Please join us from 2:00 to 3:00 pm ET, Wednesday, January 30 for a live discussion with Mark Luckie. Submit your questions in advance by clicking 'make a comment' or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All questions are moderated, so please be polite.
Mark has joined us and will begin taking questions momentarily. Please submit yours if you haven’t already. And now, we’ll let Mark introduce himself!
Hi everyone my name is Mark Luckie and I am the Manager of Journalism and News at Twitter focusing on editorial and creative content. Happy to be here and answer any questions you may have!
Mark, thanks again for joining us. It’s great to have you here. I’ve been following your career since the 10,000 Words days and your path has been pretty remarkable. First question: Could you explain what led to your current position with Twitter?
So I've had a long career in journalism and technology starting out as a traditional crime reporter in Daytona Beach and working my way to the Washington Post working on social media.
My experience altogether has enabled me to know how a variety of newsrooms work and what the needs are when it comes to Twitter.
I founded the journalism blog 10,000 Words back in July of 2007 and since then its become this huge resource that was beyond anything I could imagine.
I started it on the front porch of my house in L.A. and now its become this global thing, now owned by Mediabistro. It's awesome but I know its success is because it filled a niche.
The training element of the site is definitely what sold me. I think it’s interesting that you saw the global need for a site like 10,000 Words so soon after leaving the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. What was your experience like there? Do you feel j-schools today are adequately preparing students to be journalists in the age of social media?
Attending the Berkeley J-School was probably the best decision I ever made in my life as it set me on the course to becoming the journalist/technologist I am today. It had such an amazing faculty and rigorous coursework that I came out ready to take any digital journalism position.
I come from a family of educators so journalism education has always been at the top of my mind whether i knew it or not. There was a moment when people were really knocking J-Schools and I found it hard to watch knowing how much of a benefit it had been to me, my classmates, and j schoolers around the world.
But I think through that J-Schools have come out on top and have really taken broad steps to innovate their curricula and really meet the demands of todays students and the newsrooms who are hiring them.
Could you expand on that? In what other ways has the journalist’s job changed over the past 5 years?
Journalists have had to turn stories around on tighter deadlines, write and produce stories in a variety of media and be their own brands on social media. That was only fractionally true a couple of years ago. Some professors have been out of the newsrooms for a while so it took reeducation of faculty and the introduction of new blood to strengthen J school curricula
And trust me I empathize. As a man who works from sunup to sundown, nights and weekends to get the job done, I know what it means to be a journalist these days. But its all about finding out what works for you.... what tools you want to use, what stories you want to tell, how much time you want to invest in your own career
I think Poynter and Nieman Lab are the go-to resource ffor any journalist working in digital media. But I think journalists and newsrooms too often look at the competition for inspiration.
I think it's better to read blogs like Read write Web or even looking at what companies like NASA or HBO are doing in terms of digital storytelling to inspire you.
I also find inspiration in going to museums, which if you think about it are doing the job of journalists... imparting information through a variety of media. You can really expand your repertoire just by going to your local museum.
Interesting, thanks. These days, you see the world of journalism from a different perspective than you used to. Could you describe your current role at Twitter?
My role at Twitter allows me to take a birds eye view (pardon the pun) of how news organizations are using Twitter then take that information back and say here's how you can grow followers, here's how you can create engagement, here's how you can think outside the proverbial box and really reinvent journalism and news storytelling.
The fact that my role at Twitter didn't exist a few years ago and the company didn't exist less than a decade ago still blows my mind and as a journalist I'm excited about being in the role. But its a continuation of what I've done my entire career which is to take what I know and what i see and share it with the world.
On that note, what are some of the coolest newsroom uses of Twitter or other social media you’ve seen recently?
Some of the coolest uses I've seen of Twitter is to take long form storytelling and tell it over Twitter. People are using #Twitterstories or even tweeting whole speeches verbatim like during #inaug2013... it's challenging the 140 character limit and coming up with something new.
I love news orgs like the WSJ and CSPAN who are using Twitter to share infographics which in turn go viral. I also love how BBC Radio is experimenting with embedded audio in tweets to let people listen in to what they're listening to.
Twitter is more than 140 characters now.. you just have to figure out what it is you want to do and then decide how Twitter can help you tell the story or share the content you want to share.
In news, we used to just take one or two tweets to represent the thoughts of the populace, like we'd do with a few quotes or soundbites. With Twitter you have access to global or even very small conversations that people are naturally having all over the globe.
The dashboards we've produced represent those conversations and give insight in what the world is collectively thinking... which I personally think is amazing and gives us insight like we never had before.
I'd encourage you to check out twitter.com/search and click on the "advanced" link. You can really filter through the millions of tweets and tailor the conversation to what you're specifically looking for.
There are a wide range of tools for telling stories online, just think of what you want to do and there's probably a tool for it.
I'm a fan of tools like meograph which allows you to tell linear stories on a map (it's really revolutionary) or the free chart making tools (whose names escape me, check out 10000words.net for those) which allow an ordinary person to create amazing graphics.
A lot of tools also have APIs available so you can even built your own tool on top of an existing one. This means less work and less code!
Totally. One of the new tools we’ve been discussing a lot at Thunderdome recently is Vine. Our interactives editor Mandy Jenkins actually has a question about it for you...
From a news perspective I think the dolphin in the Gowanus canal captured NBCNewYork and even the behind the scenes Vines BuzzFeed and Cosmo did show there's a real application for news there.
It's new so we'll see how people use it!