Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Friday, September 14, 2007

Google: Making your job easier

I just found out a couple things I want to pass along. The first is called a "reader" page. There are several of them, but I'm use Google's. You just go to google.com and search under "more" for "reader."

A reader page is fantastic. As a producer or reporter, you probably start your day cruising several different websites, looking for stories or info around the region. The reader page allows the websites to send info to you, so that you can look at it in one spot. It's easy. You sign up and then browse for subscriptions. So say you reader the "Dallas Morning News" everyday. You can sign up for that. Say you do a lot of stories on NASA. You can sign up for subscriptions about NASA. Say you can't figure out what to make for dinner each night. You can sign up for recipes too.

Another thing that Google has is "alerts." You're basically signing up for a google search, and they email you the results immediately, daily, or weekly. So say you cover the school or crime beat. You might enter in "ABC School District" or "Small Town Police Department." Anytime something hits the web with these terms, you can be notified, as often or as little as you like. I'm signed up for "immigration," "border," "Nasa" and "New Orleans."

It's also really useful in the field in conjunction with a blackberry. Say I'm sent to cover Hurricane Humberto. I sign up for an "as-it-happens" google alert for "Humberto" and I get the latest info emailed to me. There is also a way to link your alerts to your reader page, but I haven't figured that one out yet.

((I learned about all this stuff on a great website which I encourage you to check out: www.j-learning.org There's an article called "Journalism 2.0." There's also a super blog.))

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