The tools of the trade

Learning to embrace innovation

It is inevitable that the changing media realm also means changing tools, mindsets and most importantly a focus on ensuring innovation. 

Innovation is so important now that Fairfax have actually created a role for someone to ensure growth within their organisation. National Innovation Editor, Stephen Hutcheon spoke to us this week about how he stays ahead of a game in a role where he is ultimately always two steps behind. 

He tells us that traditional Journalism still has it's place but innovative ways to tell a story are now imperative. 

"Inverted pyramid has its place. I'm just arguing for more variety. Video, audio, photos, listicles, charticles, dataicles. The more the merrier. I don't think people expect it. In fact, I think they're bored by it. It's too formulaic: Intro, blah, quote, blah, dissenting voice, blah..."
Digitising story telling with the click of a button...

So this week I thought i'd explore these digital tools of the trade, starting with my blogging platform today:

1. Shorthand Social

A tool that lets you blog without having a blog... yes I know how bizarre this sounds. It's a platform that lets absolutely anyone publish their works online professionally and actually assists you with promoting your work via Twitter. This little baby is taking Citizen Journalism to a whole new level and doing it in style. No more clunky blogger accounts, Social Shorthand is slick and modern and even prompts the user to upload media. Exhibit A: 

2. Periscope 

Twitter's brand new live streaming app taking the social media realm by storm. The app allows anyone to live stream themselves doing practically anything, watching anything, listening to anything (except anything that voids copyright restrictions or is downright gross) for viewers across the world to tune in, watch and chat. Think skyping but instead of being linked to one person you can inevitably be connected to an entire community. Oh and in the last 5 months that it's been running... we already have people getting famous from the tool... Exhibit B: 

3. Storify

Oh, and lets not forget the app that helps us combine it all and literally stream a timeline of information from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram into one feed Storified feed. Thriving since 2011, the tool allows you to pull information from any of the social networks, customise the information however you wish and then share your story with the world. Here's an example of a live story, where the author is pulling peoples tweets through the hashtag #EnforcedDisappearancesKE.

As you may be able to tell, the future of story telling or Journalism as some may still like to call it has become more innovative than ever. Journalists of today and tomorrow are surrounded by a magnitude of tools that allow them to tell their story better than ever before and we have to make the most of them in order to keep our audiences interested, as Stephen (or the king of innovation) told us...

"I feel we are entering a post-text world and if we want to keep readers engaged we have to find new formats to do that".
So next time you publish... use your all your tools and use them well, your audience will thank later.