Great technology tips for journalists and anyone else

January 27, 2008

So, I joined The Wired Journalist, a cool ning social network for journalists. While there I stumbled upon this link in some lady's blog to a post for journalists feeling like dinasours. Great tips for journalists and even if you aren't an online lover or your job wont one day be at stake because you dont have web skills, these are some great tips and ways to stay up to speed:

*Become a blogger. Start with a favorite topic. For example, if you’re a baseball fan, start with baseball. Find all of the baseball-related blogs you can and become a regular reader of five or six of the best of these blogs. Participate — leave comments; follow links. After three months of blog reading, start your own blog on that topic. Try to post daily for at least six months. For blog topics, avoid anything related to your beat or politics. (See, we got this, more than likely you have your own blog if you are reading mine, and I do thank you for reading)

*Buy a small digital camera that can take both stills and video. Open an account with a photo sharing site such as Flickr or Buzznet. Take photos and post them. If necessary, use some online tutorials for digital photography. (Check! My blog header, when Carlton wasted the pitcher of ice in my fab Hibachi steak, not the best memory but proof we're using those digital cameras )
With the same camera, make at least three videos. Use the free video editing software that comes with your computer and edit those videos. Post them to YouTube and at least one other video sharing site. There are plenty of online tutorials for shooting and editing video. Your goal here isn’t to make great video, just to learn what is involved in making video so you have the capability in your online journalism tool bag. (hmm, why not? Look at the guy I love with the 'Leave Britney Alone' video now in a major motion picture)
Related to video, spend at least two hours a week for six weeks on YouTube. Search for topics that interest you and then follow the trails where they lead. Pay attention to the daily most popular and see what other people are watching. Be sure to watch both amateur and professional video.

*Join a social networking site. Every professional should have a profile on LinkedIn, so make sure you do, also. You will get more DIY (the backbone of modern media) experience with MySpace, if you take full advantage of the site features. Do Facebook, too, but don’t neglect MySpace. (Ouch. I totally had neglected myspace and logged on today for the first time in over 3 months. They really have made some changes. They are so facebook-like now, but still not as cool. Ding on the other hand is the new hotness!! )

*Use social bookmarking. Set up del.icio.us for yourself and use it every day. Learn about tags. Check out Digg and Mixx and similar sites. If you can, get into Scott Karp’s Publish2 beta.
Start using RSS. Use RSS to keep up with the news of the day and the blogs you are now reading every day. Make sure your blog has an RSS feed. (Ok. I use google reader and have tried del.icio.us and will give the others a shot. )

*If your current mobile phone doesn’t handle SMS (text messaging), get one that does. SMS works best when you have friends who text, so figure out who those friends are (by now, you have them). For neophytes and gray hairs, a phone with a QWERTY keyboard (Treo, or iPhone) works best. Blackberrys aren’t great SMS handhelds because they mix SMS and e-mail together. (So I have a blackberry and have no idea what SMS texting means. hmmm. . .Ill get back to you)

*Learn to twitter. There is something to be said for learning how this technology may change information dissemination. (Sounds weird, twitter. Basically looks like a site with folks putting their facebook-like status all day )

*Create a Google Map mashup. If you don’t know what those are, google it. If you don’t know what to do or where to start, google it (hint: or you can search this site). There are plenty of tutorials available. It’s easy. All you need is a spreadsheet with appropriate data and enough smarts to follow step-by-step directions. (I heart Google Map! I almost feel like Tom Cruise in Minority Report:)

After you’ve done these ten things, document what you’ve learned — write something, such as an essay to your editor or a blog post. Discuss how technology has changed media, and follow the string of where that change might lead. What will your job be like in 10 years? What will media be like in five? How will news reach young readers in a generation? Tomorrow?

(Boy is this the story of my life . . . )

Drinks and stuff: Flashback to summer 06

January 24, 2008

Somebody is working on getting a social life! Last night, after a serious reality check at the gym where I learned my body fat index, I hit The Den in Harlem and saw some familiar faces and meet some new ones. Saw my favorite Asian Julienne (she coined herself that, not me:). She and Z were my crew for the summer of 2006, the most fun I've had to date. Seeing her bought back some memories. Like this one . .  .
As did David Lawrence, a artist she promotes, and his rendition of "Where I wanna be" by Donnell Jones. Definitely took me back and he rocked it! I wish I could have lied
 and said I had watched Fashionista Diaries when Julienne introduced me to her friend Jan-Jay. Being a workaholic last year didnt allow for that to happen. Ah well, next time Im watching. And I really have to get over assuming the worst when someone says someone else mentioned me. Im such a weirdo I do
 wonder how someone would describe me.
J caught me on camera as I was jamming to the music. My guy friends said I looked like a groupie.

