July 13, 2010

Top 5 tools for the entrepreneurial journalist

  • Buffer
  • Buffer

Founder Institute

Cool apps & sites to increase your organization’s productivity

Target audience: Social entrepreneurs, journalists, educators, nonprofits, social change organizations. This is part of Creating Media, our ongoing series designed to help nonprofits and other organizations learn how to use and make media.

Guest post by Dan Pacheco
CEO, FeedBrewer

My colleague JD Lasica recently asked me to compile a list of the five most important tools for helping people drive social change. I had a difficult time understanding exactly what qualifies as “social change,” so he cut me a break and said I could list tools for journalists. Since I’m now working on a startup called FeedBrewer, I decided to focus that even more and list tools for entrepreneurial journalists.

I drew inspiration from the Boulder-Denver tech startup community. This summer, my startup co-founders and I are participating in a “tech accelerator” and mentoring progam called The Founder Institute. Over four months, we’re meeting other entrepreneurs like ourselves, as well as CEOs of successful startups who listen to our ideas and give us honest feedback. We also meet with four others in pre-assigned teams to share ideas. Some of these tools came out of those sessions.

So here they are. If you have your own tools to share, please add them as a comment below or tweet them under Twitter hashtag #jstartuptools.



1Recycle those spiral notebooks. A cloud-based notebook, Evernote makes it easy to record written and audio notes, as well as documents. Just input notes or drag and drop files, and they’re there for you to access on your iPhone and iPad. It’s a great desktop app, too.

The Twitter Times

2Too busy to click on all those links to stories from the people you follow on Twitter? The Twitter Times offers your own customized version of tweets from folks you follow that you can read in an automatically laid-out web newspaper form. It’s like Google News with a social filter. Check out JD’s version of the Twitter Times.


3Online news is great, but you can’t beat handouts for real-world meetings. If your stories are available in RSS feeds, use Printcasting to turn them into quick magazines that you can print and hand out at meetings, leave in coffee shops or give to friends and family.


Nameboy & NameStation

4You’ve got that great idea for an online news startup, but what to name it? Nameboy and NameStation are tools quickly find available domain names that use different combinations of words. You can even register them on the spot as you find them.


5Ning will soon require every social network to pay or be shut down. If that doesn’t sit well with you and you have a WordPress site, install the BuddyPress plug-in. It adds user profiles, public and private groups and all the basic tools you need to run a social network.

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