I'm working with the Poynter Institute to put together an online class for senior newspaper executives on how to use social media in the newsroom. From what I can discern, it's one of the least understood concepts in traditional media.
For the Knight Digital Media Center program conducted through the Poynter, I'll likely be giving a webinar and taking part in online instruction around how journalists are already using the tools of social media. So I'd love to see some specific examples of how you're using social media (aside from blogs), or examples of how other sites are using it in a way that could be applied to news sites.
I know that more than 800 journalists are using Twitter now. But how valuable are they finding it, and what other tools are they using. So here are some questions:
• Do you use Twitter to interact with your readers? How? Do your readers offer story ideas, tips, interview questions?
• Any examples of how Facebook is being used by journalists?
• What about Google Maps mashups, like you see on Everyblock (and formerly chicagocrime.org)?
• What about interacting with users on video hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo or other online communities outside of your own?
• NewWest.net uses Flickr photo galleries on their site. Anyone else?
• Any innovative examples of user-created content, especially video or podcasts? How do you generate content from social networks?
• Would love to hear examples of interesting news widgets that spotlight news feeds.
• Have any journalists had success with using social news sites like Digg, NowPublic, Reddit?
• Anything else you use: LinkedIn? wikis? delicious? Creative Commons? online petitions or campaigns?
• What social networks or groups do you use to interact with other journalists about social media?
• And finally, do you use any online resources for your social media needs?
If you offer some suggestions in the comments below, I'll contact the journalists or organizations using these tools and incorporate the examples into the webinar (scheduled for May 12) and let you know how to see it. Social media consultant Paul Gillin, Michele McLellan and Vikki Porter, director of the Knight Digital Media Center at USC Annenberg, are some of the others involved in this project.