Read & Respond – Week 6

This week, we’ll be discussing mobility in your read & response. Briggs’ chapter for the week focuses on the subject, so that’s a good place to start. Even though this is a pretty current text, I’m curious how up-to-date you think he is on the subject – advances in mobile communication seem to be arriving faster and faster, making it more and more difficult to stay current on the subject.

Let’s start by discussing the iPad (or ALL tablet technology, really, but it’s difficult to deny Apple’s current prominence here). The new one – yes, another new one – comes out at the start of March. That means we’ll have had a new iPad drop every spring for three years running (and always, conveniently, during this class). One really current example of today’s trends is this: Smithsonian magazine, the old-and-crustiest of old and crusty magazines, has just come out with its own iPad app. Do you have a tablet? Do you read newspapers, magazines or books on it?

Aside from technology, we’ve got mobile apps to consider. Twitter can certainly be used from a landlocked workstation, but (as we experienced in our scavenger hunt), it really shines in how it lets you instantaneously publish from the field (a few death stories that jumped the gun notwithstanding). Check out this tandem of links from “Why journalists should break news on Twitter” and “What goes into a good tweet.” Useful information? Do you agree? How does it square with Briggs’ perspective and what we’ve discussed in class to date?

Location is another factor in mobile communication. If you haven’t already, give Foursquare a try (and if you have but it’s gone dormant, give it another chance for a few days). We’re still grappling with ways to effectively integrate location into mass communication, and one site I’ve recently been turned on to is Street Fight, a news source for all things hyperlocal (kind of like Mashable but for location-based stuff only). Have a look through.

Finally, here’s a tweet from @GeorgeBray that sums things up perhaps a little uncomfortably:

Food for thought, yes? Be sure to post your response a comment to this post by noon, Monday, February 13.


29 Responses to Read & Respond – Week 6

  1. Ali Young says:

    Both of the articles make valid points about why Twitter is a useful form of social media. Tweeting is just one way of spreading information over the masses, which is what news is all about. Why not utilize an app that can get to your viewers instantaneously? If rumors are circulating about a major event that’s just happened, it’s the perfect opportunity for news organizations to exonerate gossip and deliver facts. Most young people don’t watch the six o’ clock news, we seek Twitter and Facebook feeds because you can follow not only friends and family, but also news outlets that pertain to your own interests. I hate anything that has to do with politics, yet I love crime so I’m going to follow specific groups accordingly. With that being said, it’s important to stay productive and not let all of the pointless information sway you away from your work.
    In addition, tweeting isn’t just for your own thoughts, it’s a way to attach links to neat stories that are going on in either your community or nationwide. When I’m scrolling through my feed, I like to see something that’s going to catch my attention, not just read about the chores someone had to do this morning. Therefore, there’s a difference between what’s worthy and what’s not, which is why I enjoyed the looking at the percentages in the article, “What goes into a good tweet.” More than anything I have to agree that I hate when people include numerous hash tags in their tweet. It doesn’t get the point across; it’s just unnecessary and quite frankly annoying.
    Therefore, I think journalists should break news on Twitter as long as guidelines are met and it’s distributed responsibly. It’s also a way for followers to give companies feedback that they couldn’t do as easily from just watching television. Commenting and retweeting on what others have posted is a great way to build a society and let them know you care what’s being said.

  2. Okay, so I know I’ve complained a lot about how troubling all this technology has social media has been for me. But last night, it totally came through for me. I was in desperate need for a non-graphing calculator for my statistics test this morning. I was already panicked because I had a million things to do; I certainly didn’t have enough time to run around, chasing people for a calculator, so I just Tweeted and posted a status on Facebook requesting a calcualtor and got responses almost immediately from people offering up calculators. I didn’t have to make any phone calls or send a million texts…all I did was post two statuses. I finally realize just how quickly people receive information through social media. Now, it’s still challenging to those of us who don’t have smart phones, because we still rely on computer access, which limits our mobility and the option of receiving breaking news on the spot (unless, of course, we’re hanging out with our friends who own smart phones). And my Tweet in this case fell under the category of “Questions to Followers”, which was one of the more “desired Tweets” category. I still agree that there is way too much unnecessary garbage fitering through.

