The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.

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Who Can Be a Journalist?

In the 21st Century, there is no shortage of citizens playing news journalists. These bystanders capture news on their digital phones or cameras and then post the video on YouTube or another video social media channel. They may also post or tweet accounts of the unfolding news event on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere.  Depending on the significance of the news story, some approach news stations and try to sell their scoops.

How do news organizations know if what they are getting is fake or real?  That’s where Storyful comes to the rescue.  This company acts as a detective agency, verifying what stories from YouTube, Twitter and other social media channels are legit. Storyful has done investigations for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, ABC and other media outlets as they make YouTube videos, tweets and cell phone video part of their news story line up.

Many years ago when I was a TV news journalist, the public rarely got involved in reporting a news story. Technology had a lot to do with it. Therefore, the public would only be an eyewitness or the subject of the story. Using an amateur video was taboo. On those rare occasions when a News Director gave the okay to use such video, “Amateur Video” was keyed over the footage.  Now that I think about it, the viewers probably didn’t care as much as we thought. Yes, there probably was some liability to the news station, since Storyful didn’t exist then, but the photojournalists complained the most.  Some would squeal loader than pigs for days.  Others would refuse to edit the video for airing. I realize now these journalists were acting out of self-preservation, as well as trying to prevent ribbings they’d reap from their colleagues at other stations. Many times, I would say, “lets run the footage” especially when one of our competitors was giving us a ratings spanking, which was typically the case at my very first station.

Thankfully, news organizations have Storyful to track down Boston Bombing videos and other national tragedies that have unfolded in recent weeks. Old mindsets are slow to die, but I’m finally wholeheartedly accepting the public’s role as journalists. If the goal is to educate and inform, why not. The vantage point may be better than a news organization’s. Increasingly, news stations ask the public for help in reporting the news.  They encourage viewers to give news tips and photos. One thing that hasn’t changed is that news organizations are still reluctant to pay citizens for their news stories.  CRJ

Click here to read more about Storyful.


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Social Media Saves J(^V^)

Social Media Saves…

Social Media Saves Time

As a student in Social Media 101, I have been immersing myself into the vortex of all things Social Media. Through that process, I have asked myself, “What are the true benefits of Social Media—what is the appeal?” Sure, it’s fun to explore and discover all of the neat, new thingamabobs and doohickeys that technology seems to spew out in an endless stream, but how can one best put the doodad’s to practical use in our busy business and personal lives?

Like most people, I am interested in how social media can save me from wandering into a rabbit hole that sucks my time like a vacuum hose to nowhere land. Social Media, I have discovered, indeed saves time. How, you ask? To save time on social media for your small business, here are five ways to get yourself organized:


Set up a schedule. Know what time your target audience is online. That is your best time to interact with them. When you do post, make sure the content is valuable and will stimulate responses from your fans and followers.

Create a content bank. Establish a block of time when you can brainstorm and create colorful content for your blog or Facebook page. For me that time is late at night when there are no distractions or phone calls. When is your most creative time of day? Set-up a calendar that coincides with your content bank to funnel your material sans anxiety. By using your time wisely, you can establish a comfortable workflow.

Link your networks. Especially if you work alone, it can be challenging to find the time to maintain all of your social media channels. Using Facebook’s scheduling tool or apps like Buffer and Tweetdeck, you can link posts across different applications in one step and save valuable time. Make sure your content is fresh and different on each channel or you will lose followers.

Use Social Networks for Customer Service. Rather than wading through piles of customer service emails, or voice       mails from customers, use social media to streamline your customer service responses. On Twitter and FB accounts,                 publish a specified block of time when customers can contact you with customer service questions. By channeling this activity into a window of time, you will be able to field customer questions quickly and efficiently for them and for you. A bonus will be that customers will witness your service of others as well in real-time which will build trust and confidence.

