April 13, 2009

Connecting with your community through Twitter

Using Twitter to engage the community from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaShould news organizations be wary of social media? Or embrace it? I’ve been arguing the latter for years, and now there are beginning to be lots of examples of journalists using Twitter and other social media tools in smart ways to engage their local communities.

In this 9-minute interview I hurriedly conducted at South by Southwest Interactive in March 2009 minutes before catching a flight, two of the top social media strategists in the newspaper business shared their thoughts about the value Twitter brings to connecting news people with their communities. Daniel Honigman, social media and editorial engagement strategist for Tribune Interactive, and Robert Quigley, Internet editor of the Austin American Statesman, chatted a few minutes after their session, “Old Media Finds New Voice Through Twitter.”

Some top-level takeaways:

“You create customer loyalty” by being part of the online communities that users identify with, Honigman said. “Social media is a way to build your own brand and build your own audience.”

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April 1, 2009

MindBites: The how-to video marketplace

JD LasicaAt South by Southwest Interactive a couple of weeks ago I heard about MindBites, a year-old instructional video marketplace based in Austin, Texas. I had the chance to sit down for a few minutes with Jason W. Reneau, founder & CEO, and Huntley Tarrant, vice president of business development, who walks us through the online learning and training site.

Unlike sites like Lynda.com, which require a fairly steep subscription fee, MindBites lets trainers set a price — generally as low as 99 cents to $2.99 — for watching an instructional video. Reneau says he came up with the idea after discovering that his only choices were hit-or-miss experiences on trainers’ websites or the old-fashioned Berlitz instructional CDs.

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