October 1, 2009

6 Twitter tips for journalists

6twitter tips screenshot

JD LasicaI‘ve produced two new printable handouts for the annual conference of the Online News Association this weekend: 6 Twitter tools for journalists (PDF, also at http://bit.ly/6twittertips) and 8 ways to use social media in the newsroom (PDF) — see the accompanying post.

While the PDFs are spiffy-looking, they’re less than optimal for search engines and for the disabled, so I’ll mirror the handouts here in html.

6 Twitter tips for journalists

Create a Twitter dashboard

tweetdeck21Organize and manage your Twitterverse by selecting an app to work with throughout the day. Your top choices are two downloadable desktop apps — Tweetdeck or Seesmic Desktop — or Hootsuite, a configurable Web-based app. All allow you to customize your Twitterstream into groups (or, if you prefer, beats).

Find local tweeps

twitter-local2Twitter’s a great way to connect to the local community. A handful of tools let you suss out who’s in your area. First try Twitter’s advanced search feature. Go to search.twitter.com/advanced, enter a city or zip code into the “Near this place” field and choose a search radius. The results are based on the location people enter in their Twitter bios. Other tools worth a try: TwitterLocal.net, NearbyTweets, Localtweeps and various iPhone apps, such as Twinkle, TwitterFon, Tweetie and Twittelator Pro. Happn.in is a new local Twitter app that lets you track trends and conversations in specific metro areas. We also like Twellow (and a href=”http://www.twellow.com/twellowhood”>Twellowhood) — the Twitter Yellow Pages — MrTweet and Justtweetit, three tools to help you discover folks relevant to your interests.

Follow breaking news

Waterfall on flickr by tokyogoat3Use Twitterfall to follow the real-time Web. Create a custom search to follow topics you specify — and save them for later retrieval. Type in an address into the geolocation panel to see what people are discussing in that area. Use this app to follow breaking news stories. You may also want to follow hashtags on topics of interest, like #health, #obama, etc. BreakingTweets is a site where reporters curate and organize news stories around Twitter. TweetBeep lets you receive hourly
email alerts of topics you specify. (Image: Waterfall by tokyogoat) Continue reading