April 10, 2011
Storify is a powerful up-and-coming tool that compiles information from multiple social media outlets to tell a story. By using tweets, YouTube videos, photos, and text, anyone can utilize this platform to highlight events in a memorable and meaningful way.
After browsing through a number of Storify examples, it became clear why an increasing amount of news organizations are turning to Storify to cover various happenings. Stories that seem to be regularly popping up in Storify include coverage of weather, organizations’ various fundraisers and events, sports team coverage, and happenings in the world of politics. For one, Storify makes it easy to pull out the most important, up-to-date information surrounding these events to deliver them with ease to an audience.
By compiling tweets, videos, and photographs from virtually an endless number of people and sources, Storify transforms news into ongoing conversations. Whereas an article that may run in a newspaper can only cover and report on what occurs with an event up to the time of publication, Storify holds the ability to make news a continuous dialogue between people connected to or interested in a particular event. Thus, Storify breaks through the issue of timeliness that all newspapers have historically struggled with.
Further, Storify is a beneficial tool because it weeds through the overwhelming amount of information that exists on the internet and allows users to pull out the most meaningful information for a particular story. By highlighting the most important information using Storify, readers encounter solely the most necessary facts and feedback surrounding a story.
The potential of Storify is endless. News organizations can certainly use the platform for timely, continual news coverage that not only covers stories, but also reaches out to the general public to consider and incorporate feedback. Further, businesses can utilize Storify to do their own unconventional forms of public relations, or document people’s thoughts and reactions about a new product.
I personally can see myself using this tool in my professional career to document events tied to the organization that I may work for. In addition, I think that Storify could also be used more light-heartedly by anyone seeking to record memories such as weddings, reunions, birthday celebrations, and family get-togethers.
Therefore, I feel that Storify can best be used by virtually anyone looking to compile and share a continual stream of information online. Any person or organization that is looking to gather news from a number of social media outlets can easily use this platform without constraints on time or space. Further, because Storify is an online tool, the information that is compiled on it holds the potential to reach a larger number of people than if it were published in print or distributed via e-mail.
For these reasons, I feel that Storify gives people a new ability to record history online in a more meaningful and effective way.
March 24, 2011
Our class trip to the Nebraska Humane Society earlier today was a memorable one for many reasons. My favorite part of the visit, I must admit, was playing with an adorable pup known as Baxter who is now getting a second shot at life. (But that’s another blog post.) However, puppies aside, I also enjoyed learning how one Creighton alum, Elizabeth Hilpipre, has essentially developed the organization’s entire social media presence from the ground up.
I took a number of things away from Elizabeth’s presentation. First off, I learned how important it is to set small goals and work your way up when utilizing social media. Now that Elizabeth has made a solid Facebook presence for the humane society, for instance, her next project to tackle is to gaining more attention in the Twitter world. Also, Elizabeth made it clear that it is essential to consistently respond to your organization’s followers, as constant communication leads to a loyal group of clients.
Yet, my biggest takeaway from Elizabeth’s presentation involved the importance of relying on statistics and analytics when determining the direction to take with social media. I discovered how crucial it is to regularly monitor the number of people visiting your Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube pages. I learned that these tools can even be useful in tailoring very specific aspects of communication, such as the length of YouTube videos. Paying attention to every detail of your organization’s communication and adapting your messages accordingly can be the difference between ineffective and effective social media usage.
Of course, while adhering to all of these tactics, it is certainly just as important to continue to change, grow, and adapt continually as the world of social media does. As Elizabeth’s trials and tribulations show, sometimes, it is equally important–if not more–to possess a willingness to learn as it is to have a certain set of skills. The ability to stay in tune and on top of the latest trends in the field, as Elizabeth pointed out, makes it clear that your organization exhibits the desire to stay current. Staying current ensures that an organization will be appealing to a wide range of target audiences.
With all of this in mind, our trip to the humane society reiterated the fact that social media usage can make or break an organization’s image. If utilized correctly, social media can truly turn out to be man’s best friend.
March 15, 2011
After reading the State of the Media Report conducted by the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism, I reflected on all of the findings, numbers, and statistics. I read about the decline in newspaper readership and how people are spending more time with news than ever before thanks to advances in technology like mobile apps. I discovered how middlemen are gaining more power in the online news world as organizations must ultimately rely on them in different shapes and forms to deliver content. However, with all of these facets in mind, the report made one thing most clear to me—there is not much certainty when it comes to where the field of journalism is heading.
As a soon-to-be journalism professional, this is somewhat daunting. Yet from the standpoint of an average citizen, it’s exciting.
Working as a professional in a field where virtually all of its happenings are constantly changing can be intimidating. There will always be a new device to become familiar with or a new app taking the social media world by storm. Staying in touch with technology will, of course, be a requirement for anyone hoping to be successful in this field. Yet this is a challenge I am eager to face. Utilizing all of the tools in the world of new media will provide those in the journalism field with opportunities to connect to other organizations on an ongoing basis as they creatively advance the companies they work for.
To be prepared in this new media world, professionals will need to be in touch with technology, able to continually adapt, and determined to be inventive throughout their careers. Having strong writing and computing skills is also a must. Moreover, the State of the Media Report makes it very clear that professionals need to be aware of the utter importance of understanding their audience, whether this involves nonprofits seeking volunteers or corporate entities looking to target a highly concentrated group of individuals. Lastly, those entering this field must realize that the way people absorb news is changing and will surely continue to drastically advance over the years. Newspapers are suffering now while mobile news is on the rise, but a decade from now, I have no doubt that these statistics will be completely different. By then, we will likely be getting information in ways that have not even been thought up yet.
This constant state of change surrounding journalism is, from the average person’s standpoint, intriguing. To me, it’s exhilarating to think that technology is continually evolving and will continue to modify the way we absorb information and connect to others. A decade or two down the road, will I only use an iPad at work? Since we are consolidating on so many levels, will we even have laptops anymore? Will there be a need for cubicles? When it comes to family life, will kids be learning their ABC’s using robots and some sort of touch-screen system? Will 5 p.m. news broadcasts still be around? Will reporters deliver news to the public, or will machines have taken over by that time? The answers to all of these questions are unclear, but the potential the field of journalism holds to transform everyday life is exciting.
Lastly, when it comes to teaching journalism, all that professors can do is stay in tune with the latest developments in the field as they teach their students. Students should be familiar with the latest social networking sites and an abundance of online tools. Further, professors should teach students how to be strong “backpack journalists.” Yet amidst all the technology, teaching students how to be effective writers should not be overlooked. Overall, teaching students how to stay in the know in this field is just as important as actually doing it.
Based off the State of the Media Report’s findings, it is evident that anyone involved in journalism in virtually any shape or form must be willing to realize, accept, and adapt to this drastically evolving profession.