Monthly Archives: April 2009

TweetStats

So if you’re curious to find out exactly how addicted you are to Twitter, check out TweetStats.

After entering your Twitter username, TweetStats will compile a bunch of cool information about how often you Twitter, who you reply to the most and more. Here’s some screenshots:

tweettimeline

The number of tweets per month/day — which also shows your addicted-ness level or whether you just dropped off the face of the earth for 3 months.

aggregatedailyhourlytweets

tweetdensity

You can find out what day(s) you Tweet the most. Saturday makes sense for me — Tuesday not so much, I have class from 10-4… hmmm. And when you post the most Tweets / how often you’re not going to bed until 3 a.m. And your tweet density which combines the days and hours you tweet into a neat looking graphic.

tweetcloud

Finally, my fave is the tweet cloud! You can see how often you write about certain words — obviously my most used are new, blog and news. I wonder if ‘new’ though includes ‘news’?

Journalism internships go unpaid

An article in the American Journalism Review says more and more newspapers are offering unpaid internships, or in some cases, making colleges or students pay for the internship themselves. While the trend is not surprising given the state of the newspaper industry, I really question the long term effect such practices could have on younger journalists.

We all know that securing internships are vital to entering the profession upon graduation, but for students who don’t come from wealthier backgrounds, an unpaid internship may be … well … unaffordable. Add in the costs of paying for credits, which many news organizations now require for internships, and you have interns basically paying to have an internship.

However, I disagree with one expert’s opinion:

The best interns will follow the money, says Penny Bender Fuchs, director of career placement and professional development at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. “It’s that old line, ‘You get what you pay for,’” she says. “The most talented students are going to continue to seek the paid positions.”

Everyone is still going to seek the paid positions but with major newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune offering only unpaid internships, I think some students will begin to choose quality over money: The ability to work in a large newsroom will begin to trump the fact that interns are paid for their work.

I was in such a situation last summer when I interned at USA Today. Not only was the internship unpaid (except for a small travel stipend), I had to (meaning my parents) shell out somewhere around $1,000 for the credit required to even get the internship. While my experiences there were invaluable, my rapidly declining checking account is a testament to the effects the summer had. (The previous summer, I worked 35 hours a week at a rate of $15 per hour for comparison.) Basically, I will graduate with no money saved up while at the same time trying to find a newspaper job. I’ve already gotten over the fact that I very well may end up working a retail job after May 16 until something better comes along.

While I did apply for some internships this summer, I had to focus on paid ones because I cannot afford to pay living expenses while working for free — the only reason I was able to take the USA Today internship is because I live 10 minutes away. I can’t even really afford an internship or job at this point that doesn’t allow me to live at home because of the economy and newspaper situation.

Back to the article — What’s most disconcerting is the fact that some newspapers are asking colleges and universities to hand over the money to pay for a student’s internship.

“It would be a desperation move, I think, on the part of the university. It’s one thing to offer an unpaid internship..as painful as that can be for [students], it can still provide an opportunity for them,” he says. Asking schools to pay for internships sets “an awful precedent. I can’t think of a similarity in other industries outside of the media where this would be done.”

Tuition at Penn State increases every year and I’m sure it’s the same for many schools around the country so I don’t really see how this is a viable option to get students the experience they need. The only hope that remains, therefore, is scholarships. Hopefully through university and alumni scholarships, students, colleges and newspapers looking for interns can find some middle ground.

Into the Twittersphere!

If you haven’t seen this video yet, you’re really missing out. The explosion of Twitter’s popularity in the past few months has amazed me as I’ve watched countless doubters and self-described “enemies of Twitter” convert in what can only be called some weird sort of religious-like cult movement.

My prognosis since I started using the social networking site remains the same: Those who use Twitter and use it to its full potential will find themselves addicted to it within a week.

My favorite excerpt from this video:

“But I don’t care what other people are doing every second of the day.”

“Neither do I, but we do want other people knowing what we’re doing, right?”

“No, no …”

Well that and the failwhale that eats up all the Twitter people.