Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finding stories to tell

We all run dry sometimes.

Nicki's brown bagger yesterday, on internet research, included a list of web sites that Poynter's Al Tompkins said he uses to find ideas (and if you're familiar w/Tompkins' "Morning Meeting" on Poynter's web site, you know he comes up with some pretty good stuff).

Some of the more unusual or interesting:

http://www.firehouse.com/ -- firefighter/EMT site, industry news, etc.
http://www.agriculture.com/ -- includes topics ranging from rural suicides to crop reports
http://www.mtv.com/ -- as Tompkins says, it's a quick way to stay up on pop culture even when you're not into pop culture
http://www.topix.net/ -- you can search for news by zip code
http://buzz.yahoo.com/ -- most searched-for words on the web
http://www.mouseprint.org/ -- The website, MousePrint.org, says it "turns advertising on its head by focusing on an ad’s asterisked fine print footnote rather than the headline." it has an attitude.
www.cdc.gov/mmwr -- cool stuff about bad diseases. the 'mm' stands for 'morbidity and mortality.' enough said.

If you want Al Tompkins' whole list, I can run you a copy or Nicki probably has more copies.

Tompkins also suggested using RSS feeds to put multiple sites you might use to troll for story ideas in one place -- on your Yahoo! page, or Google page, or whatever. If you're interested but not familiar with RSS or how to use it, holler.

Also, Nicki e-mailed those at the bagger a story-finding list Ted Sickler had sent out some time ago. It's here.