#wjchat: It’s Like #journchat, but Better

On Wednesday night, I participated in the inaugural edition of #wjchat (@wjchat). The brainchild of Robert Hernandez, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, the Twitter chat drew a very strong and healthy showing. There was a nice mix of Web-savvy j-school students, academics and some of the best Web journalists in the business.

The conversation topic, “what is the job of a Web Journalists & what skills do you need?” was a fitting way to begin what looks like an ongoing conversation. Many brought very specific answers to the table, while others (including me) tended to be more abstract about the skills needed (like being a good teacher).The conversation lasted two hours, and few people wanted it to end. It was nice to see some familiar faces (like University of Missouri senior Kelsey Proud, Emma Carew of The Chronicle of Higher Education and Greg Linch of Publish2) and to meet some new people, like Professor Hernandez, too.As some of you may know, I am not a fan of #journchat (no hard feelings about that — I wrote it a year ago). But this was better, because it did a good job of narrowly focusing on the type of journalism that I specialize in and it seemed to be more inclusive of like-minded individuals; not to mention it was an easier chat to follow.While I am normally busy on Wednesday nights, working on Web production for The Eagle, I hope to be able to drop in on a regular basis and contribute to what I know will be a great conversation.

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