A day in the life of an Interhacktive
Those of you who do not or have not attended an MA Journalism course at City University, London will no doubt be nonplussed by the term ‘Interhacktive’. The point of this post is to try and vaguely humorously illustrate what one is. In doing so I hope to, if not help you directly improve your digital footprint, then to get you inside the mind of a person who has chosen digital journalism as a career.
I see the Interhacktive as somebody who hasn’t yet made it as a digital journalist but as somebody who is thinking strategically about the processes involved in becoming one and is teaching themselves new skills every day. This account of a day in the life of an Interhacktive may seem a bit critical but, seeing as I am one, it comes from a well-meaning place.
Your average Interhacktive will arise at the entirely reasonable hour of 7.30am. Rather than nipping out to the local newsagent to pick up a copy of the day’s papers, they will instead whip out a smart phone or tablet upon which they will immediately and compulsively check Twitter before browsing some of the articles in their Pocket app, sent there by way of an IFTTT recipe.
Alas, IFTTT currently only allows you to receive interesting articles from the New York Times. The smugness that the UK based Interhacktive will feel at having cut out a laborious step by using IFTTT is thus immediately dissipated as they are forced to reluctantly turn to the newspaper apps they subscribe to on their tablet or smartphone.
Briefed on the day’s news they will then get out of bed.
The mind of an Interhacktive is constantly flitting between the numerous unprofitable endeavors in which they are engaged. They sit through their official day time activities longing to revert to their WordPress page to check their site analytics and once again count the number of countries their blog has been viewed from. Having received no more views since the the last post they will mutter to themselves and return to the banality of the job that pays the bills.
They will not forget the under performing blog, however, and will spend the day internally plotting how to improve their search engine ranking and rake in those ego-boosting reader numbers. They might try and talk to a more established journalist on Twitter in a kind of subtle cry for help, maybe tweet the link to their article again, or share another article which they have read in the hope that someone will see them for the voice of journalistic vision that they suspect themselves to be.
At some point during the day, the Interhacktive will be reminded of the opening of a job application and feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety and inferiority. However, the great strength of the Interhacktive is perseverance and a desire for self-improvement. They will not allow this anxiety to overwhelm them but spend the journey home from work/university planning what they are going to do to remedy the situation.
The life of an Interhacktive is not littered with evenings watching Breaking Bad (officially anyway) and upon arriving back at the homestead the Interhacktive will make their 7th tea or coffee of the day and conscientiously write a blog post like this one.
They will then tell other people they’ve written it and a few of those people will actually read it. Some may even share it. The Interhacktive will recline and smile inwardly as their post gets about 50 views. A gratifying number.
They will then read some posts from interhacktives.com and from these be inspired to try something new the next day.
IFTTT allows you to automate any news website – not just NYT – just use the RSS trigger instead (for the relevant feed, e.g. journalist, section, keyword, newspaper).
I shall have to experiment with that. I need to tap the potential of IFTTT a bit more. It’s really cool.
(This is also a pleasing example of what I talked about in the post. I’ll be experimenting based on feedback from the Interhacktives community.)
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