Yajiao’s Blog

The online part of the module

Posted on: 30/04/2009

With the development of Web 2.0, there are many tools and services could be used by online journalists. In our online journalism course, we tried some web tools. 


YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. People could broadcast themselves to the whole world and develop their own audience. Meanwhile, if you are interested with other videos, you can communicate with users about shared interests. YouTube provides chances for expressing yourselves through video. Further more, it is also a social networking tool to meet new people and be part of a community.

It is an open platform for ordinary people and journalists student to upload their own video and share it with friends. Also, many bloggers insert YouTube video into their blog in order to give readers more background. 

I have my own YouTube account and uploaded all my project videos. My friends could watch them and leave commets. Meanwhile, I usually watch the top videos from YouTube and sometimes share it on my blog. 



It is a service that allow people to post short updates (max 140 characters) about what they are doing. People could follow each other’s status. 

I kept using Twitter for a while. At first, I think it is just a simple tool to tell others what are you doing, which is quite boring and meaningless. 

However, after I read a guide of how to use twitter, I learned some tips about how to take advantage of Twitter in a journalistic way. Twitter could be used for news gathering. The more people you follow on, the more chances you may get the useful content.  Breaking news are always reported by witnesses through Twitter firstly. Twitter was used in the Sichuan earthquake in China and the terrorist in Mumbai. The Labour Party and conservatives both have their own Twitter accounts. In addition, we could use Twits Like Me to fine people who have similar interests. Tweetscan is for searching key words. Twitterlocal could help you to find twitter in your local area.


RSS feeds

RSS stand for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is used by news websites, weblogs and podcasting. It provides web content, summaries of web content, and with the links of the full version. My group blog is a music blog. We added the RSS feed of Yahoo Music News to our blog. Readers could know the latest news and click for more information if they are interested. They don’t need to visit the Yahoo Website, but could know music news when reading our blog. 


Google Reader

Google reader is a Google’s web-based feed reader to keep up with blogs and news.

As a journalism student, Google Reader is a useful tool to receive the latest news. A front page that lets you see new items at a glance . Users could add different category of news according to their interests in subscriptions.  For example, I added news related to China, London, Media and Film. Every time when I log in my Reader account, the information from my subscriptions will be showed first. Meanwhile, users could keep track with their own blog in order to read the new comments.

Users could choose to read  between list view (story with title) or expanded view (story with details) for item viewing. As you view items in your reading list, they will be automatically marked as read as you scroll down.

In addition, items in Google Reader can be shared with other Web users. Items the user marked as shared were automatically visible to their Google Talkcontacts. It is a DIY media platform as well.

However, one disadvantage of Google Reader may be that it is too professional for ordinary people. Different from journalists, public just want to know breaking news. In this case, the information from Google Reader is overwhelmed,  and will make users feel confused to get their interested news directly.


Google News

Though every daily newspaper has its website, Google News is a tool which could collect the latest news from world’s major news outlets. 

For journalism students, Google news is a reliable and user-friendly news source. It provides a wide range of news from over 4,500 news organizations. It is easy to compare the different angles and wiring styles of different news organizations in the same news story. The email alerts function will help you to keep track of the development related to your interested topics. At the same time, Google News is set up in different categories, such as Top stories, World, Business, Sports, and Entertainment, etc. According to users’ job and interests, they could access to the certain news stories which are particular important for them. Users could type the keyword to search news. 


1 Response to "The online part of the module"

Thanks for the info on Google Reader and Google News. I learned something new!

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