    I really liked the analysis of the Smithsonian magazine app. I don’t really know anything about apps because of my lack of advanced technology, but I liked having some of the features of this app described to me. I think it’s great that a magazine can turn multimedia through an app. I thnk that adding different mediums can really add to someone’s education on a topic and these apps make it easy. Although there are glitches to the app, as a whole it seems beneficial. And as always, it’s nice to be able to access information at any point in time.

    Is a smart phone required to use foursquare? I went to the webstie I couldn’t seem to proceed from the main page…

    • aaaaaargh says:

      I enjoyed this story a great deal – NOT (as you may suspect) because I want you to convert to some technological ideal, but because you vividly describe finding the utility of a particular tool. That’s what matters here, and even if you decide Twitter isn’t for you, you now have an understanding of when it might be useful for you as a communicator.

      You didn’t used to need a smartphone for Foursquare (I can’t find the help link that explains this on their new site), but the app is optimized for smartphone use. If someone else can dig up the directions, I’ll pass along the info link.

  3. I do have an iPad. But I don’t feel like I use it to its potential. I may be an Apple junkie, complete with my iPhone, MacBook and iPad. But the iPad isn’t exactly filling a void for me. It seems like between my MacBook and my iPhone, that I’ve got all my bases covered. If I need something quickly or need to look up info, I generally use my iPhone because it’s constantly in my hand.

    The best time to use it is when wanting to read a decent-sized newspaper. For something small and quick, I’ll use my phone, but if I’m leisurely reading, then I’ll break out my iPad. But if I’m already at a computer… You see where I’m going with this. I don’t think I’ve integrated it into my life enough for it to replace a newspaper or magazine, considering I’m almost always near a computer, and when I’m not, I have a phone attached to my hand.

    And my Twitter is, quite often, used on my computer. I feel it’s way easier to tweet links, which I often do. I’m on the fence when it comes to breaking news via Twitter, especially with individual reporters. I totally understand a news organization breaking a story. But with individual reporters, I wonder if it takes away from the news org as a whole. And it not filtering through an editor scares me. But I also see the value in it. I may be erring on the side of caution here.

    The what makes a Tweet interesting link was quite informative. I think I tend to put out more information rather than self-promotion. But it’s very interesting.

    I’ve started using Foursquare again since starting this class. I initially was very hesitant for privacy reasons. Mine is not connected to my Twitter, Facebook or any other site. I really don’t need people knowing where I am. But, I got it because of the “specials.” Some businesses do this well, while others are failing miserably. And the latter contribute to my lack of use of Foursquare. If every business on the app had some sort of special, it’d get a lot more use. But arbitrary badges and this faux merit system don’t really do much for me, and it becomes more of a hassle.

    Effective way to use mass communication? Give people free stuff. They love it.

  4. Anan says:

    I must say that Apple really makes my life easier since I have an iphone. I don’t have ipad, but my parents all enjoy using ipad (they always bring their own ipads with them). My mom always watches movies and TV series on ipad and Skype with me. I don’t play iphone games and seldom watch movies, and iphone is really a social media accounts managing-machine for me. Via iphone, I uses seven different social media apps and it’s more convenient and time-saving than arrange those accounts on a laptop, cause I can easily upload photos and videos directly after taking a photo or a video by iphone. Another important usage of iphone is that it provides many apps of newsagencies, magzines and BBSes where I mostly get information from. For these mobile apps—both social media kind and news sources kind— their functions, format, and design are the determining parts of whether they are convenient or not. That’s why I like the iphone Twitter app more than the Facebook one.

    For those who get information and news from social media like twitter, they tend to get them from the trusted news agencies like CNN, BBC etc. “Twitter death rumors are totally cross-cultural.” The Chinese micro-blogging service Weibo has exploded with rumors that Kim Jong-Un was assassinated at the North Korean embassy in Beijing. Then, this rumor quickly spread on Twitter. So, when people heard this kind of rumor, they would search it in big news agencies’ websites to get it confirmed. This requires new agencies to tweet the breaking news once they know it.

  5. greerhughes says:

    I am not a Luddite by any means, I love technology. However, I am one of those snobs that just appreciates the value of an fashioned newspaper. I love the New York Times and if I’m on campus I usually pick up a copy. I love being able to spread out the pages and leaf through the articles I want to read and discard. I can certainly understand why the iPad would appeal to people, but I need some old fashioned media in my life. I love books. As in the paper kind. I love collecting them and flipping back and forth through the pages and the way they smell. I know, it’s weird. But i love books.

