This is the first post of a new social sandbox series, “Socially Speaking,” where we talk to NPR reporters about their experiments in the social space. Have a suggestion about who we should interview next? Tweet me.
- Kate, social media intern
Socially Speaking: Gene Demby
NPR Desk: Leader Blogger, Code Switch
Twitter handle: @geedee215
The takeaway: Treat Twitter like a dinner party
Photo credit: Kainaz Amaria for NPR
Describe your morning social media routine.
I usually go to Twitter, my RSS feeds, Feedly. I’ll look at the newest stuff going back an hour or so and then I’ll start sharing whatever I come across. Sometimes it’s specific to this beat, but sometimes it’s just stuff that’s interesting and newsy or fun.
What are the top five social media accounts you follow?
Mallory Ortberg (@mallelis) because she’s hilarious. I also have a Twitter list of people, including Joel Anderson (@blackink12) at Buzzfeed, Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) at Slate, Tracy Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) at Buzzfeed and a few more. I’m always having conversations with those people.
What’s your favorite social media platform for sharing news?
Twitter. I tweet anything I find interesting. On Sunday afternoons, I’ll send out a tweet and say, “hey everyone, if you’ve created anything or written anything in the last week that has a link that you want to share, I’ll retweet it and give it a signal boost.”
Do you feel that helps you as a reporter?
Part of what you want your followers to do is to point you in the direction of stuff that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise, right? Everyone is sharing all kinds of stuff that wouldn’t necessarily be in your field of vision. And I think that’s sort of the joy of Twitter. There’s a serendipity of stumbling across something you wouldn’t see otherwise. Sometimes I just want to drink from the hydrant, and Twitter is that best way to do that.