By Shuka Kalantari (@skalantari; @KQEDhealth)
KQED Public Radio
Though blogging and social media have been around for some time now, some people still argue that blogging, social media and journalism should be independent of one another. Scott Hensley of NPR’s Shots blog contends that couldn’t be further from the truth.
During a panel about “Best practices in blogging and social media” at Health Journalism 2011, Hensley said bloggers and journalists are perfect matches for each other. So how does a blogger decide what to write about?
The #ahcj11 Twitter stream helped attendees share information at Health Journalism 2011.
“I want to write the most interesting stuff online,” Hensley said. “The stuff that is burning to be done right now, then see where it goes.”
He advised journalists to check their Twitter feed in the morning as it might give you story ideas.
“Twitter and Facebook can be a booster rocket to make a post go viral.” He added that it doesn’t always work but, if the post is interesting, it’s worth a shot. Hensley says that in addition to checking news sites, he always checks his personal Twitter feed – @scotthensley – as well as the NPR’s Twitter feed – @NPRhealth – to see what’s going on in the Twittersphere.
Ivan Oransky, treasurer of AHCJ’s board of directors, is the executive editor of Reuters Health and blogger for Retraction Watch and Embargo Watch. He joined the blogosphere in 2006 for The Scientist. Oransky says that search engine optimization (SEO) is key for any blogger. If you have a subject you are covering, be sure to use key words that will attract people.
“SEO, to me, means using key words where people that were interested in that subject would want to read about,” Oransky said.