Saturday, November 15, 2008

social media for the rest of us

Former capstoner Andrea Ragni forwarded this link to a listing on Mashable of the ten best social media tools for reporters and PR folks alike.

She writes: "As a PR professional, I find these resources to be helpful - at least the HARO one and it's incredibly reputable. I often wish I had such a resource when I was writing my capstone...but then again I'm sure I wouldn't have learned as much :)

"In any event, I think proposing the question about whether or not
journalists have it "easy" now with such ways to tap vast masses of people would be good food for thought."

Good question. I do think in a way it IS easier for reporters to find sources, thanks to social media and other online tools. (And, of course, PR folks to find us.) On the other hand, there is also a caveat. As Alberto Manguel suggested at the Sun Valley Writers Conference, "A library that contains everything becomes a library that contains anything."

Ascertaining whether those sources we easily find are credible still requires, well, reporting.

But back to Andrea. Two years ago, she wrote her capstone on Second Life, which was not only new to me but to virtually (pun intentional) everyone else in the course. Each class she would regale us with the in-world tales of her avatar, who was hanging with everyone from a wannabe gangster to a Brit fashion designer. Couldn't help thinking about Andrea yesterday when I heard that an online affair in Second Life had led to a real-world divorce in the UK. bk


natalie c. said...

talk about taking the Second Life life too far! i just read an article (see it here: about a woman who hacked into her virtual ex-husband's online game world to have his character murdered - and then got arrested for it! Ha! This happened after his character divorced her character "without warning." Needless to say, she was hella pissed.

Anonymous said...

I have to look at these more closely. But on first glance, they just look like the equivalent of a Safeway card--I give up all my private info in return for convenience. Maybe I'm just jaded by Aspen's aggressive pr network (or the random LifeLock Identity Theft lady who emails me every day)--but I'm not sure these make me a better journalist.