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This couldn’t be a better article for the relevance of this Comm. 361 Online Journalism class. This article gives an excellent overview of some innovative websites that can be used for classes dealing with journalism.

MediaShift is a website which tracks how social media, weblogs, podcasting, citizen journalism, wikis, news aggregators and online video are changing the media world.

This particular article, by Nathan Gibbs, gives a list of SEVEN social media techniques and websites that can be utilized in the classroom. The seven areas are:

  1. Facebook
  2. Group blogs
  3. WordPress
  4. Social Curation
  5. Collaborative Writing
  6. Mind Mapping
  7. Experimentation

Facebook:

  1. Facebook groups: students utilizing Facebook groupsis beneficial as students are already using Facebook so it eliminates making a new user name/password, it takes little effort to “like” or comment on students work, and it encourages more interaction.
  2. Facebook pages: such Facebook pages can be utilized to post stories and get sources for other stories.

Group blogs: group blogs are a great way to introduce students to online writing and basic web publishing; the kind of work they’ll be doing as journalists. He suggests using Tumblr or Posterous.

WordPress: Gibbs explains how WordPress opens the door to extensive customization. Users are able to enhance the blogging experience and really take their work to a new level.

Social Curation: Gibbs explains how it’s important that students know how to collect and annotate messages from social media websites. Storify, Curated.by and Keepstream all allow users to gather and embed social media messages for use in blog posts and articles.

Collaborative Writing: Gibbs explains how Google Docs is an excellent editing tool that allows multiple contributors to write at the same time and track revisions.

Mind Mapping: Gibbs explains how structured brainstorming helps people organize their ideas based on their relationship to other aspects. He suggests using Mind Meister to implement online collaboration.

Experimentation: Trying new things and learning what works and what doesn’t is a huge component to journalism. Making sure to apply one’s journalistic curiosity by exploring how new social tools can further your storytelling skills.

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