charlottesville blogs

What’s for Breakfast? It Still Matters

By Social Media

A long time ago, I wrote a post about Twitter usage and why we (the people of the social web) care what you had for breakfast. The social web and the community inspired by it continues to evolve, but a constant is the community that forms around food. We all eat, and those of us lucky enough to eat locally, share it, in part, as a method of connecting to others in our community. That community can be geographic, philosophical, contentious, nurturing, gender-based or anything that is the glue that binds it. It’s often not for the creator to define; sometimes it grows organically.

The blog, http://www.katheats.com/ is a good example. Kath Younger began by photographing and blogging every single meal. She grew her online presence to an astounding following and has been recognized by Shape, Oprah.com and hundreds of thousands of hungry readers. The odd thing is that Kath actually lives in Charlottesville, the community where I live and do business. And yet she has this major, national brand and following.

We are not bound by geography or likely audiences. We’re not bound by limitations on what we can create as content producers. We’re only limited by the passion we have for our own work, our lives and our interests.

What’s driving you to create today?

Today, my breakfast is inspiring me — that’s it, up at the top — the most delicious Italian ham, roasted pepper, mozzarella and egg panini at Calvino Cafe. I’m enjoying it and thinking of my friend Brian who will be enjoying a real Italian breakfast in Italy today, lucky dog.

Maintaining a Social Presence as a News Professional

By Media, Social Media

 I had the great pleasure of returning to my old stomping grounds at the Newsplex, today. For more than a year I was the social media correspondent and blogging segment guest on-air on CBS-19. Great fun, that, but my time on TV has been very limited in the last couple of years.

In addition to being included with the “talent,” (ha!) I did some consulting behind-the-scenes to help the news and sales staff with their social strategy. I returned this week, to both provide a refresher and update for the more seasoned staff members and social media orientation for the new folks.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/schuttedan/status/182560714345549826″]

News professionals, whether in broadcast or print, all seem to have the same issues:

  1. Creating definition and separation between their personal and professional personas and online lives.
  2. A lack of comfort in sharing what’s personal (not private) online.
  3. How blogging, generally thought of as a venue for opinion, can be done as an objective journalist.
  4. How to deal with the really nasty and downright rude comments left by viewers/readers.

A couple of approaches shared today include the concept that there is a CLEAR difference between what is considered private and being personal (and personable) online. Never mistake one for the other. Your comfort level in engaging online is important — watch how someone else you admire conducts themselves online and let that be a guide to your own behavior.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/carterjohnson/status/182483092517294081″]

Blogging as a journalist is commonplace. If you’re telling the story behind the story, you’re providing another perspective for the audience. It should enhance the experience, not replace it. Bloggers do not have to share opinions (being a blogger and being opinionated are only coincidentally common). Bloggers are, like journalists, expected to tell the truth. What would happen if a journalist who blogged didn’t blog about their beat or the news they cover, but blogged about their life as a journalist, or their personal interests?

Whoa, right?

Trolls, or the nasty mean people who leave anonymous (or even named, public) comments on blogs, websites and Facebook pages, are really awful. No one likes to read that kind of unfiltered, sometimes WAY over the top criticism. It’s hard to simply thank them for their feedback and walk away. Establish a policy (as the Newsplex has done) that you will delete obscene and inappropriate comments. Make sure you’re showing up and entering the conversation regularly. Turns out that even trolls are more polite when they know you’re in the room.

I encouraged the team members to keep an eye on their Klout scores and set some personal goals for influence and engagement. I think it’s great to see a local news team so genuinely interested in professional development and community engagement.

You can find the Twitter handles of all the on-air staff as well as News, Weather and Sports on the group’s website.