Social Media

  • When a news story is just the beginning of the conversation, try Storify

    Let’s say you want to share an interesting news story with your friends. You might use a variety of different tools — Digg, Twitter or Facebook to name a few — but the end result is usually the same. You share a link, and that link leads to one destination — the article.

    But what if the news story is sparking a big reaction from readers? People are tweeting and blogging and posting interesting responses online. You might want to not only share the article, but also the conversation about the article.

    Storify lets you do that.

    Check out this story module I created on Storify about a celery recall at a food processing plant in San Antonio:
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  • Stimulus critics sought stimulus money

    Construction workers on the Mission Reach of the River Walk
    Construction workers on the River Walk's Mission Reach

    I had written some stories about local stimulus projects a few months ago, so it was interesting to read this report by the Center for Public Integrity that showed how elected officials who publicly criticized the Recovery Act had privately sought stimulus funds for their Congressional districts and states.

    A cool thing about this project is that bloggers can embed the findings in their own posts. It allows their readers to search the documentation — and uses social media to help the story go viral.

  • How journalists use social media

    MacBook keyboard

    In this great post at Mashable, Leah Betancourt profiled five journalists, including yours truly, and asked why we use social media:

    There’s a lot of hype behind measuring social media ROI. But what about the payoff on an individual basis? Those who invest time into social media on a daily basis need to see a return on that time to make it worthwhile. Journalists who regularly use social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook on the job with success make it part of their daily routine, and focus on communicating quality content that’s worthwhile to recipients.

    There’s good advice for everyone in this post — not just journalists. “Though this post focuses on journalists, many of their tips can be more broadly applied to anyone working with social media tools.”

  • Government Accountability Office now on Twitter, YouTube

    If you’re researching a topic related to the federal government, chances are the Government Accountability Office has already looked into the issue and published a detailed report about it.

    GAO  CNN Video  July 2009   YouTubeNow the GAO, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, is going all social media on us by setting up accounts on Twitter and YouTube.

    This is a nice touch by a federal agency that for years has offered e-mail updates to subscribers, who can be notified about topics that interest them. I also noticed today that the GAO’s home page has an RSS feed.

    The main resource I use is the GAO’s search page, which offers a rich source of material. You can do keyword searches on GAO reports going back to 1980.