GWA News Clippings
May 11, 2011

6 questions that can help journalists find a focus, tell better stories
Poynter
Here are six good questions to ask writers — usually right before they start their reporting, and then right before they sit down to write. Even if you're on deadline, try having a 10-minute conversation guided by these questions. As an editor, the coaching you provide on the front-end can often save you time revising the story after the fact.More

Garden spending drops but retailers maintain head-to-head competition
GWA
As a sign of the economic times, planned consumer garden spending is expected to drop from an average $615 per household in 2009 to a projected $469 for 2011. At the same time, competition between independent garden centers and mass merchants is expected to remain evenly split for early spring plant purchases. More

The 7 tools of dialogue
Writers Digest
Stick these seven dialogue tools in your writer's toolbox for those times you need to pop the hood and tinker with your characters' words.More

Which is the best self-publication platform?
The Passive Voice
Self-published author Meredith Greene and her husband, Stephen Wayne Greene, have lots of experience with various self-publishing platforms. Meredith shares her opinions and those of her fellow indie authors.More

Storify: The pros and cons
Mediabistro
In the last couple of weeks, there has been a lot of buzz about Storify, a new social media curation tool aimed at professional and citizen journalists that moved into the public beta testing phase on April 25. Some, such as Matthew Ingram, have even gone as far as to call it "the future of media." Is it too good to be true?More

More than 60 upcoming social media and tech events
Mashable
Every week, Mashable puts together a calendar of upcoming social media and web events, parties and conferences. Here are some tips on how to network, share your information and promote using social media.More

Private survey shows small business owners have lost confidence
Bloomberg via Lawn & Landscape
Confidence among U.S. small companies fell to a seven-month low in April, damped by a deteriorating outlook for the economy, a private survey showed. The National Federation of Independent Business's optimism index decreased to 91.2, the lowest since September, from 91.9 the prior month, the Washington-based group said in a statement.More

Talking about a revolution
Kane Consulting
There once was a time when it was perfectly acceptable for it to be difficult for clients or customers to talk to actual humans at a company and to be told that this is "just how it is" when they finally managed to do so. That time is over.More

For journalists, a call to rethink online models
The New York Times
Columbia University has surveyed the state of digital journalism, and it has concluded that journalists must rethink their relationships — and their audiences' relationships — with advertisers. That does not mean yielding editorial control to sponsors, but it might mean coming up with alternatives to impression-based pricing, creating higher-value content for the Web by tapping into page view data, and helping to ensure that Web ads have value on their own.More