Wish list for better tools for journalism

I still like Twhirl for my personal Twitter-ing and Twibble for my mobile Twitter-ing, but I think TweetDeck is a stellar tool for Twitter power users including journalists. I keep it open on my desktop and occasionally look at the tag cloud from TwitScoop. Recently, I saw ‘Bethesda’ pop up in huge type on the tag cloud, and I was baffled as to why this Washington DC suburb should be spiking on Twitter. But the tweets linked to the story about a huge water main break in Bethesda 20 minutes before it aired on British TV news networks.

When I showed TweetDeck to one of our news bloggers here at the Guardian, he said he wished that the news wires worked like that.

  • Why don’t we have a tag cloud showing rising stories in wire feeds?
  • Why don’t we create our own in house Adobe Air apps that automatically aggregate based on those tags from social media sources?
  • Why aren’t our publishing tools as fast and user-friendly as blogging tools?

In 2009, I see almost endless opportunities to use third party sites, applications and services to do social media journalism. My wish list will drive the apps and services I use. What’s your wish list for 2009? What tool do you use outside of your office that you wish you had inside your newsroom to do journalism?