    I bought an iPad in September and returned it a week later. I thought it was a great tool, really cool, but not necessary for someone like me. I have an iPhone and I recently bought a Macbook Pro (owie). I thought the iPad would be great to bring to school and take notes and blah blah blah, but I just didn’t use it. I couldn’t type on it, which was another big thing. The other reason was the price. I bought the least expensive model and it was still $500. I didn’t feel like $500 was a fair price to pay for the capabilities of the iPad. I still love you though, Apple. I always read the liveblogs from Apple keynotes when I can.

    I mostly use Twitter from my iPhone. It’s good for someone for me because I have a short attention span and short term memory so I can just tweet something that comes to my head. I also love tweeting photos directly from my phone which would be a more time consuming task from a computer. I’m also hesitant to use geotags in a lot of my mobile social media because I’m afraid someone might stalk me. Not really, but it just kind of makes me feel uncomfortable. I also don’t want to know where all my friends are all the time, so I’m sure people feel the same way about me. Just like I don’t want to know when you’re eating breakfast (I’m looking at you, Facebook and Twitter), I’m sure you wouldn’t care if I was either.

  6. Matt Murphy says:

    The first thing that got me for this week’s subject was the “instant-ness” of today’s reporting. Brigg’s first example of Cristano Ronaldo’s car crash in England reminded me of an incident that came about when I was living in Indiana. Basically, a fight broke out in a high school cafeteria, and a video of the fight was posted on YouTube before the cops even showed up. I blogged about this on the West Virginia Uncovered blog here, so I won’t re-state the entire story.

    Anyway, the first point is that while I think that journalists should tweet/blog/post on the spot, it must be done very carefully. One time too many, a news organization has tweeted something that cannot be verified, such as a Chinese news agency reporting the assassination of Kim Jong-Un late this week. At the same time, the death of Whitney Houston, I’m sure, had to be first broken on Twitter or some other social media (although I first saw the news on the New York Times).

    Personally, I probably would not have started using Twitter regularly had I not had a smartphone. I think that Twitter is much more suited to be used in its mobile form than on a regular computer, possibly in part because the iPhone/iPad apps are easy to use, and I think people tend to use social media more when they are bored.

    Point No. 2: reverting back to the discussion of technology (i.e. the iPad), I have mixed feelings. Personally, I am relatively poor, so unless someone wants to buy me a tablet, I can’t afford one (same situation with my iPhone). However, many people do own iPads (or similar), regardless of their economic status. I feel that the lack of technology usage is especially true in rural areas, where more people 1) Don’t have as much access to new technology (or the means to use it, like a 3G cell phone network), or 2) Can’t afford said technology.

    Yet, the use of iPads and other tablets are growing and being picked up by businesses for all kinds of purposes – from Buffalo Wild Wings using an iPad for a menu, to Amtrak using the iPad to conduct train maintenance.

    So, to sum this whole post up, 1) with the way technology has become increasingly mobile, it is great that journalists can report from the scene, regardless of whether we have a camera crew/photographer, etc.; 2) with that power comes responsibility, and journalists MUST make sure we have our facts straight before we post/tweet; and 3) although the use of technology is growing very fast, let’s not forget that there are still millions of people in the U.S. that have limited access to some or all of the technology we are learning about. We have to remember not to leave those people behind.

  7. Matt Murphy says:

    ^^Sorry my entire post is in hypertext, I tried to include two links, which I evidently screwed up…and I can’t edit that comment.

  8. erinfitzi says:

    I’m addicted to my iPad. It’s my planner, all of my textbooks, my form of entertainment (books, movies, music, fruit ninja, looking at lolcats, if only Pinterest/Tumblr had iPad apps) and my notetaker. It’s the first thing I’m on in the morning and the last thing I’m on before bed. I literally sleep with my iPad (and my cat). I really think it boosted my grades when I got it last February (right before the iPad 2 came out). Having my textbooks at my fingertips constantly gave me the means to actually read them, and highlight and take notes. Last semester I used the Evernote Peek to cram for a final exam and I ended up getting an A on it (I had near failed the midterm – accounting/econ isn’t my strong suit). Now with the seamless connections from iPad – iPhone – Macbook (Apple TV), I’m an Apple-using machine. I love to read and because the iPad has Kindle, Nook, Google Books and iBooks (among other less exciting ones), I have nearly every book I could possibly want. I gave up my physical book collection for the most part (which freed up my shelves for my DVD collection, which is also slowly deteriorating.)

