Tools of the trade

The internet has given journalists many useful tools, so many in fact, that most of us find ourselves constantly chained to the computer.

The bitter old guard say this is the very thing that is destroying journalism and that real ‘in the field’ reporting is now dead and gone.

I don’t know about that, but I know that my work colleagues and I do 95% of our interviews over the phone and the majority of our research begins and ends with Google.

I don’t have the time or the word count to debate whether this is good or bad journalism, but I know it makes my job a hell of a lot easier and for this I am grateful.

But the internet has already progressed far beyond Google and we now have even more sophisticated tools at our disposal.

Here are some of them in easy to read point form. Click on each for a more detailed explanation than I have the room for:

* RSS or ‘Really Simple Syndication’ – Trawls the net for your favourite content and feeds it to your hungry RSS reader.
* Technorati – The Google of the blog world. Here’s an edublogger post with a good overview of Technorati.
* Moblogs – Not hip hop slang for more blogs, but actually geek slang for mobile phone blogs.
* Podcasts – Do I really need to explain?
* Vlogs – A blog… on video
* Twitter – What are you doing?
* – The humble bookmark has evolved.

Just for fun, here is a twit’s guide to Twitter:

2 thoughts on “Tools of the trade

  1. Glad you liked my post on Technorati — which even today still continues to mock me. Any way I’m wondering as a journalist which of these tools you’ve listed above you are now using besides Google? And how are they helping you do your work more effectively?

  2. Hi Sue,

    Thanks a lot for stopping by.

    I write mostly in the property section of the magazine, so I need to keep up to date with auction results, what the market is doing etc. To do this I subscribe to several RSS feeds from places like REIV (Real Estate Institute of Victoria), Domain, The Property Advocate and others. I also subscribe to several news feeds (Crikey, The Age, ABC). Another great feed I subscribe to are Three Thousand, which tells me about events, launches and exhibitions going on in Melbourne that don’t get a lot of coverage in the mainstream local media.

    I use to access my bookmarks on both my work and home computers.

    I am a casual reader of Technorati and occasionally use it for research,

    I must admit I’m yet to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. I’ve signed up, but since I don’t know anyone else that is signed up, I haven’t really used it.

    Podcasts are great for me because I listen to a lot of radio propgrams but don’t necessarily have the time to listen live.

    Vlogs and moblogs don’t really factor into my research methods, but I’m sure in the future they may become a further tool at my disposal.

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