Social Media Week kicked off today in twelve cities around the world and I am thrilled that Chicago is one of them. I am also thrilled to represent WGN as a panelist for two of the sessions. It's been tough trying to keep up with all that's happening in town this week. Not only are there a lot of informative sessions scheduled, there are breakfasts, socials and after parties - way too much to work in with... work!But after my early morning news shift tomorrow, I'll be joining some truly fun people for the session "How To Engage Audiences and Have Fun Doing It on Social Media". I hope to attend other sessions this week. But I'll definitely be back at the Tribune Tower (the Chicago Tribune is a co-sponsor) Friday evening to join what's billed as a "once in a blue moon" gathering of media veterans. The session is titled "Reinventing a Media Career on Alternative Platforms" (click on that for a link to register) and I'll be taking part along with media critic Robert Feder, film critic Richard Roeper, radio/web host Steve Dahl and the Tribune's VP of Digital, Bill Adee.
I really didn't set out to reinvent my career or become a blogger and social media nut. It just happened through my love for journalism, technology and socializing. Now I'm glad I jumped in years ago, even as some colleagues questioned why I was "wasting" my time doing work journalists aren't paid to do. Social media skills have become fundamental to the job of reporting and anchoring. No, I don't get paid for interacting with viewers via social media or taking part in conferences and events like "Social Media Week". But I know it's not a waste of my time.
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