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Tips for Best Use of Social Media

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Social media trainer and journalist Jeff Cutler taught Kiplinger Fellows how to leverage the latest social tools to research stories and engage audiences at Monday’s session of 2014 KipCamp.

“Social tools are not here forever,” he said. “Don’t fall in love with the tools.”

Search engines

The most basic tools are search engines. Google is one of the best tools a journalist can use, Cutler said, in today’s technology-driven society. He suggested setting up Google Alerts to get notifications from news outlets and sources.

“Google is king/queen,” he said. “It’s free, accurate mostly, comprehensive . . . Alerts do the work for you. You must be smart about choosing phrasing but you get better at it over time.”

He doesn’t recommend Bing, which he said means “Bing Is Not Google.” It is more commercial in nature.

He also suggested using several search engine aggregators, including Addict-o-matic and DuckDuckGo. A synopsis of search engines is at www.allmyfaves.com/blog/allmyfaves/top-10-alternative. Continue reading

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Social Media Trends for Journalists – Robert Hernandez

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Robert Hernandez is a web-based journalist who says his whole professional career has been “nerding out in the name of journalism.”

The assistant professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism spoke at Monday’s KipCamp, a short-term fellowship designed to help journalists make better use of online tools.

Although technology trends shift with society, journalism will survive, he said. “Journalism will outlive Facebook.”

Hernandez outlined his five rules of engagement in social media.

Rule 1: Journalism first, technology second.

Journalists’ primary job is to collect information, distribute it and inform their community.

“If you believe content is king, like I do, it’s not about the device, it’s about the content — but the content optimized for the user of the device.

“You’re a lazy journalist if you only rely on social media. You’re a lazy journalist if you don’t use it,” he said. Continue reading

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