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7.8 Paleo Diet PostAfter last week being so eventful, the slow pace of this week is kind of difficult to adjust too. I’m just thankful it did slow down long enough for me to enjoy a few days of relaxation for the Fourth of July.

I spent the remainder of last week researching an article on the Paleo Diet. I’ve never been one to really understand the “fad” diets, but after my research, I can see why it’s become a new craze. If you want to learn more about the paleo diet you can read my article on it here: http://thedailyquirk.com/2013/07/03/paleo-diet/

This week I have been working on the transcript for my second interview who I can now reveal as Tara Summers. Once the article goes live, I’ll explain a little more about the experience (which turned out to be more difficult than I thought), but in this post I want to discuss the importance of social media to the journalism career.

Last time I wrote a blog, I took a screen shot of a conversation between a “Whodunnit?” contestant Ulysses and myself. He hit “favorite” on a post by The Daily Quirk that linked to my interview with Gildart Jackson on Twitter. This was my first real taste of “everywhereness” for my articles, as well as a taste of having a “fan.”

7.8 Melina TweetFrom this same post, another contestant, Melina, re-tweeted and made sure to favorite the article. Later that day, my managing editor emails me to let me know Melina was available for an interview, and no more than thirty minutes later I had an interview set up for July 8. I couldn’t be more thrilled!

So this leads me to my point about social media. While some people may view the growing dependence of social media a flaw, there are some positives to the craze. Journalists not only network through Facebook and Twitter, but can also stumble on leads to stories and even possible interviews. To know that after a tweet and a favorite of a single post on Twitter I have an interview with a contestant of a reality show is really amazing.

If it weren’t for Twitter, setting up an interview with a contestant of “Whodunnit?” might have taken weeks or even months. In the course of about three hours I had reached out via Twitter, been contacted by my managing editor and then had the interview scheduled.

But it is always good to remember that while social media helps us find leads and interviews, it can also get us into trouble when we over step the boundaries and abuse the “instant contact” policy.

I had probably used Twitter three times since it’s beginning, and in the past few days I’ve been checking it pretty much nonstop. While I would typically shy away from Twitter since I have a Facebook, moral of this story is: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Having a variety of ways to make connections on social media is a must for budding journalists, and it’s a lesson well learned through the interview and writing process.