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Shoot. Facebook Messenger?

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Facebook Messenger app for iPhone

Another social media app?

While Google and Facebook trade blows in their social media slugfest, it’s clear who’ll win this fight.

Us.

Sure, it’s easy to get bogged down with all the social media offerings. We don’t have time to regularly use Facebook, Twitter and Google+, right?

Maybe not.

But we continue to text ’til our thumbs give out. And no one, anywhere, is chirping about how they don’t have time for texting.

Enter Facebook.

The ability to use Facebook’s messaging feature from our phones is nothing new. But the Facebook Messenger app feels like a souped-up SMS vehicle that allows you to include pictures and geotag messages.

The real power in this app, it appears, comes in how it connects us to contacts inside and outside the Facebook world. Start typing a name in the “To:” field, and you’re able to select from your Facebook friends and the contacts on your phone. It’s an exclusive club and a wide-open party at the same time.

Facebook Messenger app for iPhone

Now, about those geotags.

If you click into the location pin, guess what displays…

Of course. It’s a Google map.

That’s just one of the many interesting twists we’re sure to see as these social media giants keep trying to one-up one another.

The land grab is firmly focused on mobile at the moment. The introduction of the G+ app for iPhone put that service directly into plenty of palms, despite user complaints. You can bet Facebook has no intention of falling behind on the app front.

PC World is reporting that a video-chat component appears to be the on the horizon for the Facebook Messenger app. I’m wondering if this pushes Google to hurry its Hangout feature to phones.

I love it. We win as consumers when these companies compete like this. This story ends one of two ways: we either overwhelmingly support the better product, and it wins out; or the two continue to clash and crank out ever-evolving products that meet our changing needs.

Not everyone is a fan of Facebook’s latest offering, though. One writer even offers five reasons why you don’t need it.

If you’ve downloaded and tried the app, I’m interested to hear what you think. Comments?

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Find the time

October 27, 2010 3 comments

Think about how much time we spend telling others–or ourselves–what little time we have.

“There’s not enough time in the day.”

“Time is running out.”

“Time is money.”

How about this one?

“There is time for everything.”

That one came from Thomas Edison, a guy who found time to innovate.

The other day, I complimented one of our former reporters on finally adopting Twitter for work.

This same reporter, despite being something like a decade younger than me, once claimed to be “old-school” when I criticized her for not tweeting from the scene of a story. She didn’t have time. She had to get video. Old-school, indeed.

My field isn’t the only one requiring rapid induction into the “new school.” It’s changing everywhere. And the amount of available time is the same.

Edison was right. We have to prioritize and be good time-managers. We already know this, yet so many resist when it comes to technology and their jobs.

Heck, my young, old-school reporter is even tweeting now. Imagine the following she’d have in her new, bigger market if she had taken the time to develop those skills way back when.

Categories: Blogtober, news, Social Media, TV

Does your journalism school do this?

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Yet another reason I’m so proud to be a Missouri grad: Jen Lee Reeves‘ “Real World Homecoming Lunch.”

It’s such a great opportunity for alumni to meet with soon-to-be graduates and share insight about the “real world” of our business outside the comfort of j-school.

I’m thankful Jen pulls this thing together every year and invites us all to participate. Oh, I’m also thankful for the Shakespeare’s Pizza she feeds us.

Photo courtesy: Kelly Hicks

Teaching Twitter

October 14, 2010 6 comments

We’ve dabbled, but not yet fully committed to using Twitter as a reporting tool at KQTV.

William Seay, Bridget Blevins and Luana Muñoz working with Tweetdeck

William Seay, Bridget Blevins and Luana Muñoz working with Tweetdeck

Today, we tackled Twitter as a team.

We’ve had a station account, @kq2, for a while. But doing it right calls for more than that.

The goal now is for our reporters to bring their individual personalities and conversations to Twitter.

Ariane Jenkins works with Twitter on the iPhone and on the web.

Ariane Jenkins works with Twitter on the iPhone and on the web.

Our reporters will now focus on using Twitter to share updates before, during and after they cover their stories for the day. They’ll also turn to our viewers–or followers, in Twitter parlance–for new story ideas and continued discussion of already-published stories.

If you’re active on Twitter, I’d like to ask you a favor. Follow our team on Twitter and help me to help encourage them on their new, exciting journey.

Special thanks to Kelly Hicks for her feedback on Twitter training.

Preaching to the choir about news and social media engagement

October 12, 2010 2 comments

I had an interesting conversation with Joy Mayer last week. She’s a fellow with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, or RJI, charged with the project of studying audience engagement.

Mayer also works as the Columbia Missourian‘s design editor and as an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism.

We talked about two of her recent blog posts: one on the measurement of engagement and one on how the nonprofit world’s “ladder of engagement” can be applied to online news.

Social media engagement is exactly what allows me to have conversations like this with people like Joy Mayer. The combination of new communication channels, open discussion and a community of learner-teachers creates many great discussions and new ideas.

It’s easy for like-minded people charged with similar tasks to agree with each other, but what happens when we hit the road, evangelizing about our ideas on the future of news?

It’s simple: some get it, some don’t. I wish we had more of the former than the latter in the news business.

I’ve been around just long enough to know no glory days and to have experienced cutbacks. But I’ve also been around long enough to know we’re in an exciting time where we have a chance to reshape journalism and write its story of survival.

I’ve worked with reporters who want to listen, learn and adapt. Maggie Crane is one of them. In school, she learned how to do TV news as it was then. In the real world, she learned that sometimes you will shoot an entire series on an iPhone, even though it’s jammed with big names like Albert Pujols and David Letterman.

I’ve also worked with those who don’t see the value in changing their reporting mindsets. They usually end up getting out of the business.

I wish more of them would join the choir instead.

Categories: Blogtober, news, Social Media, TV