    I often write papers using Pages, take notes in class with Evernote, I’ve even worked with Numbers for some payroll stuff before. If anything happened to it, I’d probably be a little lost. When I go on car rides, I use the maps app since it’s big and easy to see and I can prop it up on my dashboard. I’ve done a few blog posts from the WordPress App, with some difficulty. I love reading newspapers on it, but I usually go to Twitter first and pick and choose what I like to read. Newseum is another great app that I check daily.

    I live fairly paperless and I am also addicted to recycling, so an iPad made that so much easier for me. I can put PDF’s on it for classes that require it and I’ve had teachers send me them so they don’t have to print (and waste) paper on me. I have my syllabi (?) on there and I don’t have to buy books. Not picking up a newspaper also cuts down on that, it’s kind of hypocritical saying that, but it’s true. I used to read magazines all the time, but now it’s much more convenient to just get the new one downloaded on my iPad.

    OK enough about my love for my iPad.

    Twitter has become my main source of news and I’m really thankful for that. As mentioned, sometimes they do get carried away, but when it’s done carefully and with good news judgement, it’s pretty effective. It’s also great for connecting with people as we experienced during the Twitter Scavenger Hunt. Somehow, I met a former editor-in-chief at the Parthenon, the Marshall newspaper who now works for an Idaho paper. Blogging and twitter bring the reader almost personalized news. The reader now has this connection with the writer specifically via Twitter and you get to know what the reporter does at that moment they tweet it. It makes reporting almost easier because you have to dig, and as you do that, you make public what you can. Twitter is a super-amplified form of word of mouth.

    Briggs said something about people wanting to know now, and not the next morning. It reminded me about my grandpa and how he goes up to 7/11 every day for a coffee and The Detroit News, only. All of the news he gets is from The Detroit News and the local 5 p.m. news. He doesn’t use a computer for anything other than dealing with his stocks. Yet, he has shares in Google and now Facebook. I couldn’t imagine not knowing the news until getting the paper in the morning, except of course in the case of broadcast news, which I guess is sort of the poor-man’s twitter. If breaking news happens, broadcasters get it ASAP and usually tell all that they know. Twitter works in a similar way.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      So when does the DA get an app? The New York Times app has saved my ability to read the Times every day here in Morgantown (where you can only get Sunday delivery), and I love the interface better than a traditional newspaper.

      • erinfitzi says:

        We’ve thrown around the possibility but I think The DA hoping to move away from college publisher and perhaps make our own website before an iPad app. You can read PDFs on iWVU for iPad/iPhone currently, although it may be awkward to have to zoom in scroll down to see the jumps.

  9. Mary Power says:

    I don’t have a tablet computer. I don’t have a smart phone. I feel like I’m getting lost to my generation sometimes but I’m actually alright with it. I waste enough time on the internet without it constantly being in my pocket.

    I do own a laptop and all of my news comes from it. I don’t have cable television and the TV I do own doesn’t have an antenna adapter thingy. Since I don’t pay for cable what chance is there that I have a newspaper subscription? When I’m lucky enough to be in the doctors office I get to read Time.

    But I do totally disagree with News Organizations that don’t think reporters should break news on twitter. My opinion of news personalities has changed because of twitter because of just that- it is their personalities you are signing up for on twitter. That being said, they are still considered news sources and as such are either given more or less trust depending on their response to rumors or lack of response. Twitter is hugely popular as a news source and should not be undervalued or feared.

    The what goes into a good tweet graphic sort of confuses me because basically all I got out of it is that a tweets biggest sin would be to be boring. This disputes the 80-20 rule we learned about in class and in Briggs by stating that people like personal and self-promotional tools just as much as long as they are entertaining.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      Yes, that does seem like a conflict. One of the by-products of Twitter has seemed to be a crush of list-based posts, and some of those bullet points are invariably going to come into conflict with others.

