Thursday, April 14, 2011

Using Dropbox for journalism

Dropbox is one of my favorite things about the iPhone, and it's not even an iPhone specific thing!

You can download Dropbox (Click the link to go to the Dropbox homepage and see a video tutorial which, for some odd reason, is not embeddable) on your computer and all your mobile devices, allowing you to share content seamlessly between all of them. Even better, you can share folders with other computers.

In The Oakland Press newsroom, I downloaded Dropbox first on my computer, then added it to the iPhone and iPad, and then sent invitations to several of my coworkers to download Dropbox as well. For every person that answered my invite and downloaded the application, I got an extra 250 MB of free storage space. I then shared a general folder (ours is titled "OP Media") with all those coworkers who downloaded Dropbox.

This meant on Tuesday (and again today, while I was on the scene of a fire) I was able to use the iPhone and Dropbox to get photos sent automatically back to the office. I turn on the iPhone, go to the Dropbox app, take a photo, hit "use" and as soon as it uploads, a screen pops up on my coworkers' computers alerting them that "New media has been added to the OP Media folder." They can then drag and drop the photos (or video) to their desktop, edit as necessary and upload to the website. Generally speaking, it's a faster method than trying to upload to a story file right from the phone.

Here's a handout I made:

Using Dropbox for Journalism

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