Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kim Komando lists tips to help cell phone users save time and money

USA Today tech writer Kim Komando helps AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and TMobile users learn tricks to navigate more cost efficiently through their cell phones. In the article titled "Save time, money with cellular secrets," Komando provides a long list rather than a well-written article. The only traditionally structured part of the article is the lede, which in my opinion is to the point but rather unexciting. Also, Komando uses sentence beginnings that I was taught growing up never to use. They are "and" and "so". For simplistic, journalistic purposes, however, they may work. From reading the article, I don't think Komando was trying to write in an impressive matter, as it appeared that the facts in a understandable manner were more important.

As very recently new member of an AT&T IPhone, this weekend in fact, I found this article conveniently helpful. Tricks such as the following were provided in the article: how to text in an e-mail format, how to block certain types of text messages or specific phone numbers, how to skip over the voicemail greeting of the person you're calling, how to check for balance, remaining text messages & remaining minutes, how to text a landline, and also provides shortcuts for navigating through your own voicemail. There are no exterior sources and no citations, but it can be assumed that all of the information was either discovered through use of the phones or thorough research.

There is no proper ending to the article, as the entire body is primarily in list format. While not being the conventional type of article that USA Today publishes, Komando still did an adequate job of delivering the content that was intended to be delivered. While to mode was different, the information was not made any less helpful.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

USA Today's Swartz gives a brief summary of Facebook departure

Joe Swartz, tech writer for USA Today write a short overview of an update in the Facebook staff titled "Facebook CFO resigns." Using a summary lede, Swartz addressed the:
-who: Gideon Yu (CFO of Facebook)
-what: Yu is leaving Facebook after two years
-when: currently
-where: not relevant to story
-why: no reason yet given

Given the article is only three short paragraphs, Swartz, in my opinion, does a great job of addressing the pertinent and necessary information. The article isn't necessarily only about Yu, but also about the other changes in employment and management to Facebook. "Co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and Chief Technology Officer Adam D'Angelo" both left last year, in addition to "Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein, an engineering manager at Facebook" who "left to form a startup to build software they hope will be 'to your work life what is to your social life.'"

The ending sentence, however, is slightly confusing as Swartz gives an update about an employer already mentioned earlier in the article. "D'Angelo jumped last year for parts unknown." This sentence is a weak concluding sentence as it doesn't even relate to the initial subject of the article. While the article delivers the changes to Facebook staff in an understandable way, the title is misleading because it makes the reader think the article will go more in depth about the reason for which Yu left and how he went about doing it. It is only touched on on the surface, and I feel more delving needs to be done to report more information to the reader.

Lastly, I think Swartz should have used a source from within Facebook regarding Yu's departure. A quote from Facebook is used (Facebook says it's looking for a CFO with "public company experience."), however, it is not attributed to a person or website. I think Swartz should have tried to get an interview with the CEO or one of the founders who are internally linked to Facebook and who would have known the exactly events leading up to and reasons for Yu's decision to leave. All in all, while it gives a great summary, Swartz should lengthen his article to fit in more specific and informative content.