A look at Poynter Groups concept

“Bringing journalists together in a more organized way online” seems to this week’s theme.

I posted an item Tuesday about journalist/blogger Ryan Sholin‘s ReportingOn concept for a Web site, where reporters could discuss what they are covering. Today, I received a PoynterEvolution column by Interactivity Editor Ellyn Angelotti announcing Poynter Online’s plans for groups — a feature I first learned of by looking at one of their Web redesign concept images.

Of course, I’m all for connecting journalists and getting them talking. Communication is the name of our game. If we can’t communicate and interact well with each other as journalists, what does that say about our ability to do the same with readers?

Below is an excerpt of the column, click here for the full version.

“When we asked users last year how much they care about connecting or reconnecting with colleagues, we were surprised at the high level of interest. Maybe we shouldn’t have been. When we set up a page on Facebook called “Journalists and Facebook,” hundreds of you joined right up and more than 5,700 belong today.

That kind of response — and the need it suggests — is driving the creation of a network of our own — Poynter Online Groups. Not exactly social networking, not exactly professional networking, Poynter Groups represents our effort to tailor something special for the Poynter Online audience. We’ll differentiate our service from others you may belong to by keeping journalism at its center — especially content created by you and resources produced by Poynter faculty and staff. “

Weigh in: Do you use Facebook and other social networking sites to discuss journalism? Would you use Poynter’s groups? Would you stop using the other ones if you did?

Poynting out one’s online identity

Mallary Jean Tenore wrote a great article on Poynter Online called “Journalists Develop, Dismiss Digital Identities,” which offers several perspectives on the topic from journalism professionals, young and old. Click the link or image (linked from Poynter) to read the article.

I thought the timing was great because in the past few months I have been more actively working to shape my online identity. For instance, I became very aware of the concept of the “digital legacy” after attending an ethics session by Poynter’s Kelly McBride at UM, during which she discussed this topic in reference to journalists and people named in articles. Paul Conley‘s remarks as part of a resume-writing panel at the national ACP/CMA in Washington, D.C. also spurred me to reevaluate my presence on the Web.

“A digital identity is your presence on the Web — the sites and accounts you register for and create that help determine who you are and what you do online,” Mallory Jean Tenore explains in the the article.

Though my online identity is something I am proud of, I wanted to even better represent myself and demonstrate my Web-savyy. Some ways I have molded it are through buying my domain name using GoDaddy, creating this blog, posting comments on other blogs and creating a LinkedIn page.

Bottom line: Anyone going to journalism or in journalism should be very aware of their online identity and be proactive in establishing and shaping his/her online identity.

Weigh in: What do you think about having an online identity? Do you do anything to shape it?

Fair comment? Where do you draw the line with user opinions?

Online article comments are being talked about more and more, most recently in Miami Herald ombudsperson Edward Schumacher-Matos’ column in today’s Herald.

The topic was also discussed at the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors conference I attended a two weekends ago. Two of the sessions I attended focused part of their discourse on this issue: A writing for the Web session with The Herald‘s Martin Merzer and a session on ethics by Kelly McBride from Poynter.

Here are some articles to check out:

When comments cross the line by Steve Meyers

Looking for ways to tame poisonous words on Web by Edward Schumacher-Matos