June 26, 2009

Girl Scouts taking to Twitter

If it's summer, it must be time for me to kick into high gear for Girl Scouts. So I've been wiggio'ing and wiki'ing and twittering today, pulling together information so a whole new group can collaborate.

A growing number of Girl Scout Councils are discovering social media. There's a big meeting in Arizona where they've been discussing social media. This year, some are even sending out Tweets from the conference:

"I wonder if we can really use Twitter and Facebook to increase Membership? #gscc09"
I expect you'll see more Girl Scout Councils twittering because of this:
"#gscc09 Great dialogue in salon 2! CEO GS West OK talked about DOUBLING their membership in 4 years by leveraging girl/vol issues and mktg"
"Loving the Engagement Strategy tool to communicate with target audiences...just wish there were multiple personas for each segment."
But the big excitement was this:

"Ready to Mobilize Membership? Don't miss the lunch presentation on social media by Jessica Lawrence!"
You see @jessicalawrence who earlier sent out this Tweet:
"Doing 45-minute presentation on social media to 200 Girl Scout CEOs and senior staff on Friday. Any "must include" ideas?"
has a social media policy for the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council that includes 10 ideas:
1. Tell the truth.
2. Have a purpose.
3. Add value.
4. Be authentic.
5. Speak for yourself.
6. Play nice.
7. Respect copyright and fair use.
8. If it’s confidential, keep it that way.
9. Be social.
10. Use common sense.
That policy was shared earlier this week as well as her communications plan. She's not a jerk and she rocks, she blogs, she reads, she ROWE's, she .... check the council out.

There are many Girl Scout volunteers and girls who Twitter and have been. It's great to see more "official action."

Some news organizations also are catching on. An article on the Tallahassee.com site, Girl Scouts use Facebook, Twitter to seek volunteers, was populating a number of discussion groups, blogs and news sites.

The official Twitter feed of Girl Scouts of the USA just started rolling.

Also find the Juliette Low Birthplace on Twitter.

(You can follow all of the councils easily now, thanks to this application.