      Regarding your enjoyment of personalities on Twitter, you’re not the only one to feel that way. Indeed, it’s part of the reason why news orgs have such a hard time with social media policies – it’s a balance between maintaining the individual voices that make Twitter compelling and avoiding scandalizing the business with salty language or casual dealings.

  10. amarie1025 says:

    I recently just got my first iPhone this past October for my birthday and I am constantly on it. Not because I am an Apple obsessed fanatic or I think Apple products are better than anything else, but because it is so convenient and holds so much information. From my e-mails, twitter, texts, internet and so much more I can take care of homework, plan my new workout routine, and call my mom on her birthday all at the same time. I used to think that having one was just to show off so you would be able to say you had an iPhone, but now I get it. Not all smartphones can do what they can.

    There are some things that I haven’t allowed me to fold into the paperless-technology kick. I still think that having a traditional magazine or newspaper is better to read than reading on a tablet, phone, or even a computer. Although I do get the majority of my news from the internet-especially on twitter- I think there are some things that need to stay traditional.

  11. bre7714 says:

    I personally own an Amazon Kindle, which I guess in this case doesn’t really count as tablet technology because I only use it for reading books or shopping for more books. However, I do use my laptop for all my news and entertainment needs.

    The article about twitter does foster some important questions for journalists to consider. I feel I must agree with the decision made by BBC News to create guidelines that prevent breaking news from being tweeted first. As a journalist, I feel like there is a reason that there is a difference between citizen journalism and professional journalism.

    Briggs says that people want the news now, not later. We are pretty good at that nowadays. However, does impatience for the news trump gate keeping? Is it really a good idea to lose our professionalism to speedy news that may not get the facts right? Also, what would happen to the journalistic theory of, “we don’t tell people what to think, but what to think about,” if everything gets tweeted without a second thought?

    I can see how it is tempting to break the news via twitter, mainly because news organizations can be justifiably worried. What if someone breaks the big story first? Attention will be drawn away from us and our shot at the story will be lost. However, I feel that is where good, professional journalism should come into play. Even if you don’t break it first, you can still be the source of information that got a great interview opportunity relating to the breaking news, or dug up some juicy, related information that no one thought to look for anywhere else.

    All in all, I feel like journalists need to distinguish themselves from citizen journalists (because everyone is a citizen journalist these days) and represent their organizations as professionals rather than your everyday social media user.

  12. Joey Simson says:

    Both of these articles sum up why Twitter is successfully one of the greatest social apps for the spreading of communication. No doubt that the majority of individuals now get their news from Twitter. It is a first hand account from individuals that are integrated into the world and spread what they hear. As an example, I was bartending saturday night and a kid at the bar told me that Whittney Housten had died. I asked him how he found this out, but I already knew the answer, it was from Twitter. And he later confirmed it from posts on Facebook, as well. These social media sites are slowly becoming the primary areas of focus for news. Television news is not as popular for younger audiences anymore. Either because younger audiences do not have the time or they would just prefer to see what is trending on Twitter or simply hop on an app to get the latest, quickest information. Even in class, we had discussed how we heard about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the majority of the class had said that they heard the news either via Twitter or Facebook. It appears that it is becoming vital for news outlets and reporters to report the news directly to Twitter as the news comes in. It reaches audiences faster and to a larger, broader audience.

  13. mwlfrd says:

    I got an iPad for Christmas the year before last and I do have to say that it has been one of my favorite gadgets I’ve ever had. I do occasionally read magazines or newspapers on my iPad, but it’s usually when I’m bored or have a reason to read news quickly.

    I would have to say that Twitter is probably one of the most useful social media tools we have today to get news around fast. I think news sources should be allowed to break news on Twitter because all too often, uninformed people post wrong information and it spreads causing many confused people or misinformed. Twitter could be a power tool for news sources if they use it correctly and to their advantage.

    I have tried Foursquare and occasionally will check in to new places I’ve never been before if I happen to see the app on my phone and think about it. It seems like a good way to show your friends where you have been as to maybe encourage them to find more information about that place or maybe go there themselves.

