Yesterday I talked about what not to do, so today I thought I’d point to a few Seattle-area journalists who are using social media the right way. To be sure, there are a ton of social media-savvy journalists in the Seattle area, but Mónica Guzmán, Linda Thomas and Jenni Hogan are three of the most visible and they each have a unique approach and voice within the community.
@moniguzman | seattlepi.com blogger/reporter/everything
Mónica is one of the best community builders in Seattle. She was hosting Tweet-ups when there was still a print version of the pi (or is it P-I still?) and before the term “Tweet-up” was in common use. I wish every reporter conducted herself with the openness and “come out and say hi” attitude that Mónica has.
Social media doesn’t work if you’re not actually social and that point ought to be emphasized for journalists. If newspapers are going to act like the defenders of the public, the public ought to know who these people are and be able to interact with them, right? Civic-minded citizens (you know, the ones who actually follow local news) have a right to question their leaders and they have an opportunity to do so at city council meetings and such. If you’re a newspaper, where’s your meeting? The street goes two ways, too—there’s story fodder to be had when you sit down with your readers.
@TheNewsChick | Freelance
Link curating is like shopping: Anyone can go to Target and buy a bunch of stuff—it takes an interior designer to pick out stuff that will work together and work with the room that it’s going in. In that case, Linda Thomas is the Christopher Lowell of Seattle journalism and news.
If you locked me in a room with one Twitter feed for a week and said “You can only have one source for those three things” (Seattle, journalism and news—they encompass the whole of my personal and professional life) I’d pick Linda. If you haven’t yet latched on to the idea of link curating, click Follow and learn from this woman.
@jennihogan | KIRO TV traffic anchor
I think Jenni Hogan might secretly be a robot. The volume and speed of her Tweets are so great that it’s hard to tell when she stops working or sleeps. Nearly everything she does on camera, behind the scenes, on location or socially among other Seattleites is documented on Twitter. Hypersocial is how I’d explain it and I’d almost go so far as to say follow her example to an extent (if you can keep up the same pace, go for it).
Her Twitter stream isn’t exactly newsy—or at least it leans more toward being social than reporting news—but that works for her. I get my news on the Internet and I can’t name another traffic reporter in Seattle. What’s that worth to Jenni and KIRO? Any time my commute takes longer than normal (and this is Seattle, so, hey), her Twitter feed and KIRO’s Web site are the sources I’m checking to figure out what was going on (it may be of equal importance to my audience).