And here are the Girl Scout Councils already Twittering:
  1. Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council- GSACPC
  2. Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council (Added Aug. 28)
  3. Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle - GSCFPgirl or the adult site Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle - GSCFPadult
  4. Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida - GSCTF
  5. Girls Scouts Commonwealth Council of Virginia- GSCCofVA
  6. Girl Scouts Heart of the South - GirlScoutsHS - Tennessee and Arkansas 
  7. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan GSHOMAnnArbor - Michigan (added Oct. 11)
  8. Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast - GirlScoutsCCC (added July 8)
  9. Girl Scouts of Central Illinois -GSCentralIL - (added Aug 28)
  10. Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey - GSCSNJ (added Aug. 12)
  11. Girl Scouts of Central California South - GirlScoutsCCS
  12. Girl Scouts of Central Texas - GSCTXcouncil (added July 8)
  13. Girl Scouts Citrus Council Girl and adult @citrrusadult (Changed Aug. 28)
  14. Girl Scouts of Colorado - GSColo
  15. Girl Scouts of Connecticut - GSofCT
  16. Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois - GSEIWI
  17. Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma- imagirlscout (added June 29)
  18. Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass - GirlScoutsEmass - Massachusetts (changed Aug. 27
  19. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri - GirlScoutsEM
  20. Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania - GSEasternPA
  21. Girl Scouts of Frontier Council - GSFC - Nevada
  22. Girl Scouts of Gateway Council - gsgc - Florida
  23. Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta - GSGATL (added June 29)
  24. Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana - GirlScoutsGCNWI - Indiana and Illinois
  25. Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa - gsgi
  26. Girl Scouts of Greater New York - GSBrooklynNY
  27. Girl Scout Council of Greater New York - GSCGNY - (Added Aug. 28, but no tweets)
  28. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains - gsgwm - New Hampshire and Vermont (added Aug. 12)
  29. Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia - GAGirlScouts (added Aug. 12)
  30. Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland - KSGirlScouts
  31. Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana - GirlScoutsKY
  32. Girl Scouts of Kentucky's Wilderness Road Council - GSKWRC
  33. Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee - GirlScoutsMIDTN
  34. Removed Sept. 30
  35. Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys - GirlScoutsRV
  36. Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland Council - gsmoheartland
  37. Girl Scouts of Nassau County - New York
  38. Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails - GirlScoutsNM (added July 8)
  39. Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama - GirlScoutsNCA
  40. Girl Scouts of North New Jersey - GirlScoutsNNJ
  41. Girl Scouts of North East Ohio - GSNEO (added Aug. 12)
  42. Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York - neny
  43. Girl Scouts of Northern California - GirlScoutsNorCalGGT (added July 8) or at GirlScoutsNorCal
  44. Girl Scouts of North East Ohio - GSNEO (added Aug. 12)
  45. Girl Scouts of North New Jersey - GirlScoutsNNJ
  46. Girl Scouts of Orange County - GirlScoutsOC - California
  47. Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington - gsosw
  48. Girl Scouts of Rhode Island - gsri (added June 29)
  49. Girl Scouts San-Diego-Imperial Council - sdgirlscouts - California (added Aug. 12)
  50. Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council - GSSSC - Idaho
  51. Girl Scouts of South Carolina - gsscmm
  52. Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan - gssem (added Aug. 12)
  53. Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas - GirlScoutsSWTX
    Follow CEO Anna M. Chavez's adventures at http://twitter.com/GirlScoutEagle1.
  54. (added Aug. 28)
  55. Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council - TansiGS - Tennessee (changed Aug. 28)
  56. Girl Scouts of Utah -gsutahceo (added June 29)
  57. Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma - GSWestOK
  58. Girl Scouts of Western Washington - GirlScoutsWW
  59. Girl Scouts San Gorgonio Council - GirlScoutsGSSGC - California
  60. Sahuaro Girl Scout Council (serving girls in southern Arizona) - GirlScoutsSoAZ (Council name corrected July 9; and spelled right on Sept. 1)
And one more for fun - USAGSO is USA Girl Scout Overseas. Girls living temporarily overseas. These girls attend American and International schools.

Check out the Twibes or WeFollow or the Boy and GirlScout blog for more Girl Scout folk who twitter. There's also a Girl Scout room/group over on FriendFeed pulling in many Girl Scout items from the web.

Want more? (added June 29)
I am a Girl Scout who sometimes blogs about Girl Scouts. I twitter about Girl Scouts as mcwgs

June 25, 2009

Is any sabbatical ever long enough? Can we overstudy this journalism thing?

How long do you think I can stretch a buyout-funded sabbatical?

At times, I am sure that I am back in high school, overwhelmed by the possibilities of the real world and ashamed of the he said/she said blame games that can fill hours. (Or is that Facebook?)

Another journalist admits defeat while publishers in New York make their case for paid content. The founders of Journalism Online predict 10 percent of all web readers will pay for news. Can 10 percent be enough?

At times, I'm in college, pleased that I've found professors who inspire, encourage and demand the best. I've found those who left newsrooms and survived and people who still carry the optimism of power to the people.

Seeing more clearly

The Newsosaur tells American Journalism Review that ViewPass, which aims to increase revenue via an advertising solution, could be as common as Visa one day. It's a vision worth exploring while over on his own blog, folks jump in on why the Gannett blog failed and why it is or is not an example of why citizen journalism will fail.

A Knight Foundation-funded venture, Printcasting, takes on its first media partner and says it ready to expand just one week after another set of projects gets Knight funding.

  1. printcasting
    printcasting And best of all, we're doing final testing of ad payment and revshare, so you can make $ from your content & magazines. Stay tuned.
  2. Dan Pacheco
    pachecod After this week we'll be able to target @printcasting to ANY city in the U.S. We seek local marketing partners who also share our passion.
-- this quote was brought to you by quoteurl

I had to drop (beta-testing) Printcasting, just as it was getting interesting. Still, its success feels like I earned an A.

