Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

About Face

One can never have too many friends!

One can never have too many friends!

Like many people, I love facebook.  It’s great for connecting and re-connecting with friends, Fox Chicago viewers, former classmates and all sorts of people.  But I have a friendly dilemma.  I currently have 4,933 friends – not as many as many others but enough to start dreading the facebook limit of 5,000.

Morning anchor Jan Jeffcoat put it plainly, “Once you reach the limit, you’re screwed!  You can start a fan page but it’s not the same.”  Indeed, fan pages seem narcissistic and pretentious – and they don’t allow for the same kind of interaction as profile pages.  Other television news friends have told me to just start another facebook account under another name.

When I ran into a facebook executive at an event over the summer, I asked him about the friend limit.  He urged me to start a fan page as I urged him to lift the limit.  He later emailed to say, “Right now we will not allow users to exceed 5k friends. In the future you will be able to move your friends over to your fan page.  Sorry.”

Perhaps that’s why I’m spending more time making friends over on twitter.  While tweets are limited to 140 characters, I can have an unlimited number of friends.  At times, I feel I can use as many as I can get!

28

10 2009

Married to the Mob

Mizzou's amazing J-school.

Mizzou's amazing J-school.

Graduates of the journalism school at the University of Missouri, Columbia, are known to be members of the Mizzou Mafia.  They are everywhere in the news business and members include Russ Mitchell of CBS News, Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News and Jim Lehrer of PBS. Here in Chicago, there’s Ben Bradley of ABC7, Judy Wang of CLTV/WGN and my boss, Fox Chicago News Director Carol Fowler!

I graduated from the well-respected journalism school at the University of Oregon but I married into the Mizzou Mafia.  Although my husband is no longer in the news business, he enjoys heading back to see friends and former classmates.   Ahead of the big homecoming weekend (and the big loss to Texas in an ugly game), professor Jen Lee Reeves organizes a “Mizzou Mafia Real World Lunch” to allow journalism students to converse with those of us working in the real world of journalism.  Jen and I are always in touch through social media so I got the pleasure of being a part of the mob lunch.

Future journalists.

Future journalists.

I was quite impressed by students live blogging and tweeting with a #realworld hashtag during the event.  But, as they did, they heard about the grim situation in the real world. Some of the panelists had been laid off and they are looking for work.  The rest are working harder than ever. I stressed the underlying need to truly love writing and journalism.  Our business tools and avenues are changing but there will always be a need for effective storytellers and communicators.

My ongoing love for words has served me well during my career.  Though when I got out of J-school, I never envisioned that it’d also lead me to my own blog and an addiction to Facebook Scrabble.

26

10 2009

All Atwitter

The country's first-ever twitter course at DePaul University in Chicago.

The country's first-ever twitter course at DePaul University in Chicago.

I am no expert at social media – that’s what I stressed to students at DePaul University yesterday. They are enrolled in the country’s first-ever college course on twitter. When their instructor invited me to speak to the class, I worried that anything I knew would hardly enlighten college kids who are already technically savvy.  But they listened intently and seemed interested in how a working journalist is using a web tool that didn’t even exist five years ago.

My twitterstream:  Not so sure it's educational!

My twitterstream: Not so sure it's educational!

I met Craig Kanalley through twitter, naturally.  He says DePaul wasn’t too sure about a twitter class when he first proposed it.  But he argues, “It’s great for students.  Social media is important and makes them more marketable.” Indeed, students are learning to market themselves in order to network their way to internships and jobs.

I find twitter extremely useful for interacting with viewers and all kinds of people, even while I’m anchoring a newscast or out reporting in the field.  I surf the site daily to track news, troll for story ideas or find people to interview about particular issues.  It’s not uncommon to spot breaking news on twitter minutes earlier than any other source.

@ckanal & @NancyLoo

@ckanal & @NancyLoo

I wasn’t too surprised to receive quite a few tweets from the DePaul class as soon as I left!  These future journalists are not only impressive, they’re clearly ahead of the social media curve.

The web world moves fast, though. We may all be using some other social media source within the next year.  But I bet I’ll still keep my reporter’s notebook and a pen at the ready.

24

09 2009

Catch the Wave

Sarah is constantly connected!

Sarah is constantly connected!

Today I’m networking with Sarah Evans.  Not the singer Sara Evans – this Sarah is a rock star in the world of social media. She was at Fox Chicago earlier this month to talk to anchors, reporters and any interested employees on how broadcast journalists can better utilitize social media.  I’m glad she was able to jump off the internet long enough for us to visit over lunch.

I met Sarah on the web long before her visit to the station.   She somehow found me when I first joined twitter over a year ago. I think she was intrigued that a “traditional” broadcast journalist was on the scene.  Sarah has nearly 30,000 twitter followers and is the founder of the site’s popular #journchat series – a weekly live chat between PR professionals, journalists and bloggers.  She’s also a guest writer for Mashable and just launched her own PR and new media agency.

“What’s stopping people from using ustream?” Sarah asks.  She predicts the internet and technology will soon change the world of traditional broadcast journalism even more.  Like many other social media strategists, Sarah believes a tidal shift is happening. Journalists need to catch the wave, jump out or risk washing ashore.  Hang ten, baby!

07

09 2009

I’m a Geek!

Post-newscast Geek Girl

Post-newscast Geek Girl

I’ve always loved technology.  Good thing – it’s ever-changing in the TV news biz which combines my love for technology with my love for words.

My appreciation for computers and gizmos stems from my parents.  They seem to be spending their retirement attached to their laptops.  Just recently, my father was among the first to get an iPhone 3Gs.

Both of my brothers are engineers in the computer industry.  My older brother is a systems engineer for a software company and my younger brother works for a company that programs video poker machines.  (Don’t ask. He’s not allowed to talk about the programs.)  I’m the black sheep who went into journalism.

Over the past few years, I’ve helped a lot of my colleagues at Fox Chicago to dive into social media.  There is immeasurable value in using sites like facebook and twitter to interact with viewers.

ad : tech chicago

ad : tech chicago

So maybe it won’t surprise you that I spent my afternoon at a tech conference today.  Some of the country’s savviest internet marketers are here for ad:tech chicago.  At a session called “The Twitter Effect”, we heard from companies leveraging Twitter to drive brand engagement and sales.   It’s enlightening but I’m surprised by how much I already know.

A Geek + A Nerd = 2 Nerds : Cam Balzer of Threadless.com (A super cool company!)

A Geek + A Nerd = 2 Nerds : Cam Balzer of Threadless.com (A super cool company!)

I remark to my pals, “Hey, terms like SEO, ROI and bit.ly don’t phase me anymore!”   Without missing a beat, social media strategist Beth Rosen replies, “You are a geek!  Why are we hanging with you?  Where are the cool people?”

02

09 2009