Set up Topic AlertsSet up a Google Alert for specific topics you wish to create content about. This will save you research time as the resources will be waiting for you when you are scheduled to sit down and pump out content for future posts. Use tools to lighten your workload and time investment.

Social Media Saves Money

Not only does Social Media save time, but it also saves money. Who doesn’t like that?! “Social networking streamlines the money-saving process,” says Nick Mokey, a staff writer at Digital Trends in Portland, Ore. “Matches are better.” The key, Mokey claims, is using a site with a feedback system that rates other users. Here are five ways to save money by using social media:

Peer-to-Peer lendingWebsites match lenders with borrowers for personal, auto and home-improvement loans and can save money on interest rates by cutting out the middleman—banks. Credit scores of 650 or higher offer you leverage. “Our rates are 20 percent to 30 percent better than banks,” says Rob Garcia, senior director of product strategy at Lending Club. “And you can get funded in a few days.”

Save for College – Social networking sites such as SmartyPig and GreenNote offer future students the opportunity to save for college or apply for donations to offset the cost of books and incidentals. GradeFund invites donors to sponsor students with good grades.

Bartermatch and Swapping servicesSocial media is a great channel for swapping services. Sites such as FriendlyFavor is an email network for exchanging services. Babysitterexchange for childcare. Or based on your personal interests, search for clubs of common interests. For example, BookMooch is a community of bookworms who share online books. FreeCycle is a network of communities connecting groups of people who are interested in giving, getting, sharing, and donating in their local communities.

Search for Deals CheapTweet and RetailMeNot make it fun and easy to find coupons and bargains from across the web, all in one place. Deals may range from $25 off coupons to percentages off at retail stores and restaurants, to free items. Faye Penn, editor of Brokelyn.com, a budget-living guide to Brooklyn, N.Y., recommended searching online for a coupon code before making any purchase. She said that though the Internet is full of “deal noise” and false promotions, sites such as RetailMeNot aggregate coupon codes from across the Web to help you find the deal you want.


Social Media Saves Lives

Not only can social media save time and money, but social media saves lives.

  • One woman saved her friend from home invaders after seeing a plea for help on Facebook
  • Another woman was rescued by emergency personnel after tweeting for help when she was injured and lost in the woods.
  • Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Red—an incredible organization whose goal is to deliver an AIDS-free Generation by 2015 and save lives in the process. This duo has created a campaign whereby every time someone shares, tweets or pins the infographic below, they (J&J) will donate $1 to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, up to $100,000. http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2013/07/10/how-johnson-johnson-is-using-social-media-to-save-lives/


  • The Durkehim Project is a program that uses artificial intelligence to identify common words and phrases among those who may be contemplating suicide. Special attention is focused on war veterans as they have a very high suicide rate upon returning home following overseas deployment. These apps track posts and upload flags to a medical database. A medical algorithm tracks those of high risk for self-harm in effort to save lives.




There are countless testimonies on Google sharing stories of how social media has saved lives. But can social media “save the day?” Indeed it can…read this excerpt:


…”A little lost dog named Yoda was quickly reunited with his humans thanks to the power of social media—adorable! Yoda was lost and wandering our neighborhood, and sadly when his finder called the number on the name tag, it was disconnected. the good citizen immediately took Yoda to our ‘hoods animal clinic and started spreading the “found” message. the message went onto our neighborhood’s website, then to a Facebook page, from there, a Willo friend of ours sent me a social media message,  which I, in turn, texted to Danny and neighbors. Then, just a few hours later while on his way home from work,

Danny saw a “lost” sign on a light pole and sure enough it was Yoda! The sign indicated that Yoda’s tag was outdated, so Danny called and let the owner know his little pooch was safe and sound. Yoda is home. Pretty cool! Love our neighborhood. Love the positive power of technology. Love happy endings.!”


Taken from: [http://thetaleoftwotings.com/2013/06/social-media-saves-the-day/]

Who can resist a happy ending—not I? J(^V^)