Tonight I grabbed drinks with my ASME 06 homies Kristin, Vanessa and Erin. We hit Divine Bar on 54th and were extra Sex and the City  ordering martinis and this international cheese plate with all types of amazing cheeses (We always fight over who gets to be Carrie . . .K is a natural Miranda with that red hair and the most organized of us all). It was great to  catch up with them  and they always keep me inspired. I've been pretty preachy these last few days but seeing them reinforced the power of vision. We are all doing exactly what we dreamed of doing a year and a half ago as we bit our n
ails thinking of what life would be like after walking across that stage. That's us at the ASME reunion this summer.

Got some interesting news Id love some feedback on soon

I'm Paranoid

January 22, 2008
Ok. So I have written like three posts I wanted to publish and punked out on them all. Because I'm paranoid the guilty (and the sexy) will know they have been on my brain. And as open as I am with some of my business, parts of me are really are private (surprising right?). So where does shyness (a nicer way to say punkness) fit into a personal blog? Well, that's what has me scratching my head. 

One of my New Y.ear's resolutions was to go on at least one date every two weeks. Which isn't a whole lot but for a working girl surrounded by mostly women I've barely stayed on track. That's not to say I don't meet guys (or feel like I have a few semi-stalkers at the gym), it's just no one is really catching my attention. And the ones that do, well, they don't seem to want to put in the work.
But speaking of work . . .and dating . . .I think a guy in the office may have a crush on me. No, I'm not just feeling myself or the here today-gone tomorrow mojo. And yes, there are straight guys in publishing . . .

Remembering a King

A national holiday.

An international icon.

A man.

Just one man.

The best way to celebrate King Day is to continue the legacy. After dropping me off at the airport my dad took my little sister to see Dr. Martin Luther the King (I love when older people say that:) birth house. When he stopped on country music on the radio for a second earlier and she exclaimed, "that's white people music" I knew she had lost the color blindness children often have.
Last year in newslab I pitched and wrote a story on MLK day on the angle of if women today would want to date a guy like Dr. King. Gives a whole new meaning to I'm a movement by myself . . .

I usually like Google's holiday emblems and today was no different. Loved this!!
If we continue to slide into a recession and google drops prices I'm, definitely scooping up some stock 
Remembering the dream,

It's the weekend!

January 14, 2008

My weekend was a great one indeed
Friday night me and the roomie hosted a psedo-game night. Note to self: Don't try and hook someone up with someone else when they are trying to be with you. But the cupid in me isn't giving up that easy. I have people to see and singles to match! After a game of 21 questions where we all learned a hell of a lot about each other, a few of us hit the neighborhood pub. Saw JB from work working her sophisticated charm at 50+. Keeps me inspired. The old guy who sings the Chappelle Show opening song tells me my smile and eyes are pretty but I'm a little too young for him. Thank God for the small blessings.

Family drama couldn't put a damper on my mood Saturday morning. To work off the stress I hit the gym and saw a lady from work and a new friend at the gym. I'm really feeling a part of the neighborhood. Teacakes meeting was fun. Then we hit dinner at City Lobster for Arion's bday and then to the Hilton for drinks and cake. I probably drank a little too much but hey, it was my birthday anyway!! Well, not really, but almost: Feb 8th is less than a month away! Yay!

So then I convince everyone to go to Tai's 30th bday party. At the door the guy lets us know this is gay night and we knew the night would only get more interesting. First person I spot is Armond, my harlem neighbor, whose house party Gary invited me to. He is there with his friend E who I met when they were together at Z&J's Rolodex Party the week before. Eeerie how everyone knows everyone!!!
I spend the night at the hotel and Sunday me and Whit hit Abyssinian. The choir seemed extra opera to me and I almost wished we had went to Armond, E and Jeanine's church that has a great choir on 116th.
After church I go talk magazines over tea with a few Ed2010 friends which is always fun. Sidenote: will I officaly be a grandma before I even become a wife when I buy this tea kettle I've been eyeing?
After that I hit Loehman's and got a nice gray dress for a steal (part of my goal to get more solid colors and classic pieces . ..see in the pic Im like the only one with print? What is that about?)
Sunday Whitney comes over and we watch the wire. I think in my head of my next conquest as cupid.

Will You Marry Me?

January 9, 2008

All week weddings have been on the brain. 

Monday Essence.com launched the 2nd Annual Will You Marry Me? special (and, ahem, maybe, if you have a second, look for a familiar name in the credits:)
Absolutely beautiful.
What so many need to see: Black Love and Hope
The 6 couples are hard working, loving folks and if you dont know them, know someone just like them. People are voting on there favorite couple with the winners getting an all expenses paid wedding and honey moon. The New Or
leans couple really touched my heart but the Howard couple also are an obvious favorite. No losers in the game of love!
I told my dad at my wedding me and him are dancing to Chrisette Michelle's "Your Joy":) Love that song!

