The latest buzz is social media connections but I wonder how can journalists use there effectively.
The rise of social networking and microblogging in the recent past has changed the idea of relationship, sharing and remaining connected to each other. In the virtual world of computers and waves, life is almost null without the connections – via web services – to people you know/may know/seem like known.
Friends not in social network or twitter follows are almost forgotten and everything is known about the people in your connection though never physically met or talked. Welcome to the virtual world that’s increasingly having affects on our personal lives in an unprecedented way.
It’s interesting to see how new web services are taken by whelms and people start searching a way to utilize that particular services for their benefits.
The latest buzz is all about social networking (facebook), video sharing (youtube) and microblogging (twitter) and it’s not surprising to find, on the web, articles with best use of these in various fields – business, fight for democracy, organizing protest, promoting events, literature and everything… including journalism.
Twitter, a service that can also be easily updated using mobiles (GPRS/sms), became a source of information for the world, including journalists, for the protest post-election of Iran. Blogs were atop the table during Iraq war and… Nepal’s fight for democracy, but the buzz of blogs seems subsidized for now.
Being in the developing world, for us, has a benefit of itself: watch everything before actual use. Same with social media; journalists in Nepal are hardly using facebook/twitter to aid their works [of course facebook updates are news, news and more news…].
How journalists can use all these connections effectively? That many are looking the answer for and some technology to facilitate. The use of social media connections to aid journalistic works – coined by Publish2 – is social journalism.
How can social connections be used for journalism? Of course, we can follow the updates on what’s happening [be audience first to gather and produce] or we can take the lead from such updates [that could happen, but not very frequently] and more effective ways, I have found, is use it as a tool of information gathering – small inputs from a few friends make it big.
Sharing is also interesting as an audience but many of the journalists hardly practice sharing in a level to help journalists.
For now, for us, the journalists in Nepal – a developing country – life is just connected without many aids to our work [internet still seems elusive to many of us] but the future of journalism – even here – is closely connected: to the social media, to the people we know/may know/seems like know.
I am not very clear on how this all could be done; and I am trying to find out via the social journalism network. If you have any experience, share it.