Essential social networks for journalists

MySpace, Facebook and Digg are go-to social networks for finding out what is happening around the world, but the following social networks are necessary for any journalist looking to hone his or her craft or stay in touch with fellow journalists.

Today’s post is a twofer: a list of great social networks you should join and some cool and well-produced explanatory videos and screencasts that clearly explain the functions of each site.

Wired Journalists

Since this site is all about multimedia journalism, it would be a crime not to mention Wired Journalists first. The site is the best place for established and up and coming journalists to discuss new media issues. WJ’s strength is in its groups, in which members discuss topics like tutorials, audio techniques and student journalism. (You can find me here).

Wired Journalists is built on the social networking platform Ning, which lets anyone create their own social network focused on any topic they like. A further explanation of the service follows in the video.

See also: The Modern Journalist

LinkedIn

In this age of newsroom layoffs, you never know when you or those around you will be searching for the next job so it’s best to create a LinkedIn profile now. The social network can best be described as an interactive database of hundreds of thousands of resumes. But instead of just listing your work experience, you can network with other people from your company or school and be introduced to mutual contacts.

See also: Friendster

COLOURlovers

Page designers, graphics journalists, web producers will get an instant kick out of COLOURlovers, the social network that is nothing if not colorful. Finding inspiration for projects is a whole lot easier with the site, where youcan search for and share color schemes and patterns or be inspired by the site’s groups and blog.

Twitter

By now you’ve heard about the many journalistic applications of Twitter and event though its downtime is legendary, the site is still great for keeping up with the world in 140 characters or less. As colleague Joseph De Avila puts it: “News happens on Twitter before it happens on news sites.”

See also: Pownce, Friendfeed

Flickr

Any photographer worth their salt isn’t taking pictures during work hours only. Flickr gives those non-work related photos a worldwide audience and lets photographers discuss geeky things like lenses and camera types. Flickr is also a source of inspiration for both amateur photogs and seasoned vets.

See also: Photo.net, Shutterbook, Zooomr