Liking and friending on new platforms

I stand by my original motivation behind pursuing print journalism: I want to report and share news with people, but I don’t want to be on camera. Unlike broadcasters, I don’t want to hear my voice or get covered in makeup to appear on camera.

But the days of hiding behind my byline are over, thanks to the Internet. And I’m being told time and again that a social media presence is a journalist’s best friend. Really? In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been introduced to different platforms that are supposedly brilliant for journalists. If only I knew why.

Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook’s journalism program manager, has been cluttering my news feed with ways to use Timeline. After getting all jazzed about finding a way to get it before the herd way back in October, it’s been a tough sell for me. But Vadim has some points for using Facebook as a journalist. It’s a great way to shamelessly self-promote because your non-journalist friends will still like you – probably. And now that Facebook’s becoming the favorite of the Washington Post staff, there’s good reason to delete my partying pictures and post more stories.

Mashable this week gave 7 ways journalists could use the site Pinterest. Frankly, after waiting three days for an invite to join I’m at a loss. If I blogged about interior design, cooking, baking, pretty things in general, Pinterest might be of interest to me. Maybe if I were a photographer, things would be different. Or if I really cared to make picture “boards” of my interests so others could better know my work. But until I master the camera that usually gathers dust on my dresser, Pinterest will stay on the back burner.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m relatively upbeat on journalism and social media and finding the point where the two do wonders for each other. I’m just learning to not jump on board with the next new thing I hear about.

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