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AAJA Seattle in 2010

Chapter President’s Report

Dear friends,

Happy holidays! As 2010 draws to a close, our chapter has many accomplishments to celebrate this year. It’s also that time of year to renew your membership and make a tax-deductible donation.

The chapter is blessed with a dedicated core of active members who see the value of this community. Our mission is to inspire the next generation of journalists, promote diversity and support media entrepreneurship. We focused our resources in 2010 on outreach, training and mentoring – and you responded.

Our membership increased from about 80 members in 2009 to more than 100 members in 2010. More students are joining our chapter, as are non-traditional journalists, such as Alex Stonehill, co-founder of the Common Language Project and our keynote speaker at our Lunar New Year Banquet & Silent Auction.

Last year’s Lunar New Year fund-raiser at Tea Palace set a new attendance record, with more than 70 attendees. The chapter board was so pleased with the turnout, we’ve decided to hold our 2011 event there on Jan. 29. Save the date!

One of our key strategies in 2010 was partnering with other organizations to broaden our reach and expand local benefits to members.

The boards of SPJ Western Washington and AAJA Seattle agreed to offer each group’s members reciprocal rates on events to increase attendance and diversity. That gave our AAJA Seattle members access to SPJ’s fall training series and freelancer’s workshop at SPJ member rates.

AAJA Seattle also signed a partnership agreement with 911 Media, a non-profit provider of multimedia training, which provided our members with discounted rates and fellowships for students and professionals. Our first recipient of the fellowship was Carina del Rosario, a freelance photographer, who applied the fellowship toward a class in audio recording.

And our chapter collaborated with other local journalism organizations to broaden our reach and relevance: We provided financial or in-kind support to three regional conferences – Journalism That Matters, SPJ Regional Conference, and the Northwest Video Workshop.

We also provided financial and in-kind support to the newly launched Sea Beez ethnic media consortium, and the William O. Douglas SPJ chapter in co-hosting a “Choppy Waters” workshop for students at Central Washington University.

Finally, we collaborated with the Seattle chapter of the National Association of Asian-American Professionals (NAAAP) on two of their events and promoted the kickoff event of the local chapter of Hacks/Hackers, a journalism innovation group.

Speaking of innovation, our AAJA Seattle chapter held our inaugural Innovation Salon at the Seattle Art Museum in May. The classy event at SAM’s TASTE restaurant offered attendees appetizers, wine and tips on Twitter. We plan to hold another Innovation Salon in 2011. Stay tuned.

Acting on another strategic priority, the chapter this year stepped up its efforts to support the next generation of journalists: We held two student pizza nights (including a multimedia journalism night at the UW), judged student work at the Washington Journalism Education Association state conference and awarded four Northwest Journalists of Color scholarships and two Founders scholarships.

Three of our scholarship winners attended the AAJA National Convention and blogged about their experiences. Read what Peter Sessum, Mary Pauline Diaz and Katelin Chow wrote.

And after returning from a fantastic AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles,  we held an end-of-summer potluck in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park.

We also elected new officers for 2011. Here are your officers for next year:

President: Sanjay Bhatt, reporter, The Seattle Times
VP, Events: Caroline Li, editor, EarthWalkers.com
VP, Programs: Owen Lei, reporter, KING 5
Treasurer: Mai Hoang, reporter, The Yakima Herald-Republic
Secretary: Venice Buhain, editor, Bellevue Patch

As you know, our National Board Representative Athima Chansanchai was elected to AAJA National Secretary to fill the remaining term of Doris Truong, who was elected AAJA National President. The chapter board is discussing its next step to fill Tima’s seat for the remainder of her term.

Speaking of national AAJA affairs, it’s been a challenging year. Fiscal crises threatened AAJA’s future, and all chapters, including ours, gave funds to stabilize the organization.

We can all be proud of our AAJA National President Sharon Chan and AAJA National Treasurer Candace Heckman for steering the national organization through the crisis and making tough decisions. Today AAJA has a strong executive director and is on steadier fiscal ground.