A computer in my pocket

Schools require computers these days. We have seven in the house of four at the moment.

I depend on what the Apple bar geniuses call an antique, a first-generation iPhone. Email, texting, web access, and even the ability to make a phone call keep (kept?) me in touch on the road, at the hospital, in home and, did I mention, the road?

I get Ray Richmond, an entertainment writer since 1984, most recently for Hollywood Reporter, and why he says a 99-cent iPhone application killed print.
"I can actually gauge the precise moment when I knew it was all over for print journalism, when all the speculation and escalating dread crystallized into an inescapable, wrenching reality."

Read his post to learn which application eliminated his need for paid print descriptions and why he now says this:

"The pined-for print rebound that journalistic professionals and purists continue to screech about ain't going to be coming around the bend anytime soon. Not in this economy. Not with the cost of paper and distribution. Not when everyone is increasingly accustomed to free information the same way Young America sees free music not as a systemic flaw but a birthright. Not when you can get whatever you want, whenever you want, for 99 cents."

Right tool+right content=future

Sometimes, I feel like I'm living the nightmare explored in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. This is not new, right?

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the argument that the right tools and right content will attract paying customers came up at the PricewaterhouseCoopers event for the "Media and Entertainment Outlook 2009-2013" report.

Google's lust for newspaper's blood gets highlighted in many reports on the event as well as the Dow Jones' work on a product to foster the sale of digital sales for its own offerings and other parties.

For Steven Brill, it is no longer a question of "'whether' but 'how.'" At least that's the quote in Editor and Publisher's report on Brill's Journalism Online.

The publisher's Swiss Army knife

The trade magazine says Journalism Online will offer tools that allow:
  • micropayments,
  • sampling,
  • turning off the system at will,
  • converting users from micropayments to a subscription model,
  • bundling print and online subscriptions,
  • commissions for referrals to other content
  • the ability to return a micropayment,
  • access to all entry points whether the content is read online, on a smart phone or a digital reader, and
  • one account with one password for multiple places.
You can follow how the business is developing with its online collection of news articles. No class fee, yet.

Make advertising work

Allan Mutter of Reflections of a Newosaur shares more on how OneView works, a discussion started in Chicago, on a targeted advertising venture.

I fell behind on that Chicago meeting, where OneView came up as publishers and others met in a not-so-secret meeting. Cliff Notes of the must-read list are provoided by the Neiman Journalism Lab.

Did college kill our newspapers?

David Sullivan, who once worked at The Flint Journal and now at a Philadelphia newspaper, goes all out to prove the title of his blog, "That's the Press, Baby." in a series of posts that takes us through the changes of journalists and the contrasting definitions of "the little guy" as attempts to explain the downfall of newspapers.

It was Mario (Garcia) looks at the world that got Sullivan started proving newspapers lost by trading crusaders for missionaries.

The three-post series explains why and when ads and political party designations such as Republican dropped off front pages. The series is faster then any college survey class of journalism through the years. I kept nodding my head and it wasn't for a lack of sleep.

Too big for our britches?

My first newspaper job was writing about my neighbors on my street for my newspaper. Even as a fourth grader, I knew that folks would pay for quality content. I wanted the right to ask what was new.

In Sullivan's Missionary Position, there's a jab at the disappearing neighborhood news because what college graduate sees that as something to cover when bigger stories await.

I'd add that equally bad is the idea that it is OK to convert the news of the people to ads. Charging people to share information about weddings, engagements, and graduations only blurs the lines of what is news and what is not.

Choosing to be small

The rockiness of a year as top editor of the (Michigan) State News - think walkouts, a presidential election, budgets woes, my first readership sudy and change - made getting my first job after graduation easy. Enough of administrating - I wanted back in the newsroom, talking to people and uncovering their news, taking pictures. Big city options were available. I chose a struggling weekly in search of a "professionally trained journalist."

