AAJA should be proud of this little website. It’s an important community resource in the online landscape of Pacific Northwest journalism sites. Don’t believe me? I too was shocked when a research study that came out at the 2010 Journalism That Matters conference put aajaseattle.org on the map – literally. Use the Zoom (+) button below and look at the center of the map.
Over the years, as the site’s founding editor, I’ve watched it grow and become a part of our chapter’s strategy for building community online and reaching out to members hungry for training, mentoring and jobs.
My vision for AAJASeattle.org was and still is a place for our members – especially students and freelancers – to post their profiles, share links to their stories and offer emerging, diverse journalists a platform to display their storytelling in new media (and maybe get constructive comments). I think it could realize that vision with a staff of three to five dedicated volunteers.
The chapter’s costs to keep the site up are minimal – a server hosting account and domain name – but the content our authors contribute is priceless.
The blog post items, which chronicle chapter news and turbulent times of our profession, come from members willing to donate their time. And sometimes we get photos and videos posted of chapter events.
With no advertising, no dedicated staff and sporadic blog posts, the site has attracted nearly 7,000 visits over the past year (yes, we track it using Google Analytics). We set up the site so that @aajaseattle sends out a tweet for every new post.
Now it’s time for a new editor with fresh ideas and energy to assume the duties and nurture the site’s evolution.
This is a great VOLUNTEER opportunity for anyone who hopes to be a web producer, blogger or site manager some day.
Skills you will develop as site editor:
Blogging about a community.
Recruiting and managing contributing writers.
Tracking and interpreting site analytics.
Managing the WordPress platform.
Skills we’d hope you have or are willing to learn if you want this gig:
Knowledge of basic HTML tags and how to tag content to improve search.
Knowledge of any blogging platform, i.e. WordPress, TypePad, Tumblr, Blogger.
Proficiency in editing copy.
Editorial judgment and basic understanding of libel, privacy and copyright.
The time commitment is minimal – an hour a week, perhaps – but you could spend more time if you want to create something cool. Definitely something to list on your resume when you apply for jobs at news websites.
If you’re interested in volunteering, please email Sanjay Bhatt, chapter president/aajaseattle.org editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “AAJASeattle.org – Editor” in the subject line. Thanks!
Just days after attending a panel discussion on mobile advertising, I spotted a blog post on Poynter about news organizations hiring people to develop strategy for delivering news on mobile devices. Apparently, the Orlando Sentinel, CNN.com and Philly.com have each dedicated resources to paying attention to their presence on cell phones – particularly smartphones like the iPhone – with an eye toward capturing more traffic and eventually ad revenue.
The folks in the Poynter blog post have some interesting points about the mobile platform. For years now, newspaper editors have talked about how their journalism is “platform agnostic,” which means they don’t define themselves by how they distribute their content. The leading news organizations have been cultivating their skill at leveraging the unique strengths of those platforms on big breaking news stories. The web story has immediacy, virtually infinite flexibility for updates and crowdsourcing, and viral distribution. Print has the weight of that first draft of history, lovingly composed page designs, and longer, in-depth reportage for those who make the time to appreciate it.
I love this quote:
“Having a mobile manager has helped everyone realize how we have to treat content differently on the platform,” said Roger Simmons, director of content/East Coast for Tribune Interactive. “I love the fact that at any given time the top stories on the newspaper front page, website and mobile site might all be different — all tailored to the needs and expectations of our readers.”
The next platform – mobile – offers newspapers a second chance to avoid the mistake they made with the web, according to Ken Doctor, the author ofÂ Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. The prevailing norm on mobile is one of paying for useful content, unlike the web browser.
And just the other day, the chief marketing officer of Unilever told an audience at the International Advertising Festival that the Number 2 advertiser worldwide plans to double spending on digital marketing this year. The company spent only 4 percent of its $864 million in measured media last year on Internet spending, according to an article in Advertising Age. But the company is rapidly moving to shift its marketing spend to be proportionate to the amount of time people spend with digital media.
So you do the math: How much time do you spend consuming content on your television? at your PC? on your iPhone?
AAJA student member Peter Sessum, a three-time recipient of Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship who writes for The Daily, documented the event and wrote up 10 Twitter lessons he learned at our AAJA Seattle’s first Innovation Salon:
1. Be yourself. While Twitter can be used for business, it is expression of who you are. Relationships with customers can be built if your Twitter has that personal touch. Better to be loved, or hated, for who you are than to be invisible.
2. Donâ€™t retweet compliments. It comes off as self indulgent and will get you deleted from Becky Selengutâ€™s feed. It is enough that all of the senderâ€™s followers can read it, all of your followers donâ€™t need to as well. Simply reply a thank you and move on.
3. Be mindful of which account you are using. For the professional Twitter, posting a personal Tweet, or replying to a friend, from a business account reflects on the business. Remember to log out and log back in from your personal account.
4. Deleting posts. Recent news proves that deleting can be just as troublesome as the original post. Twitter is in real time and instant gratification. There is a feeling of urgency to post right away or retweet before there is a gap in the posting. In a professional setting, take a moment before posting. It will get read, might as well have it right.
5. Misspellings. Make a correction and move on. Do not be too critical of anotherâ€™s mistakes; it will happen to you too someday.
6. Inflection is lost when typing. A public forum is not the place to give someone new a taste of your sense of humor.
7. Do not argue over twitter. A healthy exchange of ideas is good, shouting matches are not. In online fights there are no winners, only losers.
8. We are all connected in the Twittersphere. Retweets are a good way to link people you donâ€™t know with people you donâ€™t know. Selengutâ€™s beautifully convoluted story that linked up strangers illustrates how to help one another. As a result, you may end up with jam.
9. There is still room for improvement on Twitter. Creative people will find new ways to utilize twitter at 140 words at a time. Limitations do not stifle imagination, they inspire innovation.
10. Most importantly, know when to unplug. Despite all the â€œconnectionsâ€ on Facebook and Twitter, it isnâ€™t real interaction. Sit down with friends and family without phones and computers. Have some real connections, there will be plenty of time to Tweet about it later.
AAJA Seattle was a proud co-sponsor of the Journalism That Matters event at the University of Washington in January. Check out a video put together by a documentary filmmaker who was at the event.
The video features interviews with three AAJA Seattle members (Sanjay Bhatt, Mike Fancher and Ranny Kang) and you might spot other chapter members who were there, including Athima Chansanchai, Joaquin Uy, Alex Stonehill, Sam Louie, David Boardman, Caroline Li, Ava Van, Naomi Ishisaka and Carina del Rosario.
Journalism That Matters will be holding a similar forum in Detroit with a special focus on diversity and communities of color.
Participate in “Journalism That Matters Detroit — Create or Die: Forging communities that initiate, incubate and innovate.”
This focused, three-day gathering of results-driven, action-oriented participants will discover, assess, shape and create forward-looking enterprises focused on key elements of community — diversity, shared values, tolerance, participation and developing youth.
JTM especially invites persons of color — journalists, entrepreneurs, programmers, technologists, bloggers, videographers, venture capitalists, artists, funders, educators and all who have an interest — to explore how voices often unheard or misrepresented can reshape the future of journalism.