Why journalists should check out Google+

Media Shift’s Idea Lab said it well.

You should be on these sites to understand how people are communicating and the vocabulary of this communication.

If you ignore these sites, you will fail to understand how a growing portion of the population deals with the flow of information, and inevitably how more people will deal with this flow in the future. The best journalists will be problem solvers on the social web.

If you are a journalist your JOB is to understand and insert yourself into the flow of information. That’s what Google+ represents, the flow of information.

OK, so I buy that.  I joined Google+, but I admit I’ve yet to make much use of it.   However, others have jumped right in.

According to Mashable, KOMU-TV anchor Sara Hill is using Google+ to host a Hangout that allows viewers to go behind the scenes of her newscast and offer feedback on the day’s news events.

The post also offers four more journalistic uses for Google+.

Educator Jeremy Littau says understanding Google+ could offer a leg-up to young journalists about to graduate this year.

Plus will have a page feature for news organizations, similar to Facebook. This is a space you need to be in. By next year, newsrooms might want a journalist who can manage these pages on occasion. Will you be ready for this new job market reality? For my marketing/PR students, this is the most essential part of Plus that you need to be learning. Now.

And social media consultant Kathy Gill says there’s another good reason for journalists to be there.

Given Google’s decision to privilege Google+ profiles in search, journalists should be setting up shop there even if they don’t plan to hang around very much.

So, feel free to join and add me to your Circle.  Then let us know how you’re using it or why you don’t plan to do so.

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