It was here that I first thought about formula writing, a fill-in-the-blanks form for engagements, weddings and other everyday stories that fill pages of a weekly. It was here, though, that I learned how asking the right question reveals stories neither the subject or reporter expect to uncover.

Us vs them

In The Missionary's Dilemma. Sullivan explains the conflict of what people want and what journalists want to do. Journalists
"had a heroic vision of journalism, particularly of newspapers and their role -- not just as the tribune of the people, but as helping guide people, and the nation, to a better place. The truth shall set us all free, and we are trained to see the truth."
But, the folks who came to be known as audience did not, do not see journalists as knights in shining armor or professional gentlemen to be trusted.
"Newspapermen were still seen in the popular mind as layabouts, oddballs, idlers, drunks, malcontents who couldn't quite fit into society."
Journalists try on branding campaign

That's why the rush to professionalism started, Sullivan says.
"Through ethics codes, training, awards, journalism would make clearer than ever before what it stood for."
So out with the bottles of Scotch in the desk drawers and screaming headlines best reserved for tabloids. Bring in the rule books that demand how to clearly separate the ads from articles and issue a memo on what groups a journalist can join.

Sucking you in

The attraction of working with other professional journalists, the promise of a bigger budget and time to investigate got me out of the weekly and into daily newspaper in my town.

A plan to stay one year, five at the most, dissolved one promotion, one special project at a time.

Kicking you out

Nearly 30 years later, an unbelievable buyout yanked me out of the safety of news nest.

It was a scary move, but the right move. The buyout rescued me from living in the midst of dismantling daily newspapers into three times a week products. (What AP contest category will reporters compete in now?)

A year with time to chase the non-news experts about blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Drupal and more reveals only how much more there is to learn.

Being outside the audience of journalists reveals more distinctly that the competitor for each newspaper is not another newspaper, not the TV station or even radio. It's the Mp3s, the late-night TV host, the Mafia wars, and the 25 Things You Don't Know About Me that steal time once used to study a paper filled with news.

I'm in search of a new hat. I need more time on the sabbatical.

June 24, 2009

Surprise: Daughter's health insurance story up on barackobama.com

New Update: July 1 The story is back on the Obama site. Turns out it was missing from Saturday until 5 pm Wednesday. We don't know why.
health care day logokatie headshot
My daughter is full of surprises. But thanks to six months of chemo and surgery, my 25-year-old is no longer carrying cancer within. The upcoming 30 radiation treatments, eight more months of Herceptin and five years of daily Tamoxifen will try to maintain that status.

This week's surprise was learning she's been a long-time member of BarackObama.com and that she submitted her health care story.

She just learned her story is posted. She's sharing the link with many in hopes that folks will agree it is a tale hearthisdeserving to be heard and that change happens. (Please click on the icon at the end of her story if you agree after reading it.)

Learning her doctor was wrong - 24-year-olds can get breast cancer was a surprise. There was more. She writes:
"It's devastating to get the news of a disease or accident but even worse to get the bills in the mail and not being able to pay for them because of the disease.
Insurance surprises

She was surprised when she learned that having health insurance isn't always a good thing. That's why she faces a debt of more then $25,000 acquired unknowingly the first month after her diagnosis. It could have been more. And it will grow.

She was surprised to learn that having breast cancer means she'll probably always need to pay more for insurance. But the $580 monthly bill right now is worth every penny when you face treatments that cost three times that without insurance.

She was surprised to learn long-term disability insurance would not pay until after the first 12 weeks. That's the length of time allowed under the Family Medical Leave Act at which time you can choose to come back to work or end employment. Not that she opted to buy long-term disability insurance. What fresh-out-of-college graduate sees that as a need.

A mother's heart

My heart shattered the day I learned she had breast cancer.

