Wednesday, June 06, 2007

So and so did not respond to messages left on Facebook.com.

So I was getting desperate to track down this college football player that had gotten into a little trouble with the cops. My editor said it was impossible to get him on the phone, but to try anyway. I would have been happy to get his brother on the phone. Or his cousin.

Or his dog.

I had no luck with his HS coach, whom I presume was fielding calls all day and wasn't interested in talking.

So I went the Mark Zuckerberg way.

Sending messages to people you actually know on Facebook is, at best, an inexact science; it lies somewhere in between complimenting a girl as your first line when you approach her, and life being akin to a box of chocolates: you really never know what you're gonna get.

So the fact that I didn't know this cat from a hole in the wall didn't do me any good.

I wouldn't recommend this as a standard effective reporting practice, but I will say that it worked. I got a contact that will lead me to the player in question, and if we run something else about him, I will most definitely be using those digits.

Thanks, Mark.

P.S. -- Anybody mad about this?

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Posted by Darren Sands at 8:27 PM | link

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Definitely don't think this would be considered 'lazy reporting.' Yeah, in the old days we would have camped outside of the kid's house and waited for him to take out the garbage, but I say kudos to you for using the technology that's available.

And really, you can't beat yourself up about it: didn't The New York Times recently quote a message from someone's MySpage wall? At least you went ahead and got a living, breathing person. And now you have a source you can tap for future stories.

Gone wit ya bad self.

Posted by Blogger T Dot @ 5:31 PM, June 08, 2007 #
 

It's true. After Katrina, I got a lot of quotes from Facebook messages (for student media). I was in an LSU group with like 4,000 people, so I sent out a group message and just asked that they make sure to list major and classification at the end.
We consulted the student media advisor and a newsgathering professor and they were both ok with it.
Good job D!!

Posted by Blogger Vdizzle @ 1:12 PM, June 09, 2007 #
 

How is that lazy? I would call that a creative way to get the job done. I've gotten tips and solid information from people contacting me on blogger, facebook and myspace.

Posted by Blogger spchrist @ 11:45 AM, June 20, 2007 #
 
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