Poynter fellows’ e-mail thread: Response to a “social media” question

One of my fellow former fellows asked our pcf09 Google Group about social media, singling me out near the end of her message. After I wrote this response (sent 6:33 p.m. CT), I thought “sharing is caring,” so here you go!

Whoa, I kinda feel on the spot. Well, um… I’m going to cop out and defer to some smarter people/sites/articles except to say that I think some of the most important things to understand, for this group of already amazing storytellers and journalists, are the fundamentals of what’s changed/how things continue to change in news/media/journalism and everything related to engagement. Challenge your assumptions about how things have been done and should be done and always try to step back and think outside the conventional MSM wisdom.

Sorry, this kinda turned into a brain dump:

1. I’ve been compiling a heapin-o-links. Disregard the guidelines part — it’s basically links for online engagement as it relates or can relate to journalism.


2. Some interesting presentations here:


3. Extremely insightful discussion by two brilliant minds on this podcast with Jay Rosen and Dave Winer (I started from the beginning; almost all caught up. Only 19 episodes so far). [Gah! Forgot to mention “sources go direct” in the e-mail]


4. I’ve been slowly consuming Here Comes Everbody by Clay Shirky, another brilliant guy (see Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable). Not for lack of interest, just the opposite actually. My approach has been to read a section or chapter or two at a time, usually before bed. That let’s the ideas marinate and gives me more time to think on the details and take more away from it, versus speed-reading more for the big concepts.


5. Next up on my list is What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis.


6. One specific idea (see all related comments and posts) of “newsroom as a cafe:”


7. I want to start paying a different kind of attention to the tech industry, specifically hows and whys as opposed to “oooh, that’s a cool  shiny new toy.” Journalism is becoming much more like it as the two overlap more and more.

Everyone, please share any of your favorite links, read, listens, etc.!


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The role of a social media editor: Be a pusher and user…and so much more

Defining the role of a social media editor has recently become a hot topic after Jennifer Preston (@NYT_JenPreston), who holds that title at The New York Times, went one month without tweeting. For some context:

Taking a step back, why should any chief social media person even be called an editor? (For the purposes of this post, let’s not debate the use of “social media,” which I happen to like.)

One reason may be so it fits into the traditional print lexicon; thus, it’s easier to understand what that person does because the term sounds familiar. This isn’t horrible, but it’s framing the position in the wrong mindset.

Instead, this position should be established outside the context of any medium. Neither this role nor the person in it should assume the title and implied limitations of a comparable leadership position.

Whoever leads social media at a news org should lead it for all platforms. And one manner that’s often forgotten is (brace yourself) human interaction.

All of this is not to prescribe a universal “social media editor” job description. I actually think that definition is something a news organization should outline on its own. (Like many things, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.)

Thankfully, we have Twitter to help us simplify the various descriptions being proposed. Here’s my less-than-140-character response to a discussion started by Patrick Thornton (@jiconoclast), editor of BeatBlogging.org:

@greglinch social media editor twitter definition

“Social media editor should be a pusher and a user. Moderate, communicate, curate, facilitate & educate.”

I’d recommend reading the other responses, which you can follow and respond to with the hashtag #smed.

How would you define the role of a social media editor?

June 18 at noon EDT: Poynter live chat about avoiding social media overload

UPDATE: The chat is now embedded below.

Yet another CoverItLive blog! Yes, on Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT I will help lead a Poynter live chat about avoiding social media overload (during my lunch break):

How Do I Help Students Handle Information Overload on Social Media Sites?

The URL is simple and easy to remember (and tweet!), so please share the link with others!


Also, please come ready with questions and/or ready to help answer others’ questions.

If you are not able to follow the chat live, you can submit questions beforehand by commenting below or contacting me on Twitter.

I’ll be co-leading the discussion with Poynter’s Sara Quinn, a visual journalism faculty member who oversees the Poynter College Fellowship, which I attended in late May.

Speaking of cool Poynter people…

Mallary Tenore invited me to help with this chat, and I thank her for the opportunity. She’s awesome. If you don’t read her blog or follow her, you should.

I’d also like to thank Ellyn Angelotti, Poynter’s interactivity editor, who you should also follow.

Some background: While at #pcf09, some other fellows and I joined a live chat led by Emily Ingram. Ellyn said if I pitched a good idea, I could lead one too. I mentioned the topic of effectively using various social networks, which soon became this topic. Voila!

Follow tweets related to Knight News Challenge and Future of News and Civic Media conference 2009

I’m not actually there — I’m at my Web internship at The Dallas Morning News. So, what did I do?

I set up this CoverItLive blog to automatically aggregate all the tweets tagged #knc09 #fncm09 #kncmit (translation: Knight News Challenge, Future of News and Civic Media and Knight News Challenge Massachusetts Institute of Technology) so I (and others who can’t follow all the awesomeness minute-by-minute) can read them later.


Dallas Morning News online internship begins Monday

Photo of the Dallas Morning News building during my Sunday excursion.
I swung by the Dallas Morning News building during my Sunday excursion and snapped this photo at a stop light. I, of course, parked and walked around.

In less than an hour I will begin a new adventure as an online intern at the Dallas Morning News.

That’s right — as of Saturday afternoon, I’m in Texas! After two stopovers at DFW in the past year, I finally have the chance to explore the state.

I left from my parent’s house in Fort Lauderdale and drove the roughly 1,300 miles to Dallas, switching off with my uncle.

Along the way we, stopped in Tallahassee and New Orleans. I’ve posted some photos on TwitPic along the way (the one above is an original for the blog).

As I’ve mentioned before, this will be my fourth internship — the third at a daily. But this will be my first online internship and I’m very excited for the opportunity.

What’s to come in the next 12 weeks? We shall see.

Stay tuned.