On Saturday, I went with five other Sandusky Register journalists to a Society of Professional Journalists conference in Columbus. It was our day off. The paper covered our registration fees, but we covered our own food, lodging, bar tab, etc.
I spent the entire day attending sessions on how to use the Internet to reach readers more effectively. (This blog will become better than ever, any day now.) As the Internet has made everyone a publisher — you can start your own blog at sites like Blogger and theoretically reach the entire world — I thought I’d share a couple of highlights.
Two OSU professors, Debra Jasper and Betsy Hubbard, offered a four-point program for digital coolness: (1) Set up a personal page at My Yahoo or iGoogle to put all of your information sources in one place; (2) Pay close attention to Facebook; (3) Learn how to use Twitter, which is exploding in popularity and (4) Get a Flip camera and get busy uploading videos.
Bonus tip: They make all of their students build an Internet site at ning.com. There are lots of places to grow your own Internet site for free, but the two lady profs said Ning lets folks with no coding skills build sophisticated Web sites with powerful social networking tools.
One more conference tidbit: The lunch speaker was Leonard Pitts Jr., whose column runs frequently on our editorial page. Pitts’ first novel, “Before I Forget” has just been published. Marilyn Dahl of “Shelf Awareness” says it is “powerful,” “beautiful,” “tragic” and “riveting.”