Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wired Journalists

Following my early class this morning, I walked around campus and was instantly struck by an event known as "The National Clothesline Project" that was taking place at NEU's Centennial Circle. Armed with my handy Motorola Razr cell phone, I began taking pictures of the event, which featured student designed "anti-violence" shirts being strung out from tree to tree on a clothesline. Once I took the pictures, I went straight to my apartment and began posting them on a website I recently discovered, Wired Journalists.

Wired Journalists is a great social networking site for journalists looking to share their work or find a job in today's media landscape. It gives you your own profile, much like Facebook, in addition to all of the other features on the site which allow for interaction among users. Of all of the features on the website, the one I think I will find most useful is the group feature. There are groups that members can join ranging from photography to audio techniques to wired journalism ethics. Within these groups, you can discuss techniques and issues with others who hold the same interests as you, in addition to meeting new people with the same interests.

Since I want to get into television or radio, I joined the audio techniques group and the visual editing group. I've already found ways to acquire royalty free music for slide shows, in addition to some helpful websites, such as I plan on frequenting these groups as because I'm always open to learning new technologies and programs in audio and video, so hopefully these people can offer some cutting edge information.

The site also offers a feedstream, which has news and tips on getting jobs, writing good cover letters, and what the future of journalism may hold.

When it comes to gathering pictures for Wired Journalists, as I did today, the process couldn't be any simpler. Taking pictures, despite my crummy cell phone camera, was very easy to do. All you have to do is go to the photo page of your profile and click on add photos. From there, you can upload your photos to the site. The only problem I had with it was getting the bulk uploader to work. I had to use the old uploader since I didn't have the latest version of Java installed, but the process was exactly the same as uploading a photo to an email. I'll get Java loaded, so I can play around with the bulk uploader next time.

My only complaint about the site is the fact that it seems like it may be too small at this point to really make a major splash. There are only 2645 members on the whole site, and some groups look like they haven't been interacted with in months. That's a shame, seeing how so many journalists could use this site as a tool.

All in all, I find this to be a very useful site. Any website where you can show off your work, interact with people who have similar interests, and acquire job tips is a helpful website in my eyes. Hopefully more young journalists will discover the site, thus allowing it to grow significantly into the future.

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