This is a blog post taken from ONA Mizzou executive board member Amanda Klohmann’s blog. ONA Mizzou wanted to share it with you so that you can get a “behind-the-scenes” view about what this semester has looked like from her perspective…
By Amanda Klohmann
Earlier this semester some nerdy friends and I took on the task of starting a new club at the #bestjschoolever (aka the University of Missouri School of Journalism – checkout the hash tag on twitter for some wit, cynicism, and sarcasm sometime). We organized the Online News Association Mizzou club.
As a team, we came up with some pretty impressive results. Check out this value statement; “We believe that the Internet is the most powerful communications medium to arise since the dawn of television. As digital delivery systems become the primary source of news for a growing segment of the world’s population, it presents complex challenges and opportunities for journalists as well as the news audience.” Clearly we are taking our club and our profession very seriously. Plus we’ve invested substantial time on Twitter and Facebook (ahem, it is all in the name of ONA Mizzou, not procrastination or Facebook stalking) to promote, connect and brand our club.
We’ve organized speakers and panel discussions to facilitate that intellectual conversation prompted by our high-and-mighty value statement. And I think we have done a fantastic job, just read our blog to see the results.
Because of ONA Mizzou I have spent more time discussing issues surrounding journalism, the future of the internet, and social media than ever before. And while these discussions have all taught me new things and given me new ideas, I won’t bore you by detailing them on this blog. But what I will share with you are the more “simple” lessons I have learned thus far…
1. Never underestimate the enthusiasm of college freshman but never overestimate their ability to follow-through.
2. Don’t use a official logo unless you not only have email confirmation, but phone and written confirmation as well. It’s called covering your ass.
3. It is nearly impossible to live-tweet and live-blog a meeting simultaneously without getting carpel tunnel.
4. Some people still don’t understand that Twitter and Facebook are NOT the same thing.
5. Cookies and brownies improve any meeting.
6. Mass emails are annoying, but surprising effective.
7. If you want to run a club that utilizes every type of online tool and social media option possible, just start your own ONA branch.
8. People outside academia wrongly underestimate “students.” FYI we have been using social media just as long as you even though we are a lot younger.
Some of these lessons may sound pretty superfluous or seem to lack much value, but I promise you they don’t. Each meeting, each tweet, and each day has provided me with an opportunity to learn as both a journalist and leader. That’s exactly what I wanted in a semester capstone project, a chance to grow. ONA Mizzou had provided me with that chance and hopefully, through my growth I am helping the Mizzou journalism school grow just a little bit as well.