At the journalism conference I attended last week, a guy named Steve Buttry seemed to be in the front row of every panel discussion, and his presence on Twitter, with the hashtag #asne12, was impossible to ignore. At one point, the Twitter police even tried to shut him down for over-tweeting. Who knew you could do such a thing?
When he got back, he wrote an open letter to his colleagues in journalism who are reluctant to join the digital revolution. Here's the link to the original piece, posted Friday. He says he's received more feedback to it than to anything that he's written in his career. That career spans many a job -- reporter to top editor -- at many a traditional newspaper.
These days, Buttry, 57, is Director of Community Engagement & Social Media for Digital First Media, and a major convert to all things digital.
I'm with him. I've been blogging since January, tweeting since February, have shot video at concerts, restaurants, art galleries on my iPhone and posted them through YouTube onto my blog. I've been tutored, very kindly, by young members of my paper's staff. I've found help and inspiration in the most unlikely places.
What's more, I'm having fun with the new tools and I understand them far better than I did from a distance. And I'm more energized and optimistic about the future of journalism than I've been in a long time.
In that spirit, please join me for a live chat with readers tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2 p.m. on the home page of buffalonews.com.