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Twitter For Journalists, Ottawa


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These are my slides for three presentations on Twitter for groups of journalists this week in Ottawa. For a handout on my Twitter tips for journalists:

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Twitter For Journalists, Ottawa

  1. 1. Twitter for Journalists<br />@stevebuttry<br />Gazette Communications<br />Canwest News Service <br />Jan. 20, 2010<br />#twjtips<br />
  2. 2. Resources to help journo tweeps<br />“Twitter tips for journalists” on my blog:<br />“Breaking news” and “Twitter”categories on my blog<br />These slides (and other Twitter slideshows) at<br />#twjtips<br />
  3. 3. How do you use Twitter?<br />(and let’s ask my tweeps)<br />
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  5. 5. How @snolen uses Twitter. via @mathewi<br />“Best reporting tool I’ve ever come across.”<br />Needed photojournalist in specific region of India; Globe & Mail photo desk tried for a week w/ no luck; she posted on Twitter (@mathewi & others retweeted) & had photog in two hours<br />Found a key source for story on Tamil Tigers<br />
  6. 6. How Twitter helps journalists<br />Quickly locate eyewitnesses & participants in breaking news<br />Connect with sources, journalists<br />Monitor community discussion, get story ideas<br />Promote content<br />Write tight (no lead longer than a tweet)<br />
  7. 7. How do I get started?<br />Open account<br />Be sure to fill in bio, location, picture<br />Decide how to use phone<br />Follow some people<br />Start Twittering<br />
  8. 8. Twitter terminology<br />Tweet, an update (noun or verb), up to 140 characters<br />Tweeps, your followers<br />Retweet, to pass on a link or thought (can be quote, paraphrase, starting point)<br />Tweetup, a physical gathering of tweeps<br />Fail whale, over-capacity graphic<br />
  9. 9. What should I tweet about?<br />Link to a new blog post, story, video, photo<br />Retweet (with a comment) a link from a colleague<br />Reply to someone from your community<br />Tweet an unfolding story<br />Tweet something insightful or funny<br />
  10. 10. Linking with Twitter<br />Use compressed links:,,,, etc.<br />Write a headline or a comment; give tweeps a reason to click<br />Credit<br />
  11. 11. People to follow<br />Look for sources (find people)<br />Ask sources<br />Journalists in other communities<br />When someone follows you, check out to see whether you should follow back<br />When you follow someone, check whom they follow<br />Tweeps mentioned in interesting tweets<br />
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  29. 29. David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen<br /> “We had a two-month transit strike a year ago, and Twitter was useful for getting a feel for how traffic was moving in the early days, and then how things were going during the staged return to work.”<br /> Useful for “epic lineups for H1N1 vaccines. … These tweeps were a real force multiplier that gave us clues where to send our reporters to find the most important goings-on, and what questions to ask the Powers That Be.”<br />
  30. 30. David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen<br /> “Word that a piano that was in a public space at a downtown grocery store had been taken away and replaced with shelves of potted plants for sale. People loved that piano and there’s been a minor firestorm since it was removed. It’s a real slice-of-downtown-life kind of a story, and something I wouldn’t have known about without one angry person’s tweet.”<br />
  31. 31. Quakes show Twitter’s value<br />Indonesia<br />Twitter HQ<br />Lists<br />Location search<br />Term or hashtag search<br />
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  36. 36. Examples from one day in Iowa<br />Click trends<br />Search hashtag #iagaymarriage<br />@tdorman from Supreme Court, press conference<br />@DM_in_the_PM from rally<br />@dianeheldt from court<br />
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  43. 43. Twitter’s value in breaking newsnot happening in Iran, Haiti <br />Emergency landing<br />DC Metro crash<br />@jkrums on Hudson emergency landing<br />@2drinksbehind on Denver plane crash<br />Fargo flooding<br />
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  59. 59. Twitter twists<br />Tweetbeep & Tweetscan<br />Interface w/other social media<br />Publish2<br />TweetDeck, Tweetie, etc.<br />Twitpic<br />Lists, favorites, retweets<br />
  60. 60. Ways to use Twitter<br />Follow people on the beat (put their feeds on beatblog)<br />Crowdsource (“Does anyone know anything about …?”) <br />Story ideas (ask, monitor chat)<br />Connect with eyewitnesses<br />Drive traffic to blog posts, stories<br />
  61. 61. Ethical considerations<br />How do you identify yourself?<br />Separate personal and professional Twitter feeds?<br />How do you verify?<br />What language is acceptable (WTF)?<br />What, if any, opinions are OK?<br />
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  63. 63. Let’s check advice <br />from the tweeps<br />
  64. 64. Wrapping up<br />These slides at<br />Follow me on Twitter: @stevebuttry<br />Twitter tips, links to journalists & helpful resources on Twitter on my blog:<br />
  65. 65. Final advice<br />From @mathewi (Globe and Mail):<br /> Don’t answer, “What are you doing?” Answer, “What am I thinking?”<br />And from @stevebuttry:<br /> “What do I want to know?”<br />