Tweet Dreams Are Made of This: Social Media and You
There's a little kicker at the bottom of my column today announcing that I'm taking next week off. Half that time I'll be helping my daughter move into her dorm room. The other half I'll be in jolly ol', attending a conference on social media.
What is (are?) social media? Well it's the catch-all term for things such as Facebook, Digg and Twitter, technologies that allow people to share information among friends (and "friends"), from the trivial to the vital. The challenge for anti-social media such as newspapers and newspaper Web sites, is how to approach/integrate social media. Sure we can stick a Facebook or Digg button at the bottom of a story, but can/should we be doing more than that?
Should we be sliding citizen Tweets right onto our Web site? Should we be aggregating--and in a sense, endorsing--the work of local bloggers? Should we be investing less in traditional forms of newsgathering and more in nontraditional forms? Are we more valuable as an institution that strives to quickly provide as much information as we can, regardless of its overall accuracy, or as one that curates information even if that means we're beaten on a story by a guy with an iPhone?
Those are some of the things that I'm sure attendees at this conference will be discussing--when they're not getting plastered at the pub, at least.
What do you think? I'm curious about your usage of social media. Have you ever turned to Twitter for news? Do you post Post stories on your Facebook wall? Do you wish you could do more than merely comment on a story you read online? Do you wish you could somehow have a hand in reporting it?
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