Monday, January 14, 2013
Monday, December 10, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
You have to make stuff. The tools of journalism are in your hands and no one is going to give a damn about what is on your resume, they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies. Can you use Final Cut Pro? Have you created an Instagram that is about something besides a picture of your cat every time she rolls over? Is HTML 5 a foreign language to you? Is your social media presence dominated by a picture of your beer bong, or is it an RSS of interesting stuff that you add insight to? People who are doing hires will have great visibility into what you can actually do, what you care about and how you can express on any number of platforms.
IAmA columnist and reporter on media and culture for the New York Times. : IAmA
Goddamnit, I love you David Carr.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Likewise, when managing, don’t dictate every detail of how to complete a project. Remember, employees can’t grow and gain new skills if you’re telling them exactly what to do for every project they work on. They need a sense of autonomy to feel that they’re succeeding.
The Employee-Motivation Checklist | Fast Company
Monday, September 17, 2012
I’ve followed UpWorthy for awhile (particularly after a friend said it was a viral startup that actually got news). I read Buzzfeed, too.
What strikes me about it, and this aligns with this Nieman article, is that it’s not about the easy viral story, it’s the viral story that matters to people. And the social bit here is that they plan social.
It’s not ”We wrote this story, now make it go viral via social media.” There is no false ploy to the audience for engagement to make something hopefully resonate with that audience. In an age of digital-first, I think Upworthy (and Buzzfeed) aims to be social-first.
I realize Upworthy is not writing stories. But they are taking stories, making photos, infographics, etc that make the story social without taking away the meaning of it.
I will argue until I am blue in the face that while it is fun to do Storifys about where the best taco in LA is (something I actually did), the opportunity has always been to figure out what about tacos resonates with your audience and write the story with that in mind.
This is the reverse of how many newsrooms operate. We do not produce meaningful content on social. We produce content, and then tack some strange engagement piece onto it to make it social. A thoughtful story about the history of cherry trees is D.C becomes “show us your cherry blossoms.”
Just because people enjoy posting photos of their cat on Instagram does not mean that we must make cat photos on Instagram into news. We should figure out what makes those cat photos do well and apply that lesson to things that matter.
Really, in a way, this is what makes Upworthy different than Buzzfeed. Now the question is, why can’t the rest of us do that?
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
There has to be a certain scale at stations before you see creativity really begin to grow. Because there have to be enough people who aren’t completely tired out by just the general production of radio every day to come up with ideas. I think that’s some reason why WNYC — 200 or so people there, everybody is busy, but so many people have just a little time every day to think of a really great idea and do something on it.
NPR’s Todd Mundt says public radio needs to innovate or die » Nieman Journalism Lab
Creativity and public radio. Two things on my mind today.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
What’s the right balance between restraint and aggressive repeating and redistributing of other people’s reports? (Remember, retweets aren’t endorsements, usually! But they can spread falsehood at the speed of light.) I’m not sure.
The ‘facts’ from Benghazi | Capital New York h/t @JulieWestfall
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Three reasons I gave Homicide Watch money
I am no Clay Shirky, guys, but here is my schpeel. Read it and back their Kickstarter, please.
1) Laura and Chris are two amazing human beings.
I may call a lot of people great and awesome, but these two….I met Laura at a fellowship last year. She wowed every single mentor and every single entrepreneur there with her spirit and her passion toward her project. I met Chris slightly later and he is no less awe-inspiring.
In an industry full of cut-backs and bankruptcies, it’s nice to have people with energy around.
2) Simple, amazing reporting.
I told someone yesterday about backing them on Kickstarter and they mentioned how impossible it seems that this crew gets so much information about each and every murder. But they do. Because they are not only amazing human beings, but they have a simple, fresh and unique way of reporting. Something I wish all reporters did.
3) Innovation on any level needs to be funded.
God Bless the Knight News Challenge, but some things don’t need $1 million. Some things need less. We need to find a way to fund medium-scale projects. I’m part of a newsroom that gets large foundations to help fund our journalism, but I’d like to be part of an ecosystem that funds all amazing journalism. $50? I can afford that.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Goodbye, B Mack.
B Mack, as she was known.
Things I know because of B Mack:
* Saying “like” constantly makes you sound much less smart than she knows you are.
* Don’t futz with copyright.
* You have a choice with your notes. Keep them all, and use them as backup if you get subpoenaed. Or get rid of them every six months and rely on your unreliable memory.
But there was more.
I should tell you Barbara Mack was my college professor in media law. She also taught ethics, and really, you got a little of both regardless of which class you took.
She had a whipsmart sense of humor. She was tough, but students streamed into her classes at Iowa State — my alma mater — because she cared. She was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had because she was determined that we would leave college with a firm base in media law.
She was pretty amazing.
I woke up this morning to a stream of messages from my fellow alumni about her. We were a close class, those of us who wrote and learned and became journalists at the Iowa State Daily. We have been flown far and abroad, close and nearby.
But there are things we remember about our time in Ames. B Mack’s tough as hell classes. Working until far too late to get the paper out. Living in that tiny room, forgetting you had class because the news did, and for some of us still does, come first.
Her death was the second piece of sad news I received while catching up on the world.
And it’s a reminder to live life, to be happy with what you do and to pass on your love, knowledge and kindness to others because teaching is part of what we do as journalists and as humans.
B Mack, thank you. There is so much more I can’t find the words to say. (Who knew that would ever happen?)
You will be sorely missed.
Resist the temptation to rely too much on a guru; hiring a guru will only take your organization so far. Many of the organizations who brought in “social media gurus” learned this lesson the hard way. A single individual cannot scale. However, if the organization is willing to put real teeth behind their mobile efforts, a single smart person can help form a center of excellence. Establishing a center of excellence that puts mobility at the core, and integrates it with other business initiatives, can get a business thinking about mobile more strategically.
Yes, I have been reading a lot about mobile.
The Future Isn’t About Mobile; It’s About Mobility - David Armano - Harvard Business Review