Perfection’s nice, but messiness is more fun

Lots of terrific tips, links and ideas on the first day of the national SPJ Conference in Atlanta. Advanced Webheads are already on to most of this stuff, but workaday journos are finally getting this drilled into their heads on a constant basis now. I hope.

In addition to Sree Sreenivasan’s exhaustive collection, two Web-savvy reporters and editors have their own impressive list of basic sites that every up-to-date journalist ought be familiar with (my opinion, not necessarily theirs). Again, it seems like old hat for many of us, but this is a convenient one-stop source for those in the profession only now hearing about some of these tools. Or who have been oblivious to them.

Since I’m relatively new to audio and podcasting, I’m eager to tool around with Vocalo very soon. It sounds like the perfect resource to get started.

In the second of two sessions on Thursday, Sree encouraged old-style reporters not to be afraid of using emerging Web 2.0 tools that may run counter to their journalistic DNA:

“Let’s see what we can marry of the new, new stuff with the good old stuff. The new stuff is good enough, but it can be perfected later. We don’t need to abandon wanting perfection, but we need to use good-enough tools to speed things along.”

In other words, post it now, update, correct and pretty up your prose (photos, blogs, other interactives, etc.) later. Once again, not something Webbies think twice about. But for the majority of journalists to adopt a “new media skill set, and a new media mindset,” as Sree put it, this will be a slow, often tortuous grind.

One especially encouraging thing was to hear how often Twitter is rolling off the lips of mainstream journalists. And being used by them. This morning Dave Cohn links to Erica Smith’s compilation of newspapers using Twitter. It keeps growing, and so do the numbers.

Mostly, I enjoy these conferences for meeting people I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. The initial point of contact has been, fittingly enough, on Twitter. It’s pretty easy to take it from there.

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One thought on “Perfection’s nice, but messiness is more fun

  1. I’m amazed at how many newspapers are using Twitter now — especially those that take the time to interact with their followers. I just had follow requests from two more people in my newsroom, so it looks like this trend will continue. Sree’s right — it’s all about getting used to a new way of thinking.

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