Online work over print work

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Journalism students should pay more attention in promoting their online work than print work these days. It's a good idea to start making a personal brand for yourself online because it's good job security.

The practice of entrepreneurial journalism is highly thought of and your work will be a great asset if you are interested in working for a newspaper.

By putting your work online will easily allow more people to know your name. Having people know your name, the bigger your personal audience will be.

So how do you go about getting your name known online?

1. Put articles that you like in the appropriate category on Digg, which is a social news website.

2. Create a delicious account and be sure to take your articles appropriately. Delicious is a social bookmarking web service.

3. When commenting on blogs, put the URL of your relevant article in the comment.

4. Create an account on Publish2 and suggest your work to other journalists.

5. Enter into the land of Twitter and share links to your articles with those who follow you .

6. Search for bloggers that write about topics that are relevant to yours and email them when you post something.

7. Share your work with Reddit. Reddit allows you to browse and submit links to the Internet and submit posts that contain original, user-submitted text. Other users have the option to vote on the posted links by clicking "up" or "down". Only the best links gain prominence by reaching the front page.

8. Get Facebook. If you don't have an account you live a very sheltered life and need one to be up-to-date.

9. Stay in contact with newspapers to share something that you may have blogged about.

10. Get a StumbleUpon account. StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that allows users to rate and discover web pages, photos and videos.

11. Subscribe to people on FriendFeed and share stories to those who are subscribed to you.

12. When writing articles, get permission from fellow bloggers to link out. Most often return the favor.

13. Notice when bloggers write about your stories and link back to you. Go to their blogs and leave a comment every time you can.

14. Know which URL leads to your work and put your link into your e-mail signature.

15. Put that same URL in your Twitter and Facebook profile.

16. If you have business cards, put your URL on the back.

17. Search for bloggers who are talking about topic you covered. Share the link to your work.

18. When interviewing people who blog, have a website, or have a social media tell them you will email them the link in cause they like to look into it.


Smule and iPad allows users to play fiddle

We've all played a piano on our iPod or iPad but that was just the beginning.

Smule has recently unveiled it's newest creation, the Magic Fiddle for iPad, which turns your iPad into your very own stringed instrument.

People who have never played the instrument can easily pick it up and begin playing. It's held on your shoulder, like a violin. One hand acts as the bow and the other presses down the strings.

Unlike Rock Band and Guitar Hero Magic Fiddle isn't just pre-recorded songs being played. The app goes further in making unique but not always exact representations of the actual sound of a fiddle.

Smule has also created other musical apps such as the magic piano, leaf trombone and Sonic Vox. Two years ago the Ocariana flute app was created. It allowed people to blow into the microphone to create music.

The Magic Fiddle app is only $2.99 and has a large songbook filled with favorites such as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Silent Night".


Texting, Social Networking, and Sex

Texting is a big part of how we communicate with one another nowadays. While texting may seem like a relatively harmless activity (aside from the people that text while they drive and end up killing others or themselves), a recent study done by the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has found a correlation between texting and drugs and sex in teens.

Dr. Frank Scott, the leader of this research group, suggests that teens whom send on average 120 times a day or more are more likely engage in sex, drink, or try drugs (as opposed to their peers who don't). Dr. Scott's reasoning? It's all about parental control.

Scott says that parents who spend time monitoring what their children are doing on social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) and cell phone usage will be more in tune to what their teen is doing in their spare time.

This study, which is discussed in an article posted by Atlanta's newspaper, goes on to say that Scott conducted this research by asking students at 20 public schools in Cleveland to answer questions anymously. He found that one out of five students fall into the category of "hyper-texters," (the ones who send lots of messages), and one out of nine are "hyper-networkers" (those who spend three or more hours on social networking sites a day). To see more of Scott's results, go to the article and read on.

This is quite interesting to me, and as a researcher from Iowa State pointed out, Scott has raised a "legitimate question to [be] explore[d]." I have not heard of a research of this kind being done before, and it will neat to see what all comes out of this.

Scott mentions that the relation between parents' involvement and teen's recreational activities is affected by how involved or not a parent is in their child's life. While this seems like a good idea, I personally never left my phone alone long enough for my parents to even have a chance to look through it, or see what I was doing. I would assume that most other teens are/were like that as well.

I look forward to seeing what more Scott finds out about texting and sex/drugs/alcohol, and whether he publishes anything about sexual networking and sex/drugs/alcohol. What do you think? Do you agree with Scott's findings, or do you think that teens are just engaging in what many teens engage in? While I think this may ring true for some teens, I don't see it being overly common amongst all the teens that send 120 texts a day.


