On Monday afternoon, hyperlocal and web journalist Brittany Wilson, social media coordinator Buffy Andrews and I (books editor Sarah Chain) took the NewsVroom down to Paul Smith Library of Southern York County to talk to a group about social media.
Most of the audience is participating in Paul Smith’s “Year of the Book,” a 12-month push for writers to finish the manuscript in their drawer or an idea that’s been mulling in their head. Most of the audience was also older, and partially (or totally) overwhelmed by the idea of creating a Facebook or Twitter account.
We received questions like “What’s a spammer?” and “What’s a blog?” Social media jargon can be tough to sift through at first.
But that’s why I enjoyed this particular NewsVroom visit so much — because the purpose of the ‘Vroom is to educate. Paul Smith Library director Demi Stevens explained, after the session, that many folks had questions they were often afraid or embarrassed to ask. But that’s what we’re here for!
We want to help our community understand the tools and technology we are using at the York Daily Record/Sunday News — inside and outside of the newsroom — and show them ways they can adapt those technologies into their own lives.
For the authors on Monday, that might be to create a Facebook fan page, or a Twitter account, or a writing blog. For the Girl Scouts at Dover Area Community Library in January, one “lesson” was taking photos on a Droid or iPad and posting them to Twitter.
In March, Brittany and I will be at Martin Library, joined by editorial page editor Scott Fisher, for a session on best blogging practices. We’ll focus on the ways that York Daily Record/Sunday News journalists work to grow their audience and improve their content — and how community bloggers can as well.