"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A journalist's passion for twitter

@okieprof #clarkclass
Mike Sherman, @MikeSherman, sports editor for The Oklahoman, was the first speaker for my Twitter for Journalists class.
Mike, a UCO grad, is one of the most upbeat positive people I know, and he grabs my  students', and my, attention with story after story. 
There's a quote, an aphorism, in almost every statement, and he's full of practical advice about journalism, sports, jobs, and much more. 
He does his homework, and came to class already knowing things about my students because he'd look them up on line.
He told how the sports department uses twitter, from involving readers to write headlines, to staying in touch with readers, to finding story ideas, to looking for employees.
If you want to see some of the things they tweeted while he was speaking --required -- search #clarkclass on twitter, or go to my site, @okieprof, and do the same on #clarkclass. They're immediate and fun. I'll compile and print them later.
His passion and enthusiasm, and broad knowledge of much more than just sports, but the entire social media and journalism world, astounded the students. 
After he left,  and at the end of each speaker session, we debrief, and each student comments.
Here are some of the things that the students said stood out:
  • He hired someone without looking at their resume. Maybe twitter is the new resume. 
  • Twitter has so much power. The story he told of a  sports writer raising money for the flight for the family to attend a game
  • Finds employees by looking at their twitter, makes you think twice before posting something. 
  • Do your research; know people before you even meet them.
  • Be cautious what you post on social media, everyone sees it.
  • Resumes may not be as important anymore, twitter is the new resume. Twitter is a big involvement tool.
  • Facebook is more of a family atmosphere where twitter is more about the people you are interested in.
  • The search feature on twitter is the most important invention ever
  • Finding your role on twitter is important.
  • Don’t get hung up on the number of followers you have but more the followers' worth as individuals.
  • Make what you post worth your followers' time. Provide a service to them.
  • Keeping up with content, responses and reporting.
  • Don’t feel stuck in your location. Twitter is a travel tool. Virtually traveling and contacting the world. 
  • Insignificant tweets become wallpaper and they can make you look so stupid as a person.
  • Twitter is about the now; deliver your content as a service.
  • Find your own path for how you use twitter
  • Twitter footprints are important.
  • Twitter can help you get a job or it can hurt you.
  • To thine ownself be true. Be who you are even on social media.
  • Mike wouldn’t hire anybody who wasn’t on social media. 
  • When you present yourself on social media you can sometimes get a wrong impression or a false impression. You manage your own content on twitter. 
  • You should take what you get off of social media as a grain of salt but networking is important. You should represent yourself truly. 
  • Be critical of everything you read on twitter, find the sources. 
  • Twitter is the new wire service
  • Content is king
  • Twitter allows you to listen
My  favorite quotes:
  •   "Be a storyteller."
  •   "Twitter is the new wire service"
  •   "I'm going to clarkclass it."
  •  "I've learned more about journalism in the last two years and in my previous career."
My class has become a verb!

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