Facebook Revolution with SMUG on KTTC

I had a fun opportunity to be interviewed earlier this week as part of this story that ran on KTTC TV in Rochester Thursday night:

I also kind of broke my general rule about not initiating friend requests with females under 30 because Lauren Hardie, the reporter, mentioned SMUG in the story, and that she had some additional video of the interview with me on her Facebook page. So if you want to see that snippet, go see Lauren’s videos.

RAQ: How Can I Find Journalists in Twitter?

From the mailbag:

I met you a few months ago when you came to speak at my PRSSA meeting, and now I graduated and am working in PR and realize how important everything you talked about really is. I have been enjoying SMUG, and have since passed on the links to my co-workers, and we are loving it…what a great resource. I was looking through the Twitter curriculum, and I am having a hard time finding a specific answer, so I thought I would ask. I am trying to find journalists from North Dakota who have Twitter handles, but am having a tough time. Do you have any suggestions, or is it a pretty lengthy process?


Google is always a good place to start: when I searched for Journalists in Twitter, I found this MediaOnTwitter wiki and another wiki with sections for journalists using Twitter and media outlets using Twitter.

Those don’t get you too far in finding North Dakota journalists (and I always think it’s funny when people build wikis that are alphabetized by first name.)

So another good step is to use Twitter.Grader.com to find the “Twitter Elite” in a particular geographic area. You can search for North Dakota or any of its cities, such as Fargo, Grand Forks or Minot. These won’t necessarily get you journalists, but you might find some. 

Another suggestion would be to look on news media Web sites within the state, to see whether any of them have Twitter listings.

Based on my quick survey, it doesn’t seem there are a ton of North Dakota journalists on Twitter, but I did at least find the Fargo Forum’s account.

It’s probably going to be a long process to find twittering journalists, with you adding them to the list of those you follow as you gradually discover them (and as more join the service.) As you do build your list, though, you may want to add them to one of the wikis listed above, so you can work together with a community to build a worthwhile resource. The MediaOnTwitter wiki seems to be the best organized one, at least from my initial review.

OK, fellow SMUGgles: What other advice would you offer for finding journalists on Twitter?

HARO: Craigslist for PR and Journalism

I had heard about Peter Shankman’s service, HARO – Help A Reporter Out, but until yesterday hadn’t gotten around to trying it. I had meant to check it out, but it just never got to the top of my to-do list. Probably it’s because my focus has been in social media instead of mainstream, traditional media.

Apparently 37,000 other PR sources haven’t been so slow in adopting.

My first impression has been quite positive. HARO is a really neat service, with a site for sources to sign up to receive thrice-daily emails of media requests, and a separate page for journalists to enter their source requests. Peter goes through the journalist requests and categorizes them (actually, the journalists do the categorization themselves) and sends the email digests to the HARO, community which operates on five simple rules. And it’s free to both sources and journalists.

You also can get Urgent HARO requests by following Peter on Twitter.

Craigslist has contributed significantly to the mainstream media meltdown, particularly in newspapers, by offering a free alternative to what formerly had been a cash-cow monopoly, the local classified ad.

I don’t know whether Peter aims to do the same to ProfNet, an established service of PR Newswire that is free to journalists but not to PR sources.

What do you think? Have you used HARO, either as a source or as a journalist? Will HARO make a significant dent in ProfNet’s market share?

Shel Holtz Ragan Presentation: What’s Next?

I’ve known Shel for several years, and I try to keep in touch via Twitter, his RSS feed and listening to his For Immediate Release podcast (with his sidekick Neville Hobson.) Still, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve heard him present, and this talk at the Ragan conference with SAS was really interesting and helpful.

As I sit in the Charlotte airport, loving the free wi-fi, I’m taking the opportunity to clean up my liveblogging post from his talk, and to add some links to the sites he mentioned.

The title of the presentation was, “What’s Next?” and he had ten key trends he saw as important. I missed #9, so if anyone else (or even Shel) can fill in the missing info, I would appreciate it. But before I get into those trends here were a few of Shel’s observations.

Shel says the high-end webcast is going the way of the DoDo, because now anyone can do a webcast using Qik or Ustream.tv.

Seesmic – lets you record videos at your Webcam. Put video up instead. Twitter for video. And WordPress now has a plug-in that lets people comment on your posts via Seesmic.

Integrated social networks. Websites, networks merge. Conversation with customers becomes part of the online presence.

Fastcompany.com has redesigned its Web site extensively to incorporate conversation. All of the content except one cover story is contributed by the community.

Tulane University is using LiveWorld.

Google Open Social will enable you to turn your Website into a social network, just by copying some code.

Shel says Web 3.0 involves these key trends:

Trend #1: Ubiquitous connectivity

  • Broadband
  • Wireless
  • Mobile computing – get to the Web anywhere you have a phone signal. Very few organizations have mobile phone strategies; they (we) really should.

Trend #2: Network computing. Web services, cloud computing, grid computing, distributed computing

Shel uses Live Mesh. I like Dropbox. Google has a video service just for corporations, available only to employees. Videos are hosted outside the firewall. Company IT departments will need to get comfortable with software as service like this. Shel uses Google Docs to develop and store his documents. He mentioned Yammer, too.

Trend #3: Open technologies – APIs and protocols, software, data. This is a huge trend. Why spend a half million dollars on a CMS when you can download a free open source package that is just as powerful, and pay someone $10K a year for support?

Trend #4: Open Identity – Open ID, Open reputation, Open portable identity

Business world doesn’t like this because companies want to gather your info.

Trend #5: The intelligent web. Use Pandora, for instance. It looks at music you like and finds similar songs that are what you’ll like. Recommendation agent. Natural language search instead of keywords. Semantic Web. Check out Twine.

Trend #6: Distributed Databases

Trend #7: Technology Populism: Tech has gotten so easy that you don’t need an IT person to help you implement it. That’s really one of the main ideas behind SMUG. “It’s Not That Hard.”

Trend #8: The information workplace. Getting people whatever information they need when they need it.

Prologue is a WordPress Theme that can be added to a blog you have behind the firewall.

TownSquare is a plug-in for Microsoft SharePoint that adds functionality like Facebook. Not available yet.

As Shel mentioned, FriendFeed is a great way to pull together information.

Yahoo Pipes is a really interesting service and Shel showed a video that demonstrates it. Here it is:


Gotta play with that.

Trend #9: (Updated) Aggregation–Friendfeed, Dubpages, Google Reader, Yahoo Pipes (mashup feeds), Feedburner – (Thanks to sktuttle for providing in the comments.)

Trend #10: Widgets will also increase in importance for distributing your content.

Comcastcares uses search.twitter.com to do customer support. Symantec has a fan page on Facebook.

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