My heart hurt when the treatment centers of her choice rejected her because of her insurance.

My heart ached when she learned that preapproval of a test or procedure does not mean the insurance company will pay for it.

The truth about healing

Some say time heals the heart. One of my daughter's favorite quotes (from Dr. Phil) corrects that thought.

"Time heals nothing. It is what you do with that time that matters."

My heart swells with pride as I watch her jump in to help otherbelieves with cancer by answering questions on the online cancer board.

My heart mends quietly as I watch her pound out an email to The Doctors after hearing one tell a woman in her 20s not to worry that a breast lump is cancerous.

My heart beats stronger watching my daughter choose advocacy and leadership instead of wallowing in pity.

I am not surprised that my 25-year-old uses her strengths and knowledge to discover, connect and take action.

Please read her story, click on the "people should hear this" button at the end of her tale. Send her a message on Facebook or myspace or here.

We should not need to choose poverty or life. She says:

"It's not someone's fault for an accident or getting cancer ... please work towards coverage for all."

P.S. When my daughter first shared the link with me, she reminded that it was written while she had "chemo brain." Be gentle.

I've written about Katherine's cancer battle before:
October 2008
November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009
March 2009

April 2009

May 2009
June 2009

June 23, 2009

Cleveland newspaper workers get pay cut, furloughs - Business | DailyAdvance.com

Union workers at the Cleveland Plain Dealer approved pay cuts and furloughs

The PD is under the Advance Publications umbrella.

Plain Dealer redesigns

The editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer walks through the new lineup and redesign.

The post included links to before and after pages.

Susan Goldberg told readers to look for more soundbites, an attempt to cover all bases.

Changes include:
  • Expansion of news highlight rail on the front page. The rail, which provides summaries of major national and international news, as well as headlines from the Metro, Business, Sports and features sections. See front page design in this before-and-after PDF.)
  • New headline structure.
  • Saturday business section focuses on issues that affecting pocketbook.
  • Expanded arts section on Sundays, including Close Up, where critics will annotate an artwork or term of art; Rediscoveries, look back at books, albums or films you may have missed; Tastemakers, up-and-coming Clevelanders talk about how they hope to shape the city; and Pop Ten, humor mixed with reminders of what's happening.
  • New weather box on page one.

The Plain Dealer remains relevant and resolute: Publisher Terrance C.Z. Egger - Metro - cleveland.com

The publisher of The Cleveland Plain Dealer explains the newspaper is relevant and resolute.

The publisher had shared the challenges a year earlier and returned to say people are reading the news on paper and online - 86% daily!

Some of the facts from Terrance Egger:
More than 1.3 million people in Greater Cleveland get their news and advertising information from The Plain Dealer and our online affiliate, cleveland.com, each week. That means The Plain Dealer remains, by far, the No. 1 source of news and information in Ohio.

The Plain Dealer has the highest daily circulation percentage of the 20 largest newspapers in the country and the second-highest on Sunday -- reaching nearly half of all area households on that day.

Eighty-six percent of all adults over 18 in the Cleveland-Akron area read a daily newspaper in its print or online edition each week. That's the highest percentage of any major market.
Citing the 750 articles and 20 videos produced weekly, the publisher says a good job is being done. In return, he promised:
  • We will serve you with a seven-day-a-week newspaper, delivered to your home
  • We will grow our online audience and abilities.
  • We will be a watchdog for our community.
  • We will give strong support to our local businesses, linking to current advertising options.
Big promises in light of declining advertising nationwide, promises that drew 48 comments quickly.

June 22, 2009

New editor named for Grand Rapids Press, Muskegon Chronicle

It's official. Paul M. Keep is heading to his fifth Booth Newspaper by becoming editor of the largest Newhouse newspaper in Michigan.