How to Detect Media Bias

In the quest for knowledge to make responsible and ethical decisions as citizens of a democratic nation, we strive fairness and facts. Although we idealize both, sometimes we get more or the other...but in most cases, neither.

Hunting for facts about what's really going on in the complexities of our nation [and the world] can be daunting. Not because it's hard to find the information, but because the news, and the practice of reporting/journalism, has become so heavily weighted in biased views of outspoken and dramatic personalities that there seems to be no 'truth' to any of it outside the particular philosophy or ideology of a given political party.

So what do engaged citizens do about this matter? -- We must make an effort to evaluate our sources and gage credibility, just as responsible and ethical journalists do.

Here are 10 questions you should ask when evaluating news that may contain a bias, and measures to take when a bias is discovered.

1. WHO are the sources? -- Be aware of the political perspective of the sources in a story. A general trend suggests that Progressive and public interest groups/voices are marginally underrepresented. Portraying issues fairly and accurately means that media organizations and news stories must account for a variety of sources. Otherwise they simply amplify the voices of those in power.

*Examine the number of government sources versus that of progressive and minority groups. Suggest to that mass media expand their source pool to give the story a more well rounded feel or opinion.

2. Is there a lack of diversity? -- What is the race to gender ratio at the news outlet compared to the audience? How many staff people are women, people of color, or openly gay or lesbian? In order to fairly represent communities, news organizations should have members of those 'minority' or diverse communities in their staff.

*It is essential that viewers who see a lack of diversity to demand that it be reflected in the organization.

3. From whose point of view is the news being reported? -- Are the issues in discussion including those who are affected by them? If a white male is talking about abortion, but makes no attempt to reference or include a female in the dialogue about it, there is clearly a misrepresentation of a credible source and a lacking in perspective.

*Demand that certain voices be heard by making your voice heard. If no one listens to those who should be included, advocate for their cause [without actually speaking for them].

4. Are there double standards? -- Does the media hold some people/groups to one standard while using a different standard for other people/groups? Double standards are heavily placed on women and minorities, and serve as a means of stereotyping, which is not only unfair, it's irresponsible journalism.

5. Do stereotypes skew coverage? -- Are certain groups being targeted that might enforce certain negative stereotypes while other groups in the same position go unnoticed because of their assumed socioeconomic status? In order to be fair on an issue, ALL sides and ALL groups should be examined in a story, not just the ones that 'make sense.'

*Work to try and educate people about the misconceptions involved in stereotypes, and how stereotypes characterize individuals/groups in negatively reinforcing ways.

6. What are the unchallenged assumptions? -- Sometimes the key point of a story is not stated outright, but it's implied. For example, coverage of rape trials will often focus on a woman's sexual history as though it calls her credibility into question and will assume that she was promiscuous, and therefor brought on the rape when in actuality, it could have been a completely random event.

*Challenge the assumption directly. If you address the assumption specifically, it will demonstrate the absurdity.

7. Is the language loaded? -- When the media uses loaded terminology, it often shapes public opinion in some dramatic (and in many cases, unfair) ways. Like when the media uses the right-wing buzzword "racial preference" to refer to affirmative action programs. By indicating 'racial' it brings attention to the fact that there is a hierarchal separation based on race.

*Show/articulate how the language used in certain cases gives people an inaccurate impression of the facts/news.

8. Is there a lack of context? -- Coverage of issues like "reverse discrimination" usually fail to focus on certain factors (like economic inequality and institutional racism) that empower prejudice.

*Work to provide the necessary context so that the idea is fully understood. This may require research, but ultimately it will help you to be more informed.

9. Do headlines match the story? -- In most cases, headlines aren't written by the reporters who write the articles. Most news hungry citizens just skim the big headlines, so misleading headlines have a significant impact on the reader's conception before they even read the article or news story.

10. Are stories on important issues featured prominently? -- Look at where the stories appear in print. Articles on widely viewed pages (the front pages and editorials) and lead stories have the greatest influence on public opinion.

If citizens hope to gather 'unbiased' news, they will most often have to filter through certain positions of ideals that can influence how that news is perceived. But if the public is made aware of potential bias, they can be prepared as to how to deal with them to become more accurately informed.


RockMelt, the social browser

RockMelt is an intricate social browser that organizes social media with your browser better than browsers currently available internet users.

