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This list appeared in a recent NFCB newsletter. You can subscribe for free here.

Community radio has no shortage of volunteers interested in social media and video, but the sheer number of apps, ideas and online gizmos can make plotting the best plan quite perplexing. What are the best ones to use?

Here are ten tools to get you started.

  1. Everyone’s talking about podcasts, and your station may have the equipment, but not the time. How about trying Anchor? The free app for Android and iOS puts all the resources for podcasting right on your smartphone. With it, you can podcast anytime, anywhere. Use it to experiment with new ideas or just to try out podcasting in different venues.
  2. The Crowdtangle Chrome extension helps you see how often a link from your website or social media has been shared, who shared it and what they said. The free resource shows you aggregate share counts, as well as the specific Facebook Page posts, Tweets and Subreddits that shared a URL.
  3. Your station may do hours of interviews each week. Why not turn those into social media content with InterviewJS? The free tool makes interviews into embeddable interactive chats that you can share online with audiences. Say the creators, “Storytellers are taken through the process of building a chat story from creating interviewee profiles to composing interactive messaging exchanges combining text, videos, maps, audio, charts or any other type of embeddable content. The result: mobile-friendly stories in the form of an embeddable web app that enable users to engage with interviewees seemingly directly. They can be shared on social media or embedded on your website.”
  4. Do listeners share, reference and ask about videos they see online? Want to help your audience separate video fact from fiction? The InVid browser extension allows you to paste a link from YouTube, Facebook or Twitter and get more information about the video’s origins. InVid also helps you by allowing extraction of key frames for further inspection.
  5. If your station uses Twitter or wants to break down a conversation on Twitter for the audience, Thread Reader helps you present Twitter in a more accessible way for those who are not as familiar with the platform.
  6. You might love Instagram, but don’t neglect some of the fun add-ons. Boomerang takes photos of actions to create GIF-like images that can add some zing to your account. Regrann is among many applications where you can repost with credit photos and video – perfect for that station event where you can curate others’ photographs and footage of the big day.
  7. Always wanted to do an explainer video, but not sure where to start? PBS LearningMedia created StoryBoard to allow you to incorporate PBS videos, graphics, and text into a an explainer for a topic. They also feature a Quiz Maker for your storytelling endeavors.
  8. If you want to craft some cool video, apps like Quik and PowerDirector put a massive set of video enhancements, voiceover components and more right in your station’s hands.
  9. The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism has introduced PathChartr as a tool to help organizations tell interactive stories. “PathChartr allows journalists and others to quickly create question-and-answer-driven interactives that deliver personalized information. The goal: to help people navigate complex issues and make decisions of all kinds.”
  10. Looking to manage and collaborate on bookmarks your station can use for its projects? Or just a place where listeners can submit items of interest? From Google Docs to Trello, there are many apps for this purpose. Raindrop is just one of many you can utilize.

‘Digital strategy’ is a catch-all term that has incorporated everything from social media to video to websites. And it is not just for the big dogs of commercial radio and television. Smartphones, cheaper gear and the youth movement on social platforms have all made digital storytelling more accessible than ever. Your station can join in as never before.

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