I did a workshop about Twitter today for some of the journalists I work with at the Globe and Mail, and uploaded it to our internal wiki — and then I figured I might as well upload it to Slideshare so others could see it as well. I’ve embedded it in this post (click through if you’re reading via RSS) and you are free to share it or download it as you wish. I took a couple of slides out that had Globe-related traffic data in them — traffic pushed to stories by Twitter — but other than that it’s as I gave it (without my witty commentary, of course). I’m happy to say that while there was a range of knowledge in the room when it came to Twitter and social media, from a general familiarity to virtual nothing at all, I detected a lot of openness to the idea of using such tools to connect with readers in different ways.
I tried to make a number of points in the workshop, among them that Twitter is extremely simple to use (so why not give it a shot); that yes, it has a silly name, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be useful or valuable (Google had a silly name at one point too); that it is a great way of a) reaching out to and connecting with users, b) promoting our stories and c) finding sources for stories (otherwise known as “real people”); and that there are a number of tools that can make it even more useful (Tweetdeck, etc.). I also noted that you really only get out of it what you are prepared to put into it, and that the experience depends a lot on whom you choose to follow. And just to drive the point about promoting our stories home, I noted that our most-read story ever racked up a lot of those views because of Twitter.