Posted on May 21st, 2010 No comments
Social media expert JD Lasica recently asked me to compile a list of the five most important tools for helping people drive social change. I had a difficult time understanding exactly what qualifies as “social change,” so he cut me a break and said I could list tools for journalists. Since I’m now working on a startup (FeedBrewer — check it out!), I decided to focus that even more and list tools for entrepreneurial journalists.
I drew inspiration from the Boulder-Denver tech startup community. This summer, my startup co-founders and I are participating in a “tech accelerator” and mentoring progam called The Founder Institute. Over four months, we’re meeting other entrepreneurs like ourselves, as well as CEOs of successful startups who listen to our ideas and give us honest feedback. We also meet with four others in pre-assigned teams to share ideas. Some of these tools came out of those sessions.
So here they are. If you have your own tools to share, either post them in a comment or tweet them under Twitter hashtag #jstartuptools.
Five Tools for the Entrepreurial Journalist
Recycle those spiral notebooks. This cloud-based notebook makes it easy to record written and audio notes, as well as documents. Just input notes or drag and drop files, and they’re there for you to access and edit on your iPhone, iPad, or from any Web brower. It’s a great desktop app, too.
Too busy to click on all those links to recommended stories from Twitter times? Get them in an automatically laid-out web newspaper format. It’s like Google News with a social filter.
Online news is great and definitely the future if not the present, but you can’t beat printed handouts for real-world meetings. If your stories are available in RSS feeds, use Printcasting to turn them into quick magazines that you can print and hand out at meetings, leave in coffee shops, or give to friends and family.
4. http://www.nameboy.com/ and http://namestation.com
You’ve got that great idea for an online news startup, but what to name it? These tools quickly find available domain names that use different combinations of words. You can even register them on the spot as you find them.
Ning.com will soon require every social network to pay, or be shut down. If that doesn’t sit well with you and you have a WordPress site, install the BuddyPress plug-in. It adds user profiles, public and private groups and all the basic tools you need to run a social network.