You Know You Stink at Digital Journalism When…

For fun, a friend challenged me yesterday to complete the following sentence, “You know you stink at digital journalism when…”  Idealistically, I saw it as a possible starting point for a future class session.  But mostly, I just wanted to see what I could conjure up.

Below are 30 responses I threw together in 15 minutes (there were witnesses!).  My particular brand of optimistic snarkiness is embedded in many of them.  What do you think?  Help me out.  What else belongs on the list??


You sign onto Twitter once a week, just to check in.

You think shaky video is “just so much more real man.”

At the start of a press conference, you place your digital recorder at the back of the room under a duffel bag to capture “white noise reaction.”

You write a 1,000-word blog post that begins, “I don’t have anything to add to what everyone else has been saying. . . .”

Your online portfolio is on Myspace.

You watch the robbery play out across the street while holding your smartphone with video capabilities tightly in your pocket.

You tape a video stand-up with porn on your computer’s screen visible in the background.

You text a source after an interview with a three-part follow-up question and a note, “If you could hit me back by text in complete sentences ASAP that would be killa!”

You spell Arianna with one n.

All of your podcasts begin with a prolonged throat clear and the words, “OK OK, here I go, here I go, ugh, I have to pee, OK now five, four, three…”

You think The Daily Beast is an STI.

You secretly edit the dachshund out of your photo series on pet-owner lookalikes because, as you confirmed, “I’m just not a dog person.”

You think 10,000 Words is a really text-heavy magazine feature.

You post a 90-minute hidden camera report on your trip to the dermatologist under the headline, “Are skin care doctors just too darned nice?”

You think Poynter’s Romenesko is a local deli.

You sit so close to your computer while recording video your webcam captures nothing but your chin zit.

You think Quora is a character on “Game of Thrones.”

Your story’s word cloud includes your byline and the text from the nearby banner ad for Propecia.

Your email signature contains the quote “I live life 140 characters at a time.”

Your opening tweet is still visible on your Twitter profile page.

Photos for your time-lapse of the campus cafeteria were taken over 30 minutes at dawn in July.

You contact an uber-blogger with the opener, “Hello sir/madam/Super 8 creature!  You don’t know me but I have a blog post you might be interested in…”

You respond to a suggestion about using Dipity to help your story packaging with the question, “Is that like Adderall or Four Loko?”

You don’t know how to get around the New York Times paywall.

You keep a live blog about the traffic on the fourth floor of your apartment complex’s parking garage.

Your latest tweet says “Readers, check this out…” followed by a mysterious

You think hyperlinks are a really active species of wildcat.

You think cloud computing is web browsing while high.

You learned about bin Laden’s death in a print newspaper.

You’re reading this post on a PC powered by Windows 95.

For a somewhat similar post, click here or on the screenshot below.

5 Responses to “You Know You Stink at Digital Journalism When…”
  1. Prof KRG says:

    You sit in the newsroom complaining about how “nothing ever happens here.”

  2. Your Replacement says:

    You know you are bad at Journalism when, “you put down your students. Whom, just like the technology they use, you don’t understand or really relate to.”

    KRG, it’s comments like yours that make me glad that I didn’t waste my time in Journo school.

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  1. […] Late last month, I premiered “You know you stink at digital journalism when…”  It’s a fun feature that is nothing more than a list of completions to the sentence in the headline of this post.  Idealistically, I saw it as a possible starting point for a future class session.  But mostly, I just wanted to see what I could conjure up.  Back by popular demand, here is part two. […]