got lost in translation. I guess a better choice of words would be moved rather than inspired. mainly because, it allowed me to look at how I contribute to the movement of the instant gratification of social media and social journalism and how I can become a better journalist and investigative reporter.

Author Jan 29, 2011
9:27 pm
#95 Shari Weiss :

Jena, initially you should do what you think is right; we will all learn as we go along.

Jan 30, 2011
3:56 pm
#96 Dolores Harshaw :

12) Posts on social media become news.
This can be true, but not always. One case of it being true: When Oscar Grant was shot, the story reported on broadcast news was of another unruly black youth unfortunately being killed by a respectable officer of the law. As it turns out, what was reported as the “news” wasn’t the whole story. Social media provided perspective and insight so impactive that the local news media and consequently the justice system gave credence to the reports.

Author Jan 30, 2011
4:17 pm
#97 Shari Weiss :

terrible tragedy, but you are right that it was all the “eye witnesses” who got the real truth out!

Jan 30, 2011
9:36 pm
#98 Suki van Arsdale :

I chose #4

I really agree with the quote, “Journalists are the storytellers…of news.” There are so many journalists out there, and everyone one has their favorite two or three or even a certain paper or news organization that they always refer to, so why is that? Because they like the way the news is conveyed and who says it. If you don’t like the way the story is being told, then you won’t listen, whether it’s real or not.

Author Jan 30, 2011
9:53 pm
#99 Shari Weiss :

The old business adage “The customer is always right” is even more true now when consumers have so many choices.

Jan 30, 2011
10:35 pm

# 20 – Ideally “old school” and “new school” news sources will challenge each other to do a better news environment benefits all.

I do agree with this statement. Many people use to say that new medias will take the place of old medias, which i disagree. I believe that old school and new school will challenge each other to do a better news and to be complementary.

I don’t think one exists instead of other. both are complementaries and for the professional of communication thats a good opportunity to explore and learn how to use a new media for work and how to connect it with old media too.

Author Jan 30, 2011
10:38 pm
#101 Shari Weiss :

Keeping an open mind and seeking collaboration will bring the greatest rewards.

Jan 31, 2011
12:33 am
#102 Talia Taylor :

#15 “One problem with social media is that it has convinced people that they have superior observation and analytical skills as well as original ideas.”

I think I may be one of those people you reference in the above quote. Currently, my confidence in writing is solely attributed to the number of people who have subscribed to my blog. All thirteen of them. I have enrolled in this class to enhance (or begin the process of developing) observation and analytical skills so as to become less reliant upon affirmation garnered by the “like” button.

Jan 31, 2011
12:40 am
#103 Maria Saenz :

I agree with number 19, traditional news should stay the way they are. Even though the internet media it’s our way of evolution and basically the signature of our new society I think that some things shouldn’t change the way they were made because it’s more valuable that way then any other. Am not saying that social media shouldn’t be used or that it’s bad it’s just that things have a purpose of why they were made that way.

Jan 31, 2011
1:12 am
#104 Cody young :

From working in the media industry for 3 years now, although new its Clear that the Differences are huge. Integration between the internet and TV have to work to get the message across, If one were to fail, the Other would get effected. Its To Big to Fail.

Author Jan 31, 2011
1:14 am
#105 Shari Weiss :

Sorry, Maria, it is difficult for me to understand your point here. Can any other readers help me out?

Author Jan 31, 2011
1:36 am
#106 Shari Weiss :

Cody, check your spelling.
That’s the reason for the “drafting” part of the report.

Jan 31, 2011
1:45 am
#107 Jena Perry :

I believe what Maria is stating is that Traditional news should stay the way it is and not change, even though the way we communicate and offer information has evolved parallel with the progression of technology. In addition, the way social journalism has changed merely reflects the evolution of society and does not always represent the decline in the value of information or which it is being presented. However, Tradition is traditional; and some things were put into place for a reason and should not be changed, devalued or ignored.

