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I’ve added three new plug-ins to the site based on some browsing through the CoPress WordPress plug-in wiki page recommendations. I hope these plug-ins will add to the usability of the site. Please leave a comment or send me some feedback if you like or dislike them.
Print Friendly: This plug-in allows you to reformat the text in a format that doesn’t waste paper when you want to print out a blog post for future reference or handouts or whatever. Often, when I print out a blog post on someone’s blog, the header, footer and sidebars get printed as well as the actual content. This wastes paper with stuff you don’t need or want in the printed version. The button is at the bottom of the post.
Twitter Tools: I’m trying this one out to see how it works. This is supposed to integrate Twitter into your admin area of a WordPress site, so Twitter will be updated when you publish new content. It also shortens URLs using bit.ly, adds hashtags, and excludes categories.
Finally, just a reminder: At the bottom of each post is this button:
This button allows you to suggest edits, grammar and spelling corrections to the post author using Editz (formerly known as GooseGrade). Feel free to use it if I make a mistake. I will regret the error.
For little over a year I have been interested in this thing I’m sure many of you have heard about called twitter. I started off curious how this, then relatively new, social media tool might be used by college media. It wasn’t until I threw caution to the wind and started tweeting did I really understand why people were using twitter.Â I used twitter for myself, not the paper or any attempt to pretend I was a media organization.Â While I like twitter, I still see many media and businesses not using it how I, a user, would like it to be used.
I spent the past few months talking to other twitter users, attended a few tweetups and along with my own preferences have compiled a list of things media organizations and companies should do, and not do when using twitter.
1. Do NOT use twitter as an RSS feed! I removed the NYT and both my local papers because all they did was push out headlines to their stories.Â Don’t know why but this really bugs me as a twitter user. If all you are doing is pushing your stories you are not using twitter right.
2. Do NOT push out a ton of updates at one time. I greatly dislike getting up in the morning or after a long day coming home to find my twitter feed filled up with a ton of updates from one media or business. I don’t mind it from my friends, they aren’t selling me something or just trying to get my eyeballs on their site. When a media/business does this it comes across as pure advertising. Personally, I think 2-4 GOOD updates a day works for me, though nothing is wrong with just one a day either! It is all about finding balance.
March 2, 2009 in Twitter
Image via CrunchBase
Taking a short break from working on the dissertation, here’s one thing I gleaned from the conversation at the Associated Collegiate Press convention in San Diego: social media needs some guidance.
I’m not talking about guidance for the wider social media community. I don’t care who you’re following, or what you tweet or don’t tweet.
I’m talking about social media guidelines for college media organizations. We spent way too much time in S.D. talking about how to use Twitter – as a journalistic tool, marketing tool, and educational space – and it’s clear that the guidance is still being worked out.
The concern for most people was this: “how do we ensure quality on our Twitter account?” Since Twitter is an instant communication medium, it runs counter to traditional journalistic (print, especially) dogma that everything must be run through an editor, a second set of eyes.
It’s part of your brand (@thepittnews on Twitter is representing the Pitt News on that network, for instance), and you don’t want someone destroying your brand with some ill-advised tweets.
Also, I had the idea that individual Twitter accounts should be placed next to the bylines of individual journalists (like @schuster1600 for David Schuster at MSNBC), but the question came up: What if they use the account for personal communications that should not be affiliated with the news org.? That’s a good question.
My initial response is to only allow social media networks affiliated with the news brand to be used by “trusted” users. The immediacy is the key to services like Twitter or CoverItLive or Mogulus. Remove the immediacy, you remove the value, IMHO.
But for college media, that can be a particularly sticky situation. We need some guidelines. Some (ugh, I always dread saying it) policies. I’m looking out for good “professional” journalism policies for social media use, and I’ll keep you updated on those. In the meantime, if you have suggestions for what should be part of a “social media use policy” for college media outlets, drop it in the comments, or e-mail me at scmurley -at- gmail.com.
February 23, 2009 in Twitter
We recently complied a list of student media in the Twittersphere. This is an analysis of how those outlets are using Twitter and what we can learn from those who are doing it right.
For simplicity, I tried to group all variations of Twitter use into five basic categories.
The above chart is the breakdown of 50 student media outlets on Twitter (via the CICM list). It excludes Twitter accounts that have made very few updates or haven’t updated in months. Below are the categorizations for reference:
February 4, 2009 in Twitter
Image via CrunchBase
Inspired by an e-mail on the CMA Listserv, I just put together this short list of college media outlets who are on Twitter, just from those who are following CICM. I know I’m missing folks, so if you would like to add your college media outlet, fill out this form to add it to the list.