And in what could become an annual tradition, Sharon, Candace and Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman, who is also an AAJA Seattle member, organized an all-media Holiday Scoop party at Nectar that benefitted the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship endowment.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped support the chapter in accomplishing its goals this year. Our event chairs deserve huge kudos: Caroline Li (Lunar New Year Banquet), Nicole Tsong and Mai Hoang (student workshops), Mai Hoang and Venice Buhain (scholarship application and judging), Karen Johnson (innovation salon), and Naomi Ishisaka (scholarships reception).

Our AAJA Seattle community is strong. We can meet any challenge by working together. Our continued success rests on your support, so please renew your membership, bring a colleague to our events and tell us how you’d like to get involved!

If you’re not already, I encourage you to follow us @aajaseattle on Twitter, join our Facebook group and check us out at aajaseattle.org.

I wish you and yours a memorable holiday season and prosperity in the New Year!

In unity,

Sanjay Bhatt
President, AAJA Seattle chapter
Reporter, The Seattle Times

Sanjay Bhatt

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Heading to LA for the AAJA Convention? Check this out! — UPDATED

UPDATE: The AAJA Convention Blog is on Tumblr. Check it out for regular updates.

The 21st Annual AAJA Convention: Back to the Future begins in  Los Angeles this week.

Here’s some tips to help you get the most out of the experience.

A cheap way from LAX to the Convention hotel

Here’s a handy tip from Kevin Leung of the Los Angeles Times:

Consider taking the FlyAway bus to Union Station in downtown and then
taking the Red Line subway to the Renaissance (Hollywood & Highland
station). It’s cheaper ($7 for bus + $1.50 for subway) than taking a
shuttle and probably faster (you are not being driven all over L.A. to
drop off other passengers).

The bus stops are just outside the baggage area. Make sure you take the
one to Union Station; there are separate buses to UCLA, Van Nuys and
Irvine. They run 24 hours.

The Red Line runs approximately 5 a.m. to midnight.

Plan out your convention

A full schedule can be found here.

It’s not all work in LA

Check out this handy guide from the AAJA-Los Angeles chapter. The guide offers information on popular dining and night spots, recreation areas and events happening during the week.

Be generous!

Check out the highlights of this year’s silent auction. A bottle of champagne from Robin Leach’s collection? Oh yeah!

Get connected with social media

Twitter

Mark your AAJA Convention posts with the hashtag #aaja.

Here are some Twitter users to follow while you’re at convention:

@aajajcamp — J Camp, a multicultural high school journalism workshop, is currently in session through Wednesday at Loyola Marymount University. Athima Chansanchai (@TimaMedia), AAJA Seattle’s National Board Representative, is J Camp trainer this year.

@aajavoices — Check out AAJA Voices, the convention’s student news project, directed by AAJA Seattle member and Seattle Times reporter Marian Liu (@marianliu).  AAJA Seattle student member Peter Sessum (@petersessum) is on this year’s Voices Staff.

@aajaseattle — AAJA Seattle’s Twitter feed.

@aajala — Follow the AAJA- Los Angeles chapter, who is hosting this year’s convention.

@aaja — the official Twitter stream for AAJA National.

Foursquare

Get the latest things to do while you’re at convention by adding AAJA to your Foursquare friends list.

Facebook

Official Convention Facebook Group

AAJA Voices Facebook page

Want a great convention experience?

Be a rockstar! [Thanks to the 10,000 Words blog]

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Ten Twitter lessons from AAJA Seattle Innovation Salon at TASTE

Posted on by sbhatt

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. Don’t retweet compliments. It comes off as self indulgent and will get you deleted from Becky Selengut’s feed. It is enough that all of the sender’s followers can read it, all of your followers don’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 another’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 don’t know with people you don’t know. Selengut’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 “connections” on Facebook and Twitter, it isn’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.

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AAJA Seattle holds first innovation salon at SAM

Posted on by sbhatt

AAJA Seattle moderator Karen Johnson leads a panel on applications for Twitter. From left to right: Karen Johnson, managing editor of SeattleMag.com; food writer Matthew Amster-Burton; PR-pro Hsiao-Ching Chou; and chef Becky Selengut.
From left to right: Karen Johnson, managing editor of SeattleMag.com; food writer Matthew Amster-Burton; PR-pro Hsiao-Ching Chou; and chef Becky Selengut.

