...in my Intermediate Reporting class when I said, "Okay, let's get onto Facebook."
We're putting together news packages for a series on how the economy is affecting college students, and we needed to find anecdotes for each of the pieces. So we set up five surveys on Survey Monkey (you can see them here), and then, each of the 11 students in the class posted a request and the link on their Facebook pages. The surveys, which are not really usable in our stories, since they're not really scientific, will, hopefully give us contacts to students with real stories to tell about how the economy has impacted them.
At least that's what we hope. I'll post with the results later.
Journalists are using social media all the time these days, and though it's raised some interesting issues about the ethics of, say, belonging to a Facebook group that includes people you're covering, this is a trend that is definitely here to stay. Over at Poynter, Tish Grier has an interesting wrap up on current research about how journalists are using these tools.