Categories
Conferences

BarCamp Charlotte

I went up to Charlotte, NC on Saturday to take part in BarCamp Charlotte 2. I got a great deal of value out of the presentations, and it was really important for me to see a BarCamp in action — important as we prepare for the inaugural BarCamp Charleston on Saturday.

I was only able to attend the afternoon sessions, but fortunately I was able to see how Charlotte’s interpretation of BarCamp works. I even tried to pitch a session talking about what I’ve done with my weather projects, and while there was some interest, it didn’t quite pass muster. But that’s alright — I know I wouldn’t have been able to match the quality of the sessions I attended, which were incredibly well-thought-out and creative. I attended a session called “45 Questions in 45 Minutes,” which aimed for 45 questions about the web answered in a strict one-minute time limit (though people found loopholes later on :) ). I got to see a great demo of HTML5 — and from that, confidence that I can start to use HTML 5 now. Finally, I attended a panel about the future of journalism (a topic near and dear to this journalism major’s heart), during which I got to mention the #CHS Hashtag Summit, which likely sparked a Charlotte news hashtagging movement as well.

It was also great to connect and re-connect with a lot of my Charlotte Twitter friends. I think that’s the part of these events I enjoy most — connecting with all the people in “real life” that I interact with daily on Twitter. I also got to meet a whole lot of new people as well — always a plus.

The event seemed to go very well (at least for the few hours I was there), and I look forward to making the trip for BarCamp Charlotte 3.

Categories
Technology Weather

My weather experiment on FriendFeed

The latest foray into my meteorologically-themed social media exploration is the Charleston Weather FriendFeed group, designed with some automated aggregation of Charleston weather-related tweets in mind, but also designed as a point for folks to share their weather stories and reports. It seems like a strange, nearly too-narrowly focused topic for a FriendFeed group, but I see it as an important proof of concept stemming from some goals we set for Charleston news reporting in March.

You may remember the Charleston news hashtag summit-of-sorts. The meeting brought together media members, active Lowcountry bloggers, and concerned Twitter citizens. We hashed out a series of tags that would classify tweets accordingly. There are tags for news (#chsnews), breaking stories (#chsbrkg), and the like. The goal of using these — and really, any hashtag — is to bring related content together so people can filter their streams accordingly. These tags have met with moderate adoption; I’ve personally seen some tags more than others. One of them, #chswx, is one focus of my FriendFeed group.

Categories
In Pictures

A meeting about hashtags — no, really

A meeting about hashtags -- no, really

It seems oddly fitting that a few local bloggers, tweeters, and folks from local media outlets got together at Juanita Greenberg’s downtown, sat outside, and talked about — what else? — hashtags. These aren’t your ordinary hashtags, though — these tags are designed to standardize news tweeting in Charleston. This way, we can keep things like breaking news, weather, and other news types separate from each other so that — if the tags are adopted the way we hope — people can find news faster. Dan has a great explanation of our meeting today (the culmination of the #chshash conversation you may have seen over the last couple days). Expect to see more written on these hashtags soon.

Categories
Media Technology

WCBD’s Social Media Push

WCBD, Charleston’s NBC affiliate, is launching a huge push into social media today by getting a majority of its news staff on Twitter. This is huge — I can’t say I’ve seen too many news agencies place a majority of their staff out into the wild amongst the Twitter-using public. Everybody from the anchors to the photogs is on and listening. Just today I was having a converation with morning anchor Brad Franko during the A-Rod (A-Roid?) press conference. WCBD’s had a presence on Twitter for a while, starting with producer Raymond Owens. Raymond was the first of the television journalists — and among the first of the journalists in Charleston in general — to make news a conversation over Twitter. That struck me. I was particularly pleased when chief meteorologist Rob Fowler joined up later, and gradually more and more folks at the channel started to tweet. I still think one of the marvels of Twitter is how it brings the people together with the media; with media listening in on what people are talking about over Twitter, it helps them serve our interests that much more effectively.

So, with that in mind, I’ve put together a few things that WCBD — and other news organizations tempted to take the social media plunge — should give a shot.