For anyone that uses more than one social media network (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) I think Hootesuite is a good option, especially for businesses. Hootsuite is a management tool that allows content, feeds, and profiles to be updated from one place. Instead of logging into Twitter to post your status and then logging into Facebook to update the status, all of them can be managed from one place (the Hootesuite dashboard). I don’t really have a need to Hootsuite myself, as I only use Facebook, but I recently set up Hootsuite for my job. I’m the marketing coordinator at Lakeshore Athletic Club (6,000+ memeber, 150,000 square foot health club and spa) and one thing we really struggle with is being able to reach all of our members for important communication items (schedules, closures, etc.) and marketing initiatives. We send out updates via our Twitter account, Facebook page, and Foursquare, but it can become a bit tedious to update each of them with the same message multiple times a day. Did I mention that there is a general club Twitter account plus one for our tennis program? There are also separate Facebook and Foursquare pages for the Spa. So really, it is unrealistic for anyone to spend the amount of time it would take to update each of these individually multiple times a day.

In comes Hootsuite. We opted for the most basic package (more cost for reporting and stats about click throughs, retweets, page views, etc.). We are able to input events and updates to be scheduled as far ahead of time as we’d like, by simply entering the message into one platform and letting Hootesuite take it from there. It has saved us a lot of work and a lot of time.

I’d be interested to hear feedback from someone that has used Hootsuite for their personal accounts rather than business. If you’re like me and only use one or two social media outlets, it seems unnecessary. But I can definitely see a blogger or journalist that has a large following being able to take advantage of some of the many features available with Hootsuite.

See it here: http://hootsuite.com/

Thinking pink: So called “pink journalism” and the byline gender gap

Much of the journalism community and blogosphere has been up in arms since the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) announced this year’s award winners (See here and here). No women (that’s right, zero) were nominated for the prominent categories of profiles, features, essays, columns or reporting. According to a study by Mother Jones, 67 to 75 percent of space in prestigious magazines went to male writers. It’s unclear why the magazine industry remains male-dominated when we live in a society where more women are getting degrees (in 2010, 55% of all college graduates were women) and holding professional and management positions than ever before. Is it because women just aren’t pitching award-winning stories? Or is it perhaps that women are being pigeonholed into writing about “women’s issues” or “pink” topics like relationships, sexuality, reproductive health and lifestyle? Are these the only topics that women are believed to have expertise and perspective on, and therefore are encouraged to write about?

But make no mistake that this woman-focused writing isn’t just as worthy of attention as any other topic. In fact, it’s the first type of story I’m drawn to. There are narratives of breast cancer survival, stories about surviving domestic violence, pieces on the struggle to have a career and a family, as well as stories about courage and comeback that are just as important as a piece on politics or war.

The way one professional sees it:
Erin Belieu, accomplished writer and co-founder of VIDA (Women in Literary Arts) said, “The National Magazine Awards have sent a pretty clear message.” “When it comes to a career in journalism, chicks should stick to writing about chicks.”