A couple of tools today to help your stories get more attention on social media.
Vox meme generator
Allows you to add text, watermarks, quotes to a photo for greater impact when sharing on social media.
Notes: It’s an open source code thingee, so it probably requires someone with coding experience to load it for your organization’s use. But the result is very professional.
Easy way to break down a video or upload photos to create a gif.
Notes: Doesn’t include an embed code; stores the GIF on its website, which might not do you much good.
Welcome to the weekly feature highlighting a digital tool to leverage for lifestyle and arts and entertainment coverage.
The tools: Meerkat vs. Periscope
Where to find them: Apps for iPhone and Androids
What are they: Easy to-use live streaming to social media. Periscope is a tool fully integrated with Twitter, Meerkat is a standalone app that uses Twitter. Because Periscope is a Twitter-sanctioned tool, it’s easier to stream through it.
How they work: Both give you the ability to live stream from your smartphone to Twitter followers. Both also offer real-time live streams for you to view. Both apps allow viewers to respond with “love” buttons and share the live stream with others.
The difference is in the look of the screen. Periscope’s screen can be highly animated, with little “hearts” indicating viewers’ likes floating during the broadcast. On Meerkat, comments and likes are overlaid on the screen.
Plans for the 2015 Society for Features Journalism Conference at the University of Maryland Aug. 26-29:
We’ll start with an opening reception on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 26, and offer a packed agenda of speakers and conversations that continues through noon Saturday, Aug. 29. Topics that are likely to be on our agenda: money making ideas to take home, new tricks for those moving into more digital content (everyone, right?), new storytelling techniques that resonate with digital readers. And much more.
We’ll stay at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference center on the University of Maryland campus. Conference sessions will be in the impressive Knight Hall in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism in College Park – just a short walk from the Marriott. We’ve arranged for a block of rooms at the Marriott with a rate of $149/night for a king or $159/night for two queens (an affordable option for attendees who want to share a room and share the cost).
We’re planning an outing one evening for kicks, but this is a roll-up-your-sleeves conference that promises lots of ideas and content for SFJ members to take home and put to use right away, whether your biggest challenge is boosting revenue, creating better content, or learning new tricks to connect with online readers.
The Tool: Yik Yak
What is it? A social media app that allows users to post anonymously; others “endorse” the posts to make them “hot.” Yik Yak communities primarily are around college campuses; the users are primarily students.
How does it work? People post observations; you can find “nearby” Yik Yaks. There are two options to view; one lets you see the newest posts; the other is to see the “hot” posts — those posted endorsed (liked) by others.
The search button lets you see featured topics, and “peeks,” which are other communities (again, mostly colleges).
You may include a username to Yik Yaks. That might be a good idea if you’re trolling for info as a reporter.
Digital Tool Tuesday: Useful (and offbeat) websites for features reporting
In this edition, some resourceful websites to use in lifestyle reporting, courtesy of The Journalist’s Toolbox, itself a great compilation of what journalists need to navigate reporting in the digital age.
Simply done, this is a timeline of the history of food. Want to know when “The Virginia Housewife” was first published? This timeline has that. Want to find out when the first dedicated baby food was produced; it’s got that, too. Click on the hyperlink and get a lot of well sourced material to mine for any food history story. Bonus: a page that outlines food prices in the past.
A USDA site, this includes great consumer information and personal tools for weight loss and increasing activity. Editors will find the Food-A-Pedia a useful tool to discover nutritional information on any food.
Math for journalists
Math tutorials from the L.A. Times Robert Niles. We like the simple explanation of percent change.
Our third issue of SFJ Campus Connection is here! It’s the perfect tool for anyone on the hunt for an internship. Plus hear from a Mashable employee about how he networks to find places to live.
Follow this link to the PDF version with hotlinks: SFJ Newsletter 3
Our quarterly Campus Connection newsletter aims to connect college journalism students and professors with the features journalism society at large. If you have ideas for future newsletters, please like us on Facebook and leave a comment there. Thanks!