Journal of a SPI Intern: My Favorite Social Media Sites

by Joy Loving, Station Products and Innovation

Welcome to a new SPI series, Journal of a SPI Intern. For the next few months, I will give insight into my duties as an intern, what it's like to work with the SPI team, and my suggestions for future SPI interns.

Working as a SPI intern has been a great learning experience. While the tasks I undertake are fun and exciting to work on, research is always required. The SPI Blog, for example, introduces readers to new social media innovations on almost a daily basis. To keep up-to-date with what’s going in public media and to hatch ideas for our blog, I regularly read a number of social media sites.

Occasionally, I run across a few sites that don’t live up to their names, but most often I come across some good, reputable resources that are worth sharing. Here are my favorites:

Why Contently/The Content Strategist? While applying to Contently, a free web-portfolio and job resource for freelance writers and publishers, I noticed a link to The Content Strategist blog page and decided to investigate. I’m definitely glad that I did, as the articles I’ve read on this blog so far have yet to disappoint.

Contently allows freelance writers to build free portfolios for potential employers to view online. It also gives these writers access to exclusive job banks and employers a means of finding quality writers. Not everyone can join however, as you have to be given permission to use Contently by submitting your email to the site. I recently received my invitation, and am steadfastly building my portfolio!

How did I find it? I found Contently via Open Culture’s (see #2) Twitter page, when they made an announcement that they were looking for new writers. A follower recommended Contently for good writers, so I took note.

What is the content like? The Content Strategist is pretty straightforward: posts on social media and marketing are given, along with details about case studies in public media. They even offer a free e-book on effective blogging that you can download after submitting your email.

Recommended read: “The Beginner’s Guide to Blogging & Content Strategy” This e-book will help those new to blogging and those looking to refresh their blogging strategies. You have to download it and have the option of subscribing to weekly emails from The Content Strategist.

Why Open Culture? Open Culture is not your typical social media web site. I started going on Open Culture to take advantage of the free languages courses they link to (Parlez-vous, Fran├žais? Not quite.), and was intrigued by the unique article and video posts they have.

How did I find it? Open Culture was included on a list of sites to visit to become more cultured and educated – for FREE. I’ve been hooked ever since and I’ve recommended it to countless people.

What is the content like? Open Culture has links to just about everything. Free movies, books, academic courses, and language lessons to name a few. If you are interested in taking open-curriculum courses at reputable schools, OC keeps links to these courses up-to-date. I mentioned the videos posted on the web page, because Open Culture is great at digging up videos that most people don’t find on a regular visit to YouTube.

Recommended read: Art in the Era of the Internet (and Why Open Education Matters). Well, what do you know? A PBS Off Book Series video made the cut on Open Culture! Watch the video and read the accompanying post as a reminder of why we need the Arts and how technology has changed the way we create.

Why Mashable? is one of the most reviewed and referred to social media sites out there today. I’ve seen countless bloggers refer to it in their articles, and have even seen freelance employers list that applicants should be familiar with Mashable.

How did I find it? I found while looking for reviews of newsletter platforms. I found what I was looking for, ranked by user experience, price, etc., and more. I viewed Mashable a while ago for a different project, but had forgotten what a great resource it actually was.

What is the content like? You’ll find more than technological information on The site is also a source for business, entertainment, and world news. If you’re seeking employment, Mashable also boasts a careers section, powered by Simply Hired, which lists opportunities exclusively shown on

Recommended read: 8 Reasons why people aren’t following you back on Twitter. Here are some truthful reasons why the people you follow don’t return the favor – I found that I was guilty of at least two of these things.

Other social media sites worth giving a gander: Zuberance’s Zuber Rants and Shoutlet’s Blog. These two sites were recommended by Contently writers. Zuberance is geared towards professionals looking to further brand advocacy. Shoutlet is a social media software company but the blog is a worthy read if you’re looking for honest opinions on social media conferences and technologies. I have visited both blogs a few times, and can see them as useful resources for public media information.

These are the social media websites that I visit every day. Hopefully you will find them just as useful and entertaining as I have!

What are some of your favorite social media blogs or web sites? What makes them different from other social media sites you have visited? I’d love to hear what your top social media resources are, so please leave comments and suggestions in the space provided.

In addition to being a SPI intern, Joy Loving is a freelance writer in the Washington, DC area. She is the current DC Ethnic Community Examiner for and has written for George Mason University’s Not Just Letters Newsletter. You can check out Joy’s Contently profile here. You can also follow her on twitter: @yourjoyfriday.

1 comment:

  1. Joy, thanks for the shout out to The Content Strategist. I'm the editor on the blog and the director of community for Contently. It's always an honor to hear kudos in the community!

    I hope the rest of your internship goes well. It's exciting that you're blog about it!