Galesburg Register-Mail assistant editor Jay Redfern uses Facebook and Twitter sourcing for a fun blog on watermelon seasonings (really!). Check it out.
WHAT HE DID: Jay Talking, the blog of Jay Redfern, salts his watermelon. Sounds kind of weird to me, but it's supposed to taste amazing, and from Jay's informal polling on Facebook and Twitter, the practice is not uncommon. The blog arose from a public salting in a Galesburg restaurant. After his salting was called into question, he asked Facebook folks if they salted or otherwise seasoned watermelon. He had 53 responses (hot topic, right?). Then he reached out on Twitter, and even received some celebrity responses. Check out Jay's watermelon blog post. Great use of Facebook and Twitter on this delightful, refreshing blog. And he even throws a poll in as related content, which is easy to do on Zope blogs.
TAKEAWAYS: Whether you're writing a story or a blog post, whether it's a serious news story or a fun feature, remember to use all of your tools for sourcing. When you reach out to people on Facebook and Twitter, you might be surprised at how their responses can enrich your reporting.
If you've used social media for sourcing, tell us your story in comments or by emailing Jean Hodges or Sarah Corbitt.