  14. I’m not a smartphone user. I would like to be, but the price point isn’t there yet for me. Because of that, I am a bit behind when it comes to the latest and greatest mobile technology. I don’t own an iPhone. I don’t own an iPad. Yet, I don’t think it’s hurt me in anyway.

    Briggs makes many good points about mobile reporting, but what struck me most about his writing was his tone. It felt so in awe, so amazed at the developments in journalism. Two years after Briggs published his book, everything he describes seems so normal, so commonplace. Of course news outlets are leaning heavily on viewer submitted photos. Of course cell phone video (from a Nokia? What’s a Nokia? Does that company still exist?) is great for on the scene reporting. This has become our culture, and it feels natural.

    It makes perfect sense to break news on Twitter and on Facebook because those services give a journalist more access to readers. If you break news in a blog post, you have to get readers to the blog. If you break news on Twitter or Facebook, you are taking the news to the readers, and the nature of social media allows those readers to spread the news of your article for you. Again, this doesn’t seem amazing. It seems normal.

    My concern with the everyman journalist paradigm is that the lack of professionalism behind it could do more harm than good. Are there some scum bag professional journalists? Absolutely, and it’s their educated choice to behave unethically. A citizen journalist does not have that training and could unintentionally do harm by reporting on a story. Is it cool that a random person is able to immediately upload video of a car accident? Sure, until you find out that it was your family in the car accident.

    I realize that this is a greater issue than what was discussed in the readings, but it’s something that we need to think about as journalists operating on both sides of the fence.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      Good perspective on just why we should worry about a journalism education if any one of us can publish whatever we want whenever we want to. There’s no license required to be a journalist – you can get started in the business with no degree whatsoever – and yet there is a code of operations. Determining what sets journalism apart now that “publishing capability” has been democratized is the big question, and I agree with your thinking that part of the answer must be “principles.”

  15. KLSloane says:

    I agree that social media has taken the reigns from journalists and shed a new light on providing news to the public. I believe that journalists who provide news updates via Twitter are further promoting the publications that they work for, and thus, are increasing their audience size. By utilizing tweets to expose news, news organizations are opening their doors to other generations and joining in on the social media buzz. Technology and trends are always changing, but the shift away from print journalism to social media sites has left newspapers in the dust. That being said, journalists, I say if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them.

    On another note, rather than complain about false accusations and rumors that food the Internet, journalists can set the record straight with just one click. Using this site also allows journalists to engage with their readers because it enables them to provide their own feedback and build off of various topics. In addition to this, Twitter followers of these journalists can re-tweet their tweets and spread the news to their friends. However, I do believe that journalists should follow some set of guidelines to ensure that what they are tweeting is accurate and reliable.

    Personally, I get most of my news from Facebook and Twitter. I love that I can personalize what information I get and actually read about topics that intrigue me. The news can be boring, broad and depressing; therefore, I would much rather filter out the parts that do not pertain to my interests.

    Moving to tablet talk, unfortunately, I do not own one. Therefore, I guess I will miss out on the Smithsonian magazine’s impressive iPad app. What I can say, though, is that I think they are making a wise decision for their publication- both in terms of finances and PR.

  16. I think both articles make good points. Twitter is a very useful tool for all journalist. It allows you to get word about anything out. Now, like all social media, you can use it for recreational uses, which is fine. Some people just like knowing what Lady Gaga is thinking about and just on to know what their favorite celebs are doing. Journalist may use twitter for this reason, but that’s not the main reason journalist should use it. They should use it to break stories from where ever they are as soon as they can. In this world, breaking news is not seeing it in the morning newspaper the next day. By then the story has already been broke because of tools like twitter. Because of this journalists have to be up to the minute. They have to report what they see when they see it and twitter allows them to do this from anywhere. They can be driving down the road and see a house on fire and instead of calling into the news station and needing them to send a camera crew, they can snap of pic on their phone and break the story on twitter and then lead the people to their site where a more in-depth story then 140 characters.

    As for tablets, I think they are a great technology innovation. They allow people to be connected to the online world wherever they are. As for the Smithsonian app for the iPad, I think its a smart idea. They whole world is going viral and if you try not to conform to this change, then you could easily get left behind.

  17. thecoalfist says:

    I love technology.

    I kind of just wanted to leave it at that, but I wasn’t sure if that would be sufficient, so I’ll go on.