AAJA Seattle held its first Innovation Salon on May 25 at TASTE Restaurant at Seattle Art Museum.

These salons are aimed at getting journalists outside their comfort zones. By hearing from innovators in marketing, media, technology and other fields outside traditional media, journalists can learn about innovative concepts, integrate this thinking into their own work and become innovation leaders in their organizations.

Our first salon, not surprisingly, focused on the culture of Twitter and how various users wield it to have conversations, cultivate sources and disseminate their messages – all of them outside traditional newsrooms.

The stylish downtown restaurant, between the foodie suppliers at Pike Place Market and the social-media startups in Pioneer Square, was the perfect setting for journalists, foodie bloggers, marketing executives and tech analysts to gather for an evening of stimulating conversation.

The event was co-sponsored by AAJA Seattle, TASTE Restaurant and Seattle Magazine. About 40 people attended the event, which was designed to be small to encourage meaningful conversations and networking.

After chowing down on delicious appetizers prepared by TASTE chef Craig Hetherington, the audience heard from a panel moderated by Karen Johnson, online managing editor of SeattleMag.com.

The panelists were food writer Matthew Amster-Burton; PR-pro Hsiao-Ching Chou; and chef Becky Selengut.

Shoutouts to Johnson, online managing editor of SeattleMag.com, for organizing the panel and venue; chapter treasurer Nicole Tsong for providing support; and volunteer Jillian Dinnie, who sold tickets and collected money for AAJA Seattle at the door.

Want to learn more? Read AAJA student member Peter Sessum’s post on 10 things he learned about Twitter etiquette from the salon.

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Eating While Tweeting: Social Media Lessons from Seattle’s Fooderati

Posted on by sbhatt

You can have your food, Twitter and iPhone all at the same time

AAJA Seattle’s 2010 INNOVATION SALONS:
Join us for a lively evening of food, drinks, networking and twitterific conversation at TASTE Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum.


“EATING WHILE TWEETING: SOCIAL MEDIA LESSONS FROM SEATTLE’S FOODERATI”

For AAJA Seattle’s inaugural Innovation Salon series, we bring together a group of the city’s hungriest tweeters: PR-pro Hsiao-Ching Chou, food writer Matthew Amster-Burton and chef Becky Selengut.

Journalists, businesses owners and just about anyone else with a message is scrambling to carve a presence in emerging social media markets. This panel represents a micro-community that adopted social media and pushed its boundaries since before it was cool.

Moderated by Karen Johnson, Seattle magazine online managing editor, this intimate salon will focus less on the Twitter basics and more on the broad lessons, stories and musings from a foodie community that has embraced, and in turn, been transformed through social media

DETAILS
Event: “Eating while tweeting: Social media lessons from Seattle’s fooderati”
When: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Where: TASTE Restaurant at Seattle Art Museum, 1300 FIrst Ave., Downtown
Time: 6 p.m.
Cost: $25/$20 for AAJA Seattle members (includes appetizers provided by TASTE)
Buy tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/112278

ABOUT THE PANELISTS
• Matthew Amster-Burton Food writer and author of Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater
• Hsiao-Ching Chou Partner and social media director at Suzuki+Chou Communimedia, writer and former food editor at the Seattle P-I
• Becky Selengut Chef and co-author of The Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook

SPONSORS
AAJA Seattle
Taste Restaurant at Seattle Art Museum
Seattle magazine

The Asian American Journalists Association-Seattle chapter is a local, non-profit professional and organization. Since 1985, the chapter has provided scholarships for students, professional development for journalists and service to the community in the Pacific Northwest. For more info on AAJA Seattle visit: www.aajaseattle.org

(Images courtesy of CIO.com, Flickr Creative Commons: photos by The Mooncake Box, smcgee, highway.skylines. Graphic by Hot Chai Media)

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