Archive for May, 2010


My Over-Networked Life

Every freelancer knows it’s important to use social media to stay connected with editors, sources and the general public.

But with so many networking sites out there –Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Yammer, Orkut, Plaxo, Jaiku, Bebo, Ning, Hi5, Multiply, Meetup.com, FriendFeed, Friendster, Flixster – the savvy freelancer needs to be choosy. Time is precious, and it’s far too easy to spend so much time updating your Twitter feed that you might not get around to sending out that all-important story pitch.

So which should a freelancer choose? Three tips:

1)  Divide your time between “broad” sites – like Facebook, which has 500 million users – and “specialty” sites, like Geni.com, which serves a very specific, narrow niche (in this case, people interested in genealogy). Aim for a 50-50 mix. But don’t overdo it! You might consider joining as few as two sites — one broad, one niche.

2)  When using that “broad” site, try to zone in on how it can help you connect with sources and ideas inside your reporting area. It might help more than your niche site does. For example, if you’re an entertainment writer, a “broad” site like MySpace might connect you with emerging musicians far better than a niche music site known only by industry insiders. Similarly, broad sites like Twitter can give you new ideas for entertainment stories.

3)   Think about WHY you’re on a social media site. Are you looking for a job? If so, groups that encourage face-to-face meetings – like Meetup, BigTent, or CouchSurfing – would be more beneficial than nationwide sites without local filters or groups. Are you busy juggling work and family, and you’ve joined social media only because your mentor said you should? Then join something quick and easy, like a micro-blogging site, which won’t impose the time demands of building an entire Facebook page complete with photos, or require the hours you’d need to build a LinkedIn page with your resume, detailed job history and references.

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SPJ’s freelance directory

If someone told you that you could have unprecedented access to the world’s top editors and news directors, would you believe him? Thanks to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Freelancer Directory, this isn’t a far-fetched idea.

SPJ’s Freelancer Directory can put your work at the fingertips of the country’s top editors and news directors. The directory enables independent journalists, who are members of the Society, to post information and links to work samples online for free. This same list is viewable by editors and news directors from around the world. They can search by state, specialty or both. All you have to do is post your best work and wait for the calls to come.

For SPJ members: If you are a current member of SPJ, visit the directory Web page with your username and password to complete the registration and submit your work samples.

For non-members: If you are not a current SPJ member, we encourage you to join today and let SPJ start working for you. For more information about SPJ membership, please contact Membership Coordinator Linda Hall at (317) 927-8000, ext. 203.

The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

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SPJ LDF supports travel blogger

The SPJ Legal Defense Fund granted a request for $2,500 to journalist Christopher Elliott, which will assist him in a libel suit. Elliott, a travel blogger, was sued by the travel company Palm Coast Travel for defamation, false light and tortuous interference with contract. Read more about the grant and Elliott’s case in the SPJ press release online.

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Newest Posts

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SPJ Digital approved by Board August 27, 2014, 4:14 pm
Expand your freelance network – join SPJ’s freelance community! August 25, 2014, 9:27 pm
Get Free Money for your Chapter Event! August 25, 2014, 5:48 pm

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