Jan 31, 2011
1:46 am
#108 Kevin Jennings :

My comment is for #3: “Integration is key: we are losing separate distinctions between journalism, PR, marketing, and advertising.” and #7 : “Search engines, blogs, and social networking have made everyone a publisher.”

The scary part about social media is that everyone has become a publisher. Which could mean that there may not be no factuality to the news or story that is being reported. Or in some cases the purpose of the content gets mistaken for something else. Whenever i read a story from a social media site, i have to determine whether its PR, journalism or just a hoax. But what i do like is that you can decide what you want to believe and be able to give your opinion about it, which may have an affect on another reader who reads your comment.

Author Jan 31, 2011
2:29 am
#109 Shari Weiss :

Jena, I’m not certain what you mean when you say “tradition is traditional.”

Author Jan 31, 2011
2:31 am
#110 Shari Weiss :

Kevin, actually the fact that we all need to be “critical thinkers” and skeptics — did not begin with Internet CGC, i.e. consumer-generated content. How about publications like National Enquirer, etc.
and people standing on soapboxes screaming their views . . .

Jan 31, 2011
2:11 pm
#111 Jena Perry :

The act of being tradtional is a tradition within itself.

Jan 31, 2011
4:06 pm
#112 Amanthis Miller :

Responding to #48

I thought I was! What did you originally mean by “sections”?

Author Jan 31, 2011
4:23 pm
#113 Shari Weiss :

Amanthis, sorry but I don’t have a context for your comment about #48 and “sections” — can you explain a bit more?

Jan 31, 2011
8:27 pm
#114 Emma Lingard :

from LinkedIn discussion from Online Reporters and Editors
I agree with a lot of the comments posted, so won’t repeat those points. One thing social media has done is allow journalists to monitor topics and people as a way if getting comment, opinion and interview through some of the many monitoring software available. This has certainly opened up access to sources.
Posted by Emma Lingard

Feb 3, 2011
1:23 am
#115 Amanthis Miller :

In Comment #16, you asked what my favorite sections were. In the original comment 13, I had mentioned sections of a newspaper so I assumed that was the kind of sections you were asking about. Sorry, I guess I made it more complicated then need be, aha.

Feb 3, 2011
5:12 pm
#116 Champa Mulchandani :

Comment # 12: Posts on social media become news.

I don’t know how much I agree with this comment. While I believe that Social Media is a way in which news is circulated, it also works like a “rumor mill” in many ways. A piece of serious information gets transferred from person to person, media site to media site and by the time it reaches person X, it is often distorted.

However, that said, personal observations in serious circumstances often do help spread news that is 1) often ignored and 2) unheard of. An example includes a sting operation in India that found a prominent journalist lobbying for particular politicians. While major online newspapers and publications choose to ignore this issue, it is only because of pressure from Tweeters via Twitter that these publications had to stand up and take notice.

It was a whole week later that publications actually acknowledged this matter and published reports on the incident. The journalist in question was attacked by followers and tweeters to the extent that she, in fact, became a trending topic.

So yes, while it can become news. A lot of the news can be misconstrued too.

I think it depends on what news is being told and by whom. It is important to question the source and why this news is being told by them on a social networking site.

Author Feb 3, 2011
11:18 pm
#117 Shari Weiss :

LOVE your real time example!!! Happy to hear from you.

Feb 10, 2011
12:20 am
#118 Kristin Herd :

#12 Post on social media become news

So many people today use social media sites to post his or her thoughts or feelings, current events and check to see what trends are happening with celebrities. Some sites like Perezhiliton.com, Facebook.com, Twitter,and Myspace.com have launch a frenzy of other sites like personal blogs, where other are able to express his or her personal thoughts on what’s happening with them or dating sites that allow people to connect with locals in his or her neighborhood or across the state and out of the country.

Dec 14, 2011
6:01 am
#119 Jolene Saunders :

The “interesting” remark of the speaker: Asking everyone to raise their hands if they were an “expert.” I’m the ONLY person in the room who didn’t raise my hand. In an atmosphere where the technology in which to preform a task is available to all (when that wasn’t always the case) it is easy to jump to the assumption that everyone can now do it.

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