Social Media: I might need a patch…..

One day last week, I was sitting at my computer at work (one of the rare days I wasn’t out doing something), looking at Twitter, and had this thought: Why don’t I write about it for one of our Daily Dose installments in the Press & Dakotan?

So, here is what I wrote that appeared in Tuesday’s paper. After, I will explain further.

“Yes, I admit, I’m a social media addict.

I’m never far from Twitter or Facebook, whether it’s at work, at home, or elsewhere (thanks to applications you can get on your smartphone).

James Cimburek, our sports editor, and I are avid users of social media in our day-to-day jobs. Twitter, especially, serves as a great tool for breaking news, sharing stories and corresponding with colleagues, friends or whomever. Between the two of us, we have over 1,000 followers, which means we can reach a different audience with our updates — as opposed to print readers.

Which is why, it always confuses me when other media outlets, state-wide and regionally, aren’t actively using Twitter.

True, some people see Twitter as yet another task in an already busy day, while still others say they don’t understand the benefits (i.e., “it doesn’t bring us new subscribers”). For example, when covering games or events, James and I will post score updates, to keep our followers “in the know.”

Why other papers don’t do this, I can’t say for sure.

James and I are fortunate in that, for the most part, the people we work with want to be ahead of the curve. We want to utilize every avenue we can to reach our readers; to keep them informed all day, and not just every morning when we upload new stories to our website.

It’s 2011; it’s the age of technology.”

— — — —

To be completely honest, Twitter is one of the main reasons I’ve strayed from blogging very much the past few months. When I can send out quick little updates or observations, and have almost the same instantaneous effect, I’ve found it hard to type out a full blog.

But with this topic, I feel like I need more space.

Twitter (and by connecting our accounts, Facebook) has become a very useful tool for the Press & Dakotan sports department to reach our audience within seconds, rather than forcing them to wait for the next morning to see stories. We live in an age where people want, and frankly should have, news by the second. News happens all the time, whether it’s something as simple as a USD player getting a player of the week honor, or something else major like USD joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference. That’s where Twitter comes in handy, James or I can type a quick update and send it out to our followers.

Plus, it’s quite addicting.

When I’m not checking email or sending text messages, I am checking Twitter on my phone. Literally within seconds, you can have a whole new list of updates from people to read through. To be fair, probably 80 percent of the updates are worthless and uninteresting (note to self: cut list down), but there’s always that 20 percent that keeps you coming back.

Here’s hoping Twitter remains relevant for reporters and editors, and that others see the light and join the fun.

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