Social Networks Are The New Town Squares

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This is a post from journalist Paul Balcerak that everyone should take to heart who learned some very important things after entering the world of journalism. His bulleted points in a post at Wired Journalists is incredibly wise.

Google isn’t Satan. Contrary to what many have said about Google running newspapers into the ground, I’ve found it to be insanely useful — to the newspapers I work for. Same with the rest of the Internet.
Social networks are the new town squares. I just wrote this and I’ll keep saying it: You have to be where your readers are, whether that’s in real life or on Facebook.
People still want their news five minutes ago. However, whether it’s Pulitzer Prize-worthy can wait a few updates down the line.
Everyone is a reporter. Setting oneself apart now means not only keeping up with the latest toys, but using them in ways no one’s thought of yet.

And this is what some old school folks don’t get. Social networks are the new town squares, the new watercoolers, if you will. It’s important to remember that any good reporter goes to where the conversation is. In the old days, it might have been the round table at the coffee shop or at the local bar for a beer or two.

These days, it’s Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook or countless other platforms where conversations are being held nonstop.

And in two years, it will be something else. That’s what makes this new age of communication so interesting. As journalists of any variety, it’s pretty exciting but we need to be on our toes.

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