Tag Archives: Cardiff Devils

some more tools for the journalist

After last week’s lecture given by Claire Wardle, or @cward1e as she prefers to Tweet, I thought I would give some of the handy little tools she pointed out a whirl.

I have already been using TweetDeck for some time, but I managed to incorporate Twitscoop, and set up a couple of forward searches which brings me information, rather than making me go out and get it.  Lazy, not so, time management skills put to good use, indeed.  Thank god there is someone that understands all the techno techno of these amazing tools.  I just really hope that I can have his or her number if it all goes wrong.

As you can see from my previous post, I had great difficulty getting in contact with Shannon Hope, Director of the Cardiff Devils but with Twitter, I was able to bypass PR and avoid spending money on petrol and get straight to the story.  What I did find rather amusing in all this was that, in considering how I tracked Shannon down when it came to actually recording the interview, I retreated back into the dark ages.

Today, I used a telephone recording kit for the first time. As I popped my request in for said item, I felt like I was in the MI5 about to bug someone incredibly important, like Stephen Fry. I once applied for MI5, but I failed the entry tests miserably because I didn’t read the question. This is probably a good thing as I imagine a spy shouldn’t stop doing something very important to collect a cup of tea from their mother.

But yes, the telephone kit – I was expecting something uber glamorous, but what I actually got was a normal handset phone attached to a tape recorder.  I even had to purchase a cassette tape for 50p!

Talk about a blast from the past when we are learning about advancing technologies in the world of Web 2.0.  I had more difficulty trying to work the darn tape recorder than figuring out how to configure my iPod or this blog.  To think, some pieces of equipment still need batteries.

However, according to a source, there are digirecorders in the CJS goody box, obviously I look like someone who can’t handle technology. This will have to be rectified, and perhaps the starting point is to stop wearing Mickey Mouse t-shirts.

Claire took us through a social media GPS, pointing out all the important sights along the way.  Filing them away for all to see on Delicious enabled me to come back to them at a later date and on a different computer to have a quick play.

Did you know you can be bad at Twitter?  At Twitter Grader, you are ranked in order of how good you are at using the service.  Currently, I am ranked at 625,932 out of 5,463,814.  Not quite the best progress report I have ever had. But it is interesting that the software is monitored in such a way.  Will there be an awards ceremony for the top user? A category for golden tweeters? Joking aside, this tool is particularly useful as it allows you to filter Twitterers, so if you were working on a story with a particular theme you could easily scope out potential users that could help.

There are many tools available to us, such as Addictomatic, NetVibes and the newly created Pressit.  It is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list by any stretch and will continue to be added to.  The exciting thing about Web 2.0 is that it is continually being developed and with Google Wave being thrown into the loop, even more could change for journalists.

Knowing how to use the different tools available to us is by far the hardest part. Now, if I could only work that tape recorder…

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