The Social Media Professionals Series is an informational and educational collection of reports on the sub-specialties of the Social Media vocation. Each weekly article is dedicated to a different aspect of the occupation, and features an associated thought-leader.
Concentration – eJournalism
Professional – Roshni Mulchandani
Several months ago I was invited by my friend Shari Weiss to join her closed Facebook group, Journalism 65. The group is ostensibly geared towards her eJournalism (electronic journalism, or more specifically, jouranlism with regards to Social Media; it should be noted the subject is not limited to this venue, but rather focuses on this sub-specialty) students, though there are those among us that are simply invited guests. The benefit has been learning about the authoring art of journalism.
This week, we focus on eJournalism. I would mention that two of the most urgently important considerations of eJournalism are the concepts of aggregation and curation: the interested user is directed to this article in Conversation Agent for further information on these two vital concepts. My own personal bias is that the actions of aggregation and curation will continue to increase in bearing and consequence as time goes on, and that responsibility befalls not only journalists, but all bloggers to follow their attentive edicts.
Roshni, a fellow member of the group and journalism student, was raised in Hong Kong and spent summers in Mumbai. After achieving a marketing degree in New York, NY, she moved to the West Coast. She did a stint in the corporate world, and then began to write (Brown Girl magazine). She considers herself a “media junkie,” and has been associated with entertainment writing for many publications, including ELLE India. She was kind enough to respond to our request to share her understandings of eJournalism with the forum. What follows are her responses to our inquiries.
GSM – How do you best define your practice in Social Media? What specifically do you do that is different, unique, and special in this wide ranging field?
Roshni – For me, Social Media is all about connecting and sharing. I personally use all forms of Social Media effectively, I’d like to believe so at least, by really indulging all aspects of Social Media full-heartedly. I spend about 1/3 of my time equally on all three: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is a trait that I personally learned recently but I have found to be most effective because all three are unique in their own ways and thus, allow you to experience Social Media in different ways. As a budding journalist, I use all three to connect, learn of news and of course, share information (along with my own work) on a regular basis.
GSM – What do you consider the most currently pressing issue you are faced with in your everyday duties?
Roshni – Definitely the ethical side, as it often baffles me. Every Social Media platform is different. With Facebook it is more personal as you have friends and family on board. But with Twitter, it is easier to hide behind a veil. However, between the two, you are sometimes stumped. Facebook is more “in your face” and a lot of the time I feel restrained with what I can say and post. With Twitter, people aren’t afraid to correct or bombard you, if you are attacking them. Yes, we have freedom of press but we need to be ethically aware and sometimes, that can be constraining.
GSM – How do you approach your profession? What special techniques/procedures give you an edge?
Roshni – Whenever I’m asked this question I always use two words: Branding and Style. It is so important to brand yourself as a person who is different and unique. I know this only too well because the field of journalism that I want to meddle in is filled with writers who are carbon copies of one another. When I realized this, I immediately found that my edge would be that I was completely different. So my brand was one that is honest and brutal, fun and controversial. From then on, it was all about developing my style. And this isn’t just related to writing skills. Even as a person on Social Media platforms, I find myself having to sell myself as a brand. Interestingly, just the other day, a good friend and writer sent me a message saying he loved the way I presented myself on Facebook and that my “chutzpah” personality really shone. It was then that I knew I was on the right track.
GSM – What advice would you offer to others active in your field of interest or in Social Media generally?
Roshni – My advice is to dive in and get involved. You cannot be a part of the Social Media world if you are not able to fully indulge. Sometimes this is a bit hard because you are initially afraid of the backlash but I have always believed that if you can allow yourself to be free, and more importantly, to be yourself, you’ll go far. For budding Social Media activists, it is important shed your inhibitions and connect. You never know where it will lead you to. In addition, share, use keywords, join groups and get involved! Once you’re in, you’re in for life but trust me, its one great high!
GSM – Any other thoughts you’d wish to share?
Roshni – People have different agendas and reasons for getting involved in the Social Media world. But above it all, it is supremely important to get involved and enjoy it! If you can’t do that, you’re pretty much going to hate every platform and lose the charm that each one provides you with.
An issue most heavily underscored by Roshni’s words is the fact that being a student does not equate with unknowing, ignorance of subject matter, or otherwise lacking in understanding. Even though she is currently embracing her didactic endeavors (and the fact she has been involved on a professional level for some time notwithstanding), she nevertheless proves herself to be as able as any consummate adept. Grannelle’s Social Media is acutely indebted to Roshni for her willingness to share with The Social Media Professionals Series.