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23 The Fail Cow is Getting Ready to Sing

The Kansas City Star ran a ridiculous puff piece today about following celebrities on twitter – (hey, it was in the lifestyle section with all the other puff pieces so I have no problem with that.)

What I did take issue with was the fact that the professional journalist writing the story stated erroneously, not once, but twice, that the twitter allowed users 140 words or less to tweet.

Now, I don’t want to come off as one of the social media maniacs, but I did want to leave a thoughtful comment to point out the 140 characters limitation to twitter. After about 20 minutes of unsuccessful login and register routines I gave up. There were no comments posted at the time of this writing and knowing the twitterholics I’m guessing no one could get through to post a comment.

Okay, so now I’m starting to think rant material, but I decide to go network directly with the @KCSTAR on twitter directly. To my dismay, @KCSTAR has only 2 updates, last one coming about 7 months ago. So, I’m guessing nobody’s really home there either.

So, now my irritation has melted into something more like pity. This is my hometown paper, but they are beyond not getting it and I fear the fail cow is getting ready to sing.

I would love to hear from the STAR here and get their take on my view, but I suspect no one from the STAR will read, comment, filter or aggregate this post and that’s sad. I wouldn’t be so hard on them were it not for the countless complaints by mainstream journalists that blogging has somehow tainted real journalism and ruined the world as we know it.

I mean really, who can tell the entire story in 140 words or less?

7 Will social and journalism ever work together?

I gave a presentation for the National Center for Business Journalism this week on the subject of using social media in journalism. The event was hosted by the Kansas City Star and most in attendance were reporters and editors for daily and weekly newspapers.

While all are dabbling in new media (meaning some are blogging) few are able to embrace the full leverage of the social tools available. Some of this is due to a lack of information in an “old school” mindset, but a great deal of is due to the fact that journalists are being asked to embrace these new tools (without a raise in pay) and do so under the umbrella of the paper’s CPM ad model. In other words, go blog, we won’t give you the tools or support to actually do it well, we won’t give you a reason to have a voice and enthusiasm for building a conversation, and, by the way, here’s your page view quota.

It’s a shame that papers seem so bent on keeping their dispassionate observer stance when they have such strong brands and loyal readers just begging them to engage socially.

I caught up with David Hays, tech writer for the Star, for a quick in the field podcast – listen below. I would love to hear from some newspaper journalists who are making it work.