SDUT Lab
Follow the eff-eff-eff model to be a journalism curator

Eff. Eff. Eff.

Follow those three letters, and you’ll be on your way to being an effective journalism curator, said Nathan Gibbs, a web guru at KPBS and driver of the PBSMediaShift Twitter account.

Reporters and editors have always had to dig through streams of information to find good stories for readers. That hasn’t changed but the volume and sources of that information has gotten out of control: emails, RSS feeds, Google alerts — and now tweets and Facebook posts. 

What’s different are the tools that could help us get through the muck to find the gems, or in curator-speak, the masterpieces.

So Gibbs suggests the Eff, Eff, Eff method: Find, Filter and Frame.

1. Find: That’s easy. We get tons of stuff from PR people, Twitter feeds, government agencies, etc. all the time.

2. Filter: Gibbs gave us a nice sampling of sites that help you find the most important stuff from Twitter feeds. They included http://paper.li/ and http://tweetedtimes.com/, which extracts the most popular tweets from those you follow and organizes the items in a newspaper-like format. These services vary in features, so explore.

Gibbs also talked a bit about the popular social-bookmarking site http://www.delicious.com/. It lets you organize cool sites you encounter throughout the day and see who else bookmarked those links, giving you a glimpse of who else may be interested in similar content.

3. Frame. Now you have to add context to that interesting information and introduce it to your audience when they’re actually there. A cool tool Gibbs discussed was http://bufferapp.com/. How it works: You send content to your account, and the service spreads it throughout the day at pre-selected times, so your followers don’t get flooded.

Another awesome curation tool: http://storify.com/. It’s a start-up service that allows you to cull tweets, YouTube vids, Facebook posts and pics to create a multimedia story. Great way to experiment.

Posted by Lily Leung/Union-Tribune reporter.

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