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What do journalists, bloggers and other storytellers really want for the holidays?
Aside from some much-needed downtime – and a magically clear email inbox – they may be dreaming of some of the latest gadgets to hit the scene to help up their game in the new year.
So for you last-minute holiday shoppers struggling to find the perfect gift, we rounded up some of the top tech gifts for the wordsmiths and storytellers on your list. Be it for your blogging friend or futurist family member, these tools could be the little nudge they need to inspire their inner influencer.
Don’t worry if your gift is a little late. These folks appreciate the struggle of meeting a deadline.
1. For the livestreaming newsmaker
In the age of FOMO, journalists and citizen reporters are turning to livestreaming mobile apps like Periscope and Snapchat to share news that is instant and unfiltered.
The challenge in broadcasting street journalism is making a steady video that looks credible. To keep the livestreamer in your life on top of their game, there are a number of tools that can help.
A selfie stick or tripod is practical and allows for better visibility and a wider array of shots. A handheld microphone, like the iRig Mic, makes for better sound, too.
2. For the unflinching investigator
For a reporter in a digital-first news landscape, the desire for enterprise storytelling has to be balanced by a need for expediency. But accuracy remains important, too.
Thanks to technology, journalists no longer must be put in the awkward situation of getting their hands on a hot scoop, only to learn they have no time to get back to the newsroom or that their source won’t give up their lone documentation.
A handy portable scanner can read and store images and documents on their devices in just seconds. To ensure they can stay plugged in while following a story, a power bank also is a must-give.
3. For the booming blogger
The blogger has transformed into a personality all its own, and is very much a force to be reckoned with.
In order to gain credibility, traffic and shares, a consistent spread of quality content and imagery are a must – and not just for their blog, but so they can diversify on their social channels as well.
For the emerging or seasoned blogger, a new camera like the Nikon 1 J5 with selfie-ready screen could help them re-energize and polish their work. If efficiency is a concern, try gifting a voice-recognition program. Programs like Dragonallow bloggers to talk through their thoughts and craft posts via dictation.
4. For the future futurist
Though we aren’t (yet) riding our hoverboards to work, drone journalism and virtual reality storytelling aren’t so far future. These emerging programs made big strides in 2015, bridging the gap between readers and content for a more immersive and emotional news experience.
For those who want to familiarize themselves with the future of storytelling, a wearable VR headset – like the P2 by DodoCase or Gear VR by Oculus – could aid understanding, while a 360° camera allows users to get more hands on with spherical photography.
For the drone curious, a video flyer like the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition or the more cost-friendly QuadForce Video Drone can help users hone their skills with the next major tool in the journalism toolbox.
5. For the inspired infopreneur
Today’s influential writers are many times seen extending their efforts well beyond the written word to create their own online business or brand out of their information.
But, it’s not an easy feat. In order to be truly successful, wannabe infopreneurs must arm themselves with key business school elements – such as how to create a sustainable business by playing to their strengths, while also appropriately monetizing their expertise.
For someone looking to take on this self-managed role, an e-workshop could be a welcome gift. The Infopreneur Ninja course by Regina Anaejionu of By Regina is a great premium option. Or you could opt for the scaled down 4 Part Entrepreneur Cocktail by Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society.
6. For the mobile photographer
Photography has progressed radically from its crude beginnings and complicated chemical process.
Today, demand trumps quality to meet the changes in how people consume and share news. That means photographers must be ready at any moment to point, shoot, and upload an image from a scene.
Luckily, there are tons of mobile apps and add-ons that make photo-taking from cell phones more attractive. A Mini Photo Pro Lens Kit or a Zoom Lens and Tripod for iPhone are solid gift options for DSLR-loving photographers who want to keep a mini studio in their pocket.
7. For the on-the-go audiophile
So many journalists and bloggers today are on the go, zooming from assignment to assignment or event to event.
Whether they’re in the car or on a train, listening to someone else talk can be a great distraction or – even better – the perfect inspiration, especially if reading another word feels daunting.
If you’re sensing commuter fatigue, a subscription to audible.com could do the trick. Membership provides access to one audio book per month, plus 30 percent off additional books. Perfect to listen to on the road, and in between their favorite podcasts.
8. For the aspiring author
With the ability now to self-publish on sites like Kindle and CreateSpace, getting published isn’t the lofty goal it once was.
However, the steps to planning and plotting a novel pretty much remain the same. For first-time novelists and more seasoned scribes, idea generation and story plotting are key to busting through writer’s block.
Software like Scrivener can help your writer hammer through their first draft. For those who like to put pen to paper, theEvernote Smart Notebook is a fun option that allows for digital upload of any handwritten notes or drawings.
Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on@BeyondBylines.