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.
– For journalists on a breaking story, this can work as a reporting tool. However, there are pitfalls in quoting Yik Yak posts, since no one is accountable to them. It should be used to gather, but not confirm, information.
— There is fallout to Yik Yak, because some posters can share threats and other nasty things. Some colleges are considering banning Yik Yak.
Some articles about the effect of Yik Yak on campuses:
How it is used:
We used it to gather intel on campus during a campus shooting; to discern what was happening and hone our questioning of officials. Further, the Yik Yaks were mourning the victim (a professor) by name before officials could confirm the identity. It helped us make a call on when to release a name.
It was also used after a racially charged party on the Clemson campus; the comments helped confirm some of the circumstances of the party.
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.
And, just for fun
Ugly Dress blog
An archive of the world’s ugliest dresses. A great way to report on ugly bridesmaid dresses.
Gallery of Regrettable Food
Indexed list of dishes to die for. Or die of.
More offbeat sites: http://www.journaliststoolbox.org/archive/cool-sites/
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!
PDFs from the SFJ14 conference in Nashville on holidays.
You can download the PDFs here: Show and Steal: Holidays
“We need more video!” That’s the battle cry from editors in newsrooms. But where you do you go from there?
At SFJ14 in Nashville, you’ll get instruction and inspiration from two seasoned pros, in two sessions on the opening day of the Society for Features Journalism conference. Val Hoeppner travels around the country teaching journalists how to shoot video. She’ll bring her enthusiasm and the newest tools for you to use. Later, learn how to take those skills to the next level with Josh Meltzer of Western Kentucky University.
Sign up for the conference, Aug. 20-23, at the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in beautiful Nashville. Click here for registration and hotel details.