    While I do not own an iPad (I would own an Asus Transformer prime if I did own a tablet *mmmyes*), I have used them on several occasions and have also used my girlfriend’s Kindle Fire extensively.

    What I gather from them (for me at least) is that they’re pretty much huge versions of my smartphone. I know they are capable of sooo much more, but do we really use them for that? I briefly skimmed through the comments before mine and saw that some of us do, but we’re also journalism majors/college students who have a lot of work on our plates and always strive for immediacy. I think the vast majority of tablet users, as George Bray alluded to, uses them to play games or for other entertainment purposes. .

    That’s the problem with technology: we’re spoiled by it. We take things for granted in our technologically advanced age and it leads to apathy. I can’t imagine a time when i needed to use an encyclopedia or had to write letters (I legitimately can’t even write in cursive anymore, tried the other day and failed) to contact sources for a story.

    Instead, I pick up my phone or laptop, press some keys, and the work is done for me. I love that. As any college student can understand, getting things done quickly is essential, and nothing allows us to be quicker than our phones and computers today.

    At the same time though, they’re distracting and almost too convenient. I can recall quite a few classes I simply texted through or browsed the web through, thus missing the point of every lecture (aside from attendance points). I can also think of quite a few deadlines I’ve pushed (oh, it’s 11:45?) because I knew I could get things done quickly. Really, phones and laptops should enhance our ability to plan with their calendars, alarms, etc, but it seems to me they’ve simply made us more aware of how long we can wait to do something.

    It may just be me, but I’ll go out on a ledge and say that I think all technology has really done for the vast majority of us is make procrastinating more convenient.

  18. I really enjoy using my iPad. I bought it last summer and since I got it, I’ve been able to continue evolving the way that I use it more and more every week.
    At first, I used it mostly for watching Netflix, being on Twitter and playing games. But since I’ve started using it to store books (that I read for leisure and for class) and as a way to help my as a sports writer.
    For this class, I bought the book on my iPad, which was a lot cheaper and is great because I can always have it at my fingetips without actually carrying the book around wherever I might need it. In the journalism field, I have apps like Pages that allow me to actually write my stories on it, WordPress allows me to update my blog on my iPad if I’d like to and I even have apps that allow me to keep stats during basketball games when I cover them.
    Lately, I’ve been bringing my iPad to games more than my computer because, honestly, it’s much easier to just bring the iPad and the charger than lugging around my computer and I can do just as much on the iPad as I can with my laptop. It just makes things so much easier.
    As for Twitter, just about every story seems to break through Twitter these days. In the sports world, conference realignment news, player/coach suspensions, injuries, just about any other kind of big news that is going to happen gets revealed through Twitter. That’s what makes it such a great source for journalists (and even fans for that matter) to get their news.
    There has never been a source that you can use like Twitter that has been able to get news out as quickly as it can now. It’s amazing how much you can find out just by scrolling through the last 30 minutes or so on your timeline. It’s how I found out about the death of Whitney Houston over the weekend, for example.
    What I feel is Twitter’s biggest feature that I enjoy the most isn’t just that news can break so quickly but that you can also instantly hear from other people about what they think of this news. That’s what makes Twitter so great in my mind.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      Thanks for the perspectives from your work experience. We kind of laughed last year in this class at how Steve Jobs made such a big deal about the lightness of the iPad2, and yet it matters when it’s your working rig. I’m also glad to hear you’re using the e-version of Briggs (but make sure to mention him in your responses, too!).

  19. Ben says:

    Ben Scott
    I personally don’t have an iPad. As neat as they are, I think they are out of my price range, especially when there are much smaller, more mobile, and cheaper versions. I don’t know if I’ll ever get one, but I think I’ll know what will happen if I get one. I won’t like it, then I’ll get more used to it, then I won’t be able to function without it. All of the different apps are pretty cool too, especially since anyone with the right know-how can create a useful app, like the apps for Twitter.

    Twitter is really quite an interesting creature. It more or less took something from Facebook and turned it into possibly the quickest way to spread information, valid or otherwise. By Tweeting a breaking news story, especially if the reporter is at the scene, that story becomes much more interesting. The reporter can give more than cold hard facts. The reporter can describe what he or she sees, hears, etc. and can tell the world about it.

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