Talking points for a visit to Journalism 132

[I’m sitting in on Prof. Greene’s information gathering classes this morning…]

Hi everyone. I’m supposed to be providing some constructive criticism on your blog posts, but the odds are pretty good that I’ll be going off on a tangent or three, so here are links to a few things I figure I’ll be rambling on about:

Blog search:

  • Technorati: This site has been around long enough to get verbed, as in, “Hey Steve, why don’t you Technorati that post on Scoble’s blog to find out how many people linked to it.” Use this to find out who is writing about a given topic, and subscribe to feeds of your searches.
  • Google Blogsearch: Less bells and whistles than Technorati, but it’s quick and clear.

Online reference:

  • Let’s just stop using right now. Forget about it. Pretend it doesn’t exist. The first place you should be looking for a word is your AP Stylebook, and the second place is Merriam-Webster. This isn’t my opinion, it’s AP Style. Depending on which news organization you work for, the rules might be different, but for now, just get used to typing If you use the Firefox browser (You’re not still using IE6, are you?), you can just add Merriam Webster to the list of search engines in that little box in the top-right corner of the page.
  • Wikipedia rocks. Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re thinking “How can we trust these random dudes sitting in front of their computers who knows where?” I’m not asking you to use Wikipedia to figure out what’s going on in the West Bank or to find the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, but if you need to find out in a hurry how old Bill Frist is, you’re in luck. In other words, Wikipedia is generally safe to use for facts, but not for opinion or analysis. For that, you’ll want to find someone quotable, and you’ll want to talk to them.

Other things I might have mentioned…

2 thoughts on “Talking points for a visit to Journalism 132”

  1. Lisa – Hi, and yes, I remember seeing you involved on the Yahoo Group, etc. since Dave‘s OPML editor shipped, I noticed your guest post on PressThink, and I’m sure I’ve heard bunches of the citizen journalism-inclined mention h20town.

    Personally, yes I subscribe to some searches and sometimes will use something like to produce a big fat OPML file of search feeds. I talked to Prof. Greene’s classes about subscribing to searches using Technorati, but I didn’t bust out any OPML. I keep up with whatever Dave posts about the editor, and I periodically start it up, update the code, and fool around a little bit, but I haven’t really had that big “AHA” about it yet. Still waiting…


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