As users of the internet in the digital age, many are looking for new browsers that will meet specific needs.

The RockMelt is ultimately a social media enhanced Google Chrome. The RockMelt browser is almost an exact replica of Google Chrome other than the two vertical columns.

A visual for the browser is in the video displayed below.

Although there are many extensions that give social media components to other browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox, RockMelt operates if and only if you put in your Facebook login.

As it can be anticipated, making it a requirement to put in your Facebook credentials in order to even just use the browser, will be a huge drawback.

I guess in the end it will all depend on what you want out of your browser.

Many people that will enjoy this browser will be the people that are wanting to naturally incorporate social media with their browser.

Since it is in the early beta stages of development and you have to sign up in order to get the browser, an alternative for a social browser right now is the Flock browser.

Just from the looks of it, it seems as if the RockMelt will be the simplified version of Flock making it a little less intrusive, and that much more appealing to users wanting a compatible social media browser.

Find out more about RockMelt's blog here.


Free Wi-Fi On Planes this Holiday Season

With the holidays approaching many people will be traveling to see family and friends. A lot of people will be away from work and school for a period of time. For some people it is difficult to be distant from technology for less than an hour.

Since people take off work to travel for Christmas time it is nice to be able to catch up on work. What better place to do it then while on a plane where no one is really bother you and everyone is in there own world.

Google is aware of this and is offering free Wi-Fi to travelers for three different Airlines. Those three airlines are Delta, AirTran, and Virgin America. Virgin America was the only one to participate in this promotion by Google.

This year's three choices were picked to partner with the Google promotion because they have added the Gogo wireless technology to the entire fleet of planes.

Gogo the most used in-flight wireless provider in the US. Which means a lot of people during the Holidays will be taking advantage. Over 700 planes will have this feature. Which means around 15 million people will take advantage of it.

This is a great advancement in technology. Just think of a timeline of where we have come from back then to today.
The capabilities of the Internet are unrealistic. Who would ever think that on their way to Florida they could be watching YouTube videos or watching a missed television program.

I feel a lot of people will want to take part in this because a lot of people have Internet capable devices besides computers. To be able to say you were on the Internet while be 30 plus miles in the air would be awesome. The statuses like , " Just flew over the Pacific Ocean" how fun would that be.

This will be a huge success for these airlines. Potentially even swaying travelers to pick their airline over the ones that do not have the free Wi-Fi capability.


Try New Social Media

Social Media. It's all we talk about. It's what we crave. It's how we learn.

Below are the three sites that I found most interesting:

- REMcloud, or "the Twitter of dreams" according to The Wall Street Journal, lets readers post brief descriptions of dreams they had the previous night.

The site focuses on people connecting after seeing that they share the same dreams. However, the site seems to have more humor to it than a deep connection. People seem to share only their most ridiculous dreams.

- HAMSTERster, just like Dogster and Catster, is a site modeled after the original Friendster. Creator David Hornbuckle says the website "is intended to be amusing but is not a complete joke."

People can share photos of their pet hamster, make friends with other hamsters and add hamsters to their family. And, if the unthinkable happens, users can check the box that says "Hamster Heaven" if they wish to make a profile in memory of their favorite friend.

Users can keep notes and ideas about their projects on the site, get patterns for projects added by others, share ideas and give encouragement.

If you're feeling even more outside the box, Smith shares more social mediums such as Lost Zombie– a "zombie themed social network whose goal is to created a community generated zombie movie" – which received Best of Show at the SXSW Interactive Web Awards.

Personally, I use three primary social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Flickr – a photo-sharing site. However, there are plenty of other social mediums that people – especially college students – are now using.

Two fairly popular social media sites are Texts From Last Night and FMyLife.

Texts From Last Night is just what it sounds like: people share the texts they received the previous night. The site is completely anonymous, providing an area code the text came from rather than a name.

FMyLife lets people share short descriptions of unfortunate events that happen to them during the day. They can be: funny, sad, scary, ironic.

Each post beings with "Today,..." and ends with "FML." Viewers, after reading, can click on either "I agree, your life sucks" or "you totally deserved it."

I think when people are trying to find a social media website, they need to find their niche.

If you interested in networking yourself professionally, use websites such as LinkedIn that connect employers with future employees.

If you just want a humorous website, try HAMSTERster or Texts From Last Night.

If you love being connected with everyone you know, join Facebook or Twitter.

Social media is a great resource for anything your heart desires.


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