"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tornadoes and twitter

Tornadoes take a terrible toll, physically and emotionally, more than can be measured. It is not enough to say there will be billions of dollars of damage. You can't put a price tag on the suffering, the shock, the trauma, the grief, the misery.
This week's tragedy in Oklahoma is only hinted at in photographs and videos. I've refrained from writing because I didn't think there was anything relevant or meaningful to say. Everyone has stories, everyone knows someone affected.
This is also the week that my twitter for journalists intersession class meets for two weeks, of intensive study. Much of the topic of the conversations in class with these 24 students has centered on the tornadoes this week. We've had speakers in, trying to emphasize the professional uses of the social media, but as one speaker said yesterday, my former student and media person for the Good Egg Restaurant group Sherry Guyse, @MyJRNY, the line between professional and personal blurs in social media.
One speaker, another former student, Heide Brandes, @HeideWrite, can't make it today because she's "stringing,"--freelancing for the Wall Street Journal--covering the funerals in Moore. That gig was set up in part through twitter.
Other speakers have been Mike Sherman, sports editor for The Oklahoman, @MikeSherman; Dave Rhea, managing editor and digital media guru for The Journal Record, @jdaverhea; Desiree Hill, broadcast professor, @DezHill; and Jessical Miller-Merrill, HR maven, @blogging4jobs.
Traditional journalists, like me, sometimes have trouble with the significance of twitter's 140-count messaging, but we've learned it's essential in so many ways in journalism, PR, advertising, and more in the professional communications world.
The tornadoes have added a grim illustration of practicality to the class. More on both later, but I'm asking class members to comment today, one thing they've learned about this infectious social media, twitter.

23 comments:

  1. "Conduct yourself online just as you would in any other public circumstance...as a professional journalist. Verify information before passing it on." #clarkclass

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  2. @shawna_jo Twitter is a way to reach out in a more personable way to your followers and interact with them one on one. The line between personal and professional on social media is blurred. Don't be too pitchy, people will see right through that.

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  3. The difference between professional and personal is blurred in social media. I think this is extremely important.

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  4. @e_crowder - Twitter is essentially teaching us how to communicate effectively.

    PS. Dr. Clark, I'll be your editor.

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  5. Increasingly journalists are trafficking in the fast lane of rumor, twitter journalists need to check their sources and get the facts correct the first time.

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  6. Don't post anything on twitter that you wouldn't want your grandma to see. Also make sure that your information is accurate. Don't post on speculations stating it as fact. @KatieKastl

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  7. "No matter what, you're a human first and a journalist second." #clarkclass

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  8. Twitter should have a balance between personal and professional. It makes you more relatable. @bookgirl_kandi

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  9. @KenPletz One of the running themes I've taken away from this course whether from the speakers or the interviews I've conducted is that you have to be wise about selecting the info from Twitter. Make sure that you're getting the info from more than one source.

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  10. @tawnileannshaw

    I knew nothing about Twitter before taking this class. Twitter can be used for several things, whether is be for personal use or business use. With Twitter we can communicate information quickly and effectively.

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  11. Some students are having trouble getting their comments to post. Why? @okieprof

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  12. "Don't be traditional and be ready to be on the frontline of social media"

    Kimberly Odell

    kimbydell

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  13. @maywest01 Twitter gives you the option to reach a broad range of people but also narrowing your scope with hashtags.

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  14. Don't post anything you wouldn't want your grandma to read! @jonnyfivesalive

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  15. @TherealJPWD: Twitter is the art of telling a story while communicating with your audience.

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  16. @ALeeDad, there are more people out there tweeting than there are people reading tweets. This could be a problem...

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  17. @DillonSRoberts- Twitter is great for guiding people to very specific content, it makes providing information obsolete.

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  18. @markivy34 Understand the line between professional and personal before a tweet. Once something is on the web, it stays there forever.

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  19. Twitter allows you to be the journalist & the paperboy. Unlock your account because otherwise people are never going to find you. Twitter is for building relationships! -@coloree, Colore' Lincoln

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  20. the one thing i learned about this class is in the business world you must be careful what you post because other users or co-workers might take it the wrong way

    Bradley Virger

    @bvirger

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  21. @Laura_Nicole_A

    The main thing I learned was how to use twitter. I didn't have a twitter before this class and now I have one, and know how to use it to my advantage.

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  22. Twitter is a way to build relationships that you otherwise may not have been able to make. It allows you to get information as it is occurring faster than the news. @jcameronwise

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  23. There is a fine line between personal and profession in the Twitter world. So be careful what you post, you never know who is looking! @mrwisemusic

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