 And I totally stole that idea from my roommate who said at a wedding she was in this year the bride danced to that with her grandfather.

Also on Will You Marry Me? feature and took a little part of my week are the celebrity wedding pictures of Usher and Tameka, Chante and Kenny Latimore, Eddie and Tracey, and LisaRaye and her president man.

And speaking of LisaRaye, it would kinda be nice to be a kept woman...

And speaking of relationships, I gotta tell you about this new venture I'm working on . . .


January 7, 2008

That's the final line in the Color Purple on Broadway.

Me and Sierra got up early Sunday morning to get tickets for the final show of Fantasia in Color Purple on Broadway. Well it was an interesting experience indeed but what matters most is we got the tickets!! I had seen the show twice before but never with Fanny.

I guess I was one of the shows she miss since folks were saying she missed a bunch. I love the show every time and want to make it a daily ritual each time. My fave parts are always Squeak, Harpo and Sophia getting frisky on is there any little thannng I can do for you:) and You told Harpo to beat me. It was a great time and getting raisinets (this was pre my Kanye work out plan . . .I went on to lose 3lbs this week) I bump into my best friend's mom, Mama Ms. Toni!! She has on this fab top and doesnt mine telling me its from her recent trip to China for three weeks. My BFF and the fam were in town for a special hook up they have and her mom and aunt were sitting in the balcony boxes. 

Fantasia tore it up in her final show and I can't wait to go back and see my girl Chaka as Sophia!!

Later that night I hit Village Underground and have a ball. This lady does Tina Turner Rolling on the River better than my beloved Angela B. Once she does a hand stand it's time for me to go. This young and soulful girl does 'My Funny Valentine' and I am in heaven! LOVE that song.  . .even when Kyle Barker sand it to Max on Living Single. Yes, I still ride the Maverick;)

Live entertainment is good for the soul.

Seeing Fantasia do the soulja boy 'yule' during her final curtain call isn't something I will soon forget:)

Celie lives eternally.

Super soak who? Not a queen:)

The Come Up

January 3, 2008
Barack ROCKS.

Don't be afraid of your greatness. You do have to sometimes sing your praises because others may not know the tune.

I must admit overly optimistic yet queen conspiracy theorist me had gotten a bit beaten down by the political rat race. Then I got a text from the Washington Post: Barack got Iowa!!!

Please, please check out Glamour's Blog: "Glamocracy"

It's hot to see these young women blogging about things that will affect lives for years to come and also see candidates blogging. Linda Kramer, DC editor of Glamour and a fellow JAWdess manages this blog. This amazing post on Bhutto really struck me. I have been meaning to write a post on her but really want to put some time in it.

And Barack's win had me feeling optimistic about race relations in this country, or that the phrase relations will one day mean absolutely nothing. Well, last year I had a good time writing this article about Barack measuring up against the Black president you've seen in pop culture from Dave Chapelle and that yellow cake (DONTTT DROPP THAT CAKEEEE:) and Chris Rock's Head of State to all the days of Richard Pryor.

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2008

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?" - Marianne Williamson

Thanks Sylvia for having this on your facebook quotes. I needed this more than ever. Slowly I let thoughts that I may be too big of a dreamer creep in somehow, so this popular quote helped me get my mind right once again.
In 2007, who was I not to debate with a Great Debater?
After interviewing Denzel Whitaker (yes, the kid has a great name) we got to talking about Transformers, one of his fav movies and to me some of its hype is undeserved.
In 2008, who am I not to achieve my want to see much more of the world? 
Today me and my roomie hosted New Years Dinner with a few friends. I invited a Howard guy I met at the NYC HU alum Kwanzaa event Saturday. It was at Monique Greenwood's Akwabaa mansion in Brooklyn and a great time. He was really funny today and we all had a great time.
Last night me and Charanna and some other folks went out to dinner than afterward I hit a brownstone party in Harlem. Good times. At the party I must have been looking a little cute because the girls with their man were clinging to them extra tight, making me want to laugh. Im not that girl. trust.
And on top of that, the ex-husband from someone at work tried to holler at me. sigh. 08 has already begun to be interesting indeed!
In keeping with the Great Debaters moment, here are my 08 accomplishments. Resolved:
To become a healthier and happier me
To step up my travel and style
To not sleep in my contacts
To always wash the makeup off my face ( i know, i know)
To be more mellow
To forgive those who trespass against me as God forgives me  for my own shortcomings
To live my dreams while fulfilling my purpose