I found my first news tip on Google Plus today, that Google had acquired Fridge. Dain Binder of Computer Sciences Corporation shared a link to the Fridge blog and that’s how I found out it happened. I went into my Custom Search Engine of competitors and found that +Liz Gannes had written it up on All Things D an hour prior, and Mashable 15 minutes prior. (Later, I think I noticed that Biz Insider posted 2 hours prior). And then I wrote it up. Paused before publishing, gave it what I think is a much better title than originally planned (Google Plus is Eating Startups, instead of Google is Buying Up Startups to Bolster Plus Social Network) and there you have it.
I think I remember the first story I got thanks to Twitter; I believe it was a +James Governor tweet that Google had acquired +Jyri Engeström ‘s Jaiku. Twitter quickly became key in my work. And it still is today.
I also remember the first story I ever got to first thanks to Quora. Eighteen months ago I was organizing an event for RWW and decided to ask on that hot new social network, “when is Twitter’s rumored first developer conference next Spring? I don’t want to schedule a conflicting event.” +Ashton Kutcher answered the question! With the correct date! It was awesome, so I didn’t schedule the event that day and in fact I wrote up the news: Twitter’s first dev conference is, according to the site’s then #1 most popular user, going to be on April 14th. And indeed it was.
I used to break a lot of news stories first using RSS to IM/SMS alert tools, and I still do sometimes – that’s how I got my job as TechCrunch’s first news writer. Strategic use of tools helped me get to news stories faster than Michael Arrington – so he called me and hired me. Now everybody uses those sorts of tools so you have to be extra crafty to figure out how to win with RSS.
I wasn’t the first on this story on Plus and I bet some other people have broken stories on here already. (I roughly broke the story of the Circles feature at SXSW, but that was all shoe leather and beer, no web tool hacks on that one.)
I just thought I’d post a little note, marking today as a little milestone for me and thinking out loud about how I want to try to use this platform for work in the future. Thanks for being my Plusbuddies, everybody, hopefully we can figure it out together. If you’d like to connect on Google Plus, I am here.
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