Playing with online tools

Posted on October 28, 2009

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wordcloud

So I’ve discovered some nice little tools to use on the internet this week, some which might be of some use as a journalist and some which are just fun.

Above is what you get if you feed my blog into wordle.net – apparently I talk far too much about the Guardian and people (the size of the graphic shows how frequently you use that word, in case you were wondering).

And, later this week, I’m going to make a Google map of some very exciting pictures I took a few weeks ago. (I know, I know. It’s very exciting and you can’t wait to see it. But it’ll just have to wait.)

Aside from the lovely graphics which have distracted me for quite some time (how many other things can I stick into wordle…?) I have discovered that the best way to get good stories is to rip them off from people who are not journalists.

Well, not quite. But certainly spy on them, hover around twitter and the likes and perform virtual eavesdropping in the extreme. And, if they seem to have something interesting to say, chat to them. Engage with them. Become their buddy. Because in a world of online networking you have an infinite contact book, and they’ll all be much happier to talk to you if you’re pals.

Courtesy of Dr Claire Wardle, we journo types at Cardiff Journalism School have been given a list of five key things to consider when online. Here we go:

1)      Be human. (And there I was thinking I was a robot.)

2)      Be realistic. (If we’re going to be realistic, then let’s admit I probably know less about the internet than everybody reading this.)

3)      Be honest. (I can’t be anything but. It’s a curse.)

4)      Be aware. (I am spying on you. You just didn’t realise it until now.)

5)      Be everywhere. (I can actually split into multiple pieces and spread myself all over the planet.)*

Some pretty good advice, I would say. Now, it’s just a case of mastering it. To twitter! To delicious! To addictomatic!

*Comical interjections not attributed to Dr Wardle.

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