Keep, 51, will replace Mike Lloyd in the Grand Rapids Press newsroom on July 1. It's his fourth time as editor at a Michigan Advance Publications newspaper - The Bay City Times, 1993-99; The Flint Journal, 1999-2006; and The Musekgon Chronicle, 2006-2009.

The father of three became publisher of the Muskegon newspaper in April 2007 (and continued writing a column regularly on newspaper operations, including With this new year comes a new Chronicle and Carpal tunnel aside, online chat was a great way to connect and We listened to you and we're making some changes.)

He also was a reporter, business editor, and assistant metro editor at the Kalamazoo Gazette. A Muskegon Chronicle article on his rise to publisher says he was news editor in Muskegon 1989-1993.

Combined operations

The Muskegon Chronicle and Grand Rapids Press are printed in the same facility, a move announced in August 2008. The Press had taken over the Chronicles accounting and human resources operations earlier.

(One comment on an announcement on mlive.com suggested the next move is for the Chronicle to become the lakeside edition of the Grand Rapids Press. Are rumors of our demise still wrong?)

Keep is being replaced by two people - a general manager and an editor- at the Muskegon Chronicle. Cindy Fairfield, the local news editor, will become editor, responsible for all editorial operations. Steve Westphal, now general manager at the Grand Rapids Press, will add the same duties for the Muskegon Chronicle. The 54-year-old is in charge of all operations.

Westphal's past

The Muskegon Chronicle said:
"He formerly was The Press' director of advertising and marketing and prior to moving to West Michigan in 1996, he held management positions at newspapers in Spokane, Wash., Dubuque, Iowa, and Gary, Ind. He and his wife, Rebecca, live in Fruitport Township."
Westphal's LinkedIn profile says he was advertising manager at the Spokesman Review and Dubuque Telegraph Herald. (He's also on Facebook.)

Sports to projects to ...

Cindy Fairfield became local news editor on Feb.. 2, 2009, responsible for all newsroom operations. The 48-year-old had been the daily newspaper's project editor since March 2007 and the sports editor for 17 years. She worked at the Kileen Daily Herald in Texas, but has been at the Chronicle since 1985.

Like Paul Keep, she graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

The Chronicle won top awards in newswriting and photography in the most recent Michigan Assoicated Press Editorial Association contest. Among the winning entries was a yearlong
Working Poor series.

Another column writer

Like Paul Keep, Cindy Fairfield has several columns posted on mlive.com, the online home of the Muskegon Chronicle, including:
She's been married nearly 25 years to football coach Dusty Fairfield, getting hitched just eight days after the decision to wed. They have three adult daughters - one who is getting married in the family back yard - a self-described hobby farm in Ravenna - in July. She graduated from Lebanon (Ohio) High School in 1979 and also has a vacation place in southeastern Kentucky.

For awhile at The Flint Journal, I reported directly to Paul Keep We spent lots of mornings talking about the future of newspapers, the Internet and our online affiliate, mlive.com.

The Journal also was the Newspaper of the Year in the AP Editorial Contest while he was in Flint.

Only two editors the same

The latest moves leave only the editors at the Jackson Citizen Patriot and Kalamazoo Gazette the same this year in the Michigan Advance Publications newspapers.

Remember, it started with Tony Dearing slipping out the door for a special project with Advance Internet, which we now know is AnnArbor.com. The the editor of the Ann Arbor News announced his retirement just before we learned the newspaper was closing July 23. The Bay City Times, Saginaw News and Flint Journal combined operations under one executive editor (John Hiner, who had been editor in Bay City). The Saginaw News and Flint Journal editors are leaving to pursue other opportunities. A community editor is now the top editor in the three newspapers, all reporting to Hiner.

Or should we start speculating about Paul moving to Cleveland, where he was born, to take over the Cleveland Press? (Articles about Paul always note he was raised in Kalamazoo.)

I've written about Paul Keep before:
I've written about Mike Lloyd, who started as editor at the Press in 1978, before:

I've written about the Grand Rapids Press before:
and that's enough for now. What do you know?