I take social media like I do Advil.
My friends on twitter tell me I reappear into the microblogging world with guns blazing, and after about 30 tweets I disappear for weeks at a time. I treat Facebook like I do my job as a journalist; I don’t interfere and watch from the background as news and media flood my feeds.
But recently, I’ve recommitted myself to using all the storytelling social media tools available through my computer and iphone. Each keep me thinking about how I can tell the story of my life, or what I’m reporting. They allow fresh thought, angles and flexibility in what I think is newsworthy bit of info or a quality photograph.
So here are my weapons in my arsenal I use to get my voice heard:
Twitter: This is my primary weapon. The easiest way to share all my articles, blog posts, photos, videos and audio snippets I curate, Twitter is a powerful weapon for storytellers. I’m keeping this one on standby at all times. If you don’t have a twitter, get one. If you don’t follow me, @bdgood. Do it.
- Apps I use for Twitter: I’ve been flip-flopping between Tweetdeck and Hootesuite. But since I don’t need all the professional analytics available on the web-only hootesuite, I tend to organize my feeds and twitter lists with Tweetdeck.
Instagram: While I use many apps for photos, I’m publishing them via Instagram (or Instagr.am online). This allows me to post them on the instagram mobile social network and other social networks. It has a tilt-shift feature which allows some funky editing along with their available filters.
- Apps I use for mobile photography: My most used tools are Hipstamatic, PictureShow, Auto Stitch, Photoshop Express, besides my default Camera app. Hipstamatic is just awesome for non-serious moments when I don’t mind experimenting with photography. It is risky since you can’t keep an original, so if you’re on assignment (which you shouldn’t be using filters anyway) you might miss that moment by using the wrong lens. PictureShow is a fun post-processing app which gives me lots of options. I use Auto Stitch for wide panoramas, although it tends to shut down (patience required). Photoshop Express gives me the basic editing tools I need to clean up a photo.
Foursquare: Its like the scene-setting graphs in a novel. I can announce my arrival at a destination while also getting sucked into the thrill of gamified social networking. Foursquare‘s geolocating service allows me to post to Twitter and Facebook my location, which can help my followers understand succeeding photos, videos and tweets/posts. I prefer Foursquare over Facebook Places because of its smaller network. I have a tighter and close-knit group of tech-savvy friends that I trust. If I feel ok with posting my location, I have the option of putting it on Facebook or Twitter. Over Gowalla, well… I just picked one (cue Canon vs. Nikon argument similarities).
Soundhound: This usually doesn’t come into play for my journalistic career, but I love it. Similar to Shazam, but without the fees, Soundhound gives me a way to identify songs, and then provides me more information and options than I would ever need.
If you don’t think that social media has earned its place in the journalism field yet, Brian Stelter certainly put it to use for the New York Times during his reporting from Joplin, Mo. He was quoted as saying “Looking back, I think my best reporting was on Twitter.” Read his blog post here.