I was made aware via Twitter of all places today that Kirk Yuhnke, a reporter for Utah’s Fox 13 News morning show, has joined Twitter. They did a feature about Twitter, demoing it for Dan and Kerri (couldn’t find a link to the Morning Show on MyFoxUtah!) and showing live on the air how it works. You can see the post he made on the air here.
Looking at his Tweets, it looks as though Kirk has been using Twitter for at least a few days – I am curious what introduced him to Twitter. Anyway, it’s very refreshing to see more Old Media reporters and news people embracing Twitter as a tool to both receive and report the news. I think Kirk will realize very fast that Twitter’s more than just an addicting little thing to report statuses on – Twitter’s “the world’s largest conversation” (I tweeted that – wish Twitter archived Tweets for longer), and because of that, you’re able to get into everyone’s lives, receive news as it happens, and report it as it happens.
Kirk, in case you happen to read, here are some tips I’d love to give you as a reporter that I think you’ll really enjoy:
- Follow @newmediajim. Jim Long, a camera man for NBC News’s Presidential detail is one of the early users of Twitter. He has reported while on trips to Iraq, world summits, and basically anywhere the President goes. You get the news, as it happens – he’s the essence of one reason Twitter is so popular.
- Today, type “track san diego explosion” into Twitter. Soon, if you have notifications turned on in your Twitter settings, you’ll be receiving new notifications either via your cell phone or IM (depending on your user preferences) on everyone living in San Diego talking about the explosion at the downtown Hilton in San Diego.
- Use Tweetscan. Go to http://tweetscan.com and search for recent news you are tracking – do a search for “wii fit” and find a record of everyone trying out the Wii Fit. Do a search for “KirkYuhnke” and find out about all the people like me that are talking about you. As a reporter, this will be invaluable to use!
- Add 40404 to your Cell Phone. Be sure to add 40404 and set the name to “Twitter” on your cell phone. Then send a message to that address book entry. Now, imagine you’re the reporter on the scene at midnight at a local explosion and Fox 13 News has decided to go off the air and report it in the morning (true story!). You can live-report the event, all via Twitter, and those viewers all yelling at their screen asking what the explosion was can get up-to-the-minute updates on the Explosion happening. Not just that, but those outside of Utah following you can find out what’s happening! (I had about 5 people from outside of Utah trying to come to me after the south provo plant explosion a few months ago wanting the latest news about it, and I had nothing to give them!)
- Check out Twhirl. As a big news reporter, everyone will want to follow you on Twitter, and you’ll be quite a popular guy, both in and out of Utah! Here’s what I do: I follow everyone that follows me (unless they are outright spammers) – this allows them to direct message me if they need to (Twitter only allows those you are following to DM you), and shows that I have an interest in them as well. It’s courtesy, in my opinion. Now, install Twhirl on your computer, and use that to skim through the messages of all those you follow – you don’t have to read every single one, but at least you’ll have a good overview of what’s happening in the world.
Now, for those nearest and dearest to you that you want to follow and pay attention to, turn on notifications for those people. Leave notifications for all the others off. Now, all those that you want to pay attention to will go to either your cell phone or IM client (depending on your Twitter preferences), and you won’t miss any of the important stuff. I should also mention that with notifications turned on, both @replies and direct messages will go to either your cell phone or IM client as well. This ensures you get all the important stuff.
- Use SocialToo.com. Okay, this is a little shameless plug on my part, but it’s one of the only services of its kind out there. When you sign up at http://socialtoo.com/registration and provide your Twitter credentials, it will automatically start following those people that follow you, for you. Not just that, but you can blacklist users you don’t want it to follow, and even leave a message for new followers (that features actually slightly broken right now, but you get the point). This will allow you to use the technique I mention above.
- Check out my post on ways to change the world using Twitter. I track the term “earthquake” as one of the terms I track, and recently there was a 4.0+ earthquake in London. I started receiving an influx of Twitters from people experiencing that Earthquake before it was even reported on USGS! Robert Scoble also does this, and recently he reported about learning of the recent China Earthquake before even USGS reported. Twitter has power in this way.
So Kirk, I think I speak for all of Twitter when I say, “welcome to the conversation!” Keep talking – we’d love to see what we can do to help you out. Hey, maybe we’ll even invite you to a “Tweetup” some time.
For those that would like to follow Kirk, he goes by @kirkyuhnke on Twitter.