Phil Mac Giolla Bhain showing what ‘socially present journalism’ looks like…

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations      

So a little vicarious glory via sometimes Slugger blogger Phil Mac Giolla Bhain who has made it to number 10 in the Press Gazette’s top social journalists (not bad for a Glasgow Irishman ensconced in the west Donegal Gaeltacht…)

It’s all his own doing of course. The key is to maintain social presence. Phil’s success has been to embed himself in a community (actually several different communities: Celtic supporters, Irish Republicans and unionised journalists in Ireland and Britain…

As my friend and colleague John Kellden might say, it’s what you then do with that social presence that matters

What if we use our social tech, our digital digs, to find and agree upon deeply meaningful and interesting challenges to resolve, then lead situationally, follow, share, coordinate our efforts, gather to cocreate value, catalyze insights and scaffold scenius through conversations, as if people mind and matter?

Phil’s view of the world may not suit everyone. But his Twitter feed is rich because he delves seamlessly into matters from each of his different communities and shares them out generously. It’s around this his own personal community or tribe is is built.

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  • Thanks Mick.
    I’m delighted to be in such company in that Top Ten.
    The judging panel also makes this a bit special for me.
    Twitter and social media is now an essential part of my working day.

  • Mick Fealty


    If you don’t mind me asking a blindingly obvious question, what is most useful to you as a journalist about social. It isn’t just about ‘selling stories’?

  • I think the key thing is about connecting with the people who read you.
    Yes there are trolls and the block function on Twitter is essential.
    However, the interaction is key.
    When I was a working journalist in old media it was entirely one way.
    Copy was filed, passed by the sub, legalled and then the presses would role.
    There might be a letter to the editor, but that was it.
    Now it is instantaneous.
    I think this is better…

  • Even if you are a staffer at a paper now-Twitter allows you to develop your own discrete readership.

  • Mick Fealty

    I picked up on the social presence thing, because for me that’s a key qualitative shift. Of course journalism still relies on professionals and those who know how to turn ‘data’ into stories.

    But it seems to me that the communicative capacities of the net have transformed ‘people’ and ‘communities’ from passive receivers into assets.

    Much as I must often seem loud and opinionated at times here on Slugger, I have to concede I’ve been taught much more by other commenters and readers than I’ve a pup’s chance of teaching anyone else.

    So for me, the payoff for ‘social presence’ is what you earn in ‘return for engagement’ which is the filling in of wider perspectives and gaps in your own understanding of ‘the way things are’.

  • socaire

    Opinionated but not loud. Usually wrong opinions too.

  • The person leaving a comment then becoming the tutor of the journalist has also been part of my experience as well.
    Especially when I was writing about complex matters such as UK insolvency and Scots law (on the Rangers story).
    I would get people posting comments on my site who were professionally qualified in these areas.