• Lauren

    The Hotspot highlights Web content created by writers working under a WGA contract.


Lauren is a web dramatic series starring Jennifer Beals (Flashdance), Troian Bellisario, with a guest appearance by Bradley Whitfield (The West Wing). It was created for the WIGS YouTube channel and is also currently available on Hulu. The series topic is sexual assault in the military. Its 12 episodes were written by Jay Rodan and directed by producer Jon Avnet (Risky Business).


Documentary Educational Resources
Documentary Educational Resources is also known as DER. They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with diverse filmmakers. DER was co-founded by Timothy Asch and John Marshall, who are also co-founders of the Human Studies Film Archive at the Smithsonian. Their website dispenses a wide variety of valuable professional information. A key feature is their long list of links to educational resources for documentary filmmakers. Over 800 documentaries can be viewed on the DER website. Plus aspiring filmmakers can apply there for “fiscal sponsorship” of their film and media projects.

The D-Word
The D-Word began in 1996 as filmmaker Doug Block’s blog. His blog’s original intent was to describe the daily creative and production process used while making his first documentary feature. His blog eventually was transformed into a virtual documentarian community. It currently has more than 15,000 members from 127 countries. The website’s topic forums offer free discussions on documentary films and film production. A selection of documentaries is also available on the website.

Center for Independent Documentary
The Center for Independent Documentary is also known as CID, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “giving voice to independent New England documentary filmmakers.” It was founded in 1981 as a collaboration of independent producers on a mission to “create films and videos on issues of contemporary social and cultural concern.” More specifically, CID is a documentarian community. A key website feature is their extensive links list of professional resources. Their site also offers a selection of documentary films.


State of the News Media
Since 2004, the Washington D.C.-based Pew Research Center has published its annual “State of the News Media” report. Pew is a “nonpartisan think tank on social issues and trends.” Their 2017 report covers “data and trends about key” audience and “economic indicators for a variety of sectors within the U.S. news industry.” The report serves as a large information resource made up of topic fact sheets, and links to related reports. The report’s fact sheet topics include digital news, public broadcasting, Hispanic and African American-oriented news media, local TV news, podcasting information, network news, and cable news.

The Transition to Digital Journalism
“The Transition to Digital Journalism” is a long-form report by the late Paul Grabowicz, professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He has been described as a “forward thinking” old school journalist in the fields of investigative and digital journalism. His area of teaching specialization was digital storytelling as an education vehicle for the “next generation of digital journalists.” “The Transition to Digital Journalism” might be described as a massive tutorial report with a labyrinth of multiple links to additional reports. The common thread of this valuable information is the rise, fall, and transformation of mainstream print news media. Emerging news platforms covered include web-first news publishing, social networks news publishing, and journalist blogs.


WorkBook Project
WorkBook Project (WBP) is a website that provides “insight into the process of funding, creating, distributing, and sustaining as a creator of media.” WBP is self-described as “an open creative network” comprised of “an evolving collection of innovators.” Award-winning writer-director Lance Weiler (The Last Broadcast) is the WorkBook Project’s founder. The website’s focus is creative media such as film, design, video games, with an emphasis on transmedia storytelling. A prime feature is their informative WPB podcasts “covering all things Story.”


BBC Future
BBC Future describes itself as “a home for the insatiably curious.” Their subtitle: “making you smarter every day.” Richard Fisher is BBC Future’s editor. Their website consists of long-form educational features, information-oriented videos, and their special video feature “Grand Challenges.” Their chief dual subject focus is 1) “in depth coverage of science, health, and technology” and 2) “how to live more intelligently in a fast-changing world.”


Mike Gingerich
Mike Gingerich is a professional online marketing consultant. His website is chock-full of valuable info for social media professionals. Information specializes in social media apps and social media industry news and views. Gingerich’s website also has a blog with additional worthwhile advice aimed at social media pros. A chief feature is his “Halftime Mike” podcasts with yet more info for professionals. And his email list includes his “free Digital Marketing Checklist for 2017.

Agorapulse is a web-based app/blog aimed at social media industry professionals. It offers extensive advice on marketing, monetary, and management. Agorapulse blog topics are primarily aimed at those pros working within the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media platforms. Articles focus on tricks and tips about one or all of these social media platforms. Agorapulse is also a Paris-based international company; a media consultant and developer of social media “tools” both paid and free.

Peg Fitzpatrick
Silicon Valley vets Peg Fitzgerald and Guy Kawasaki are co-authors of the book The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. Peg Fitzgerald’s website acts as an online companion to the book. Like the book, the website is rich with tips and advice for social media professionals. Key info focal points are aimed at the Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn social media platforms. Her site also includes a long list of social media industry information links.

Social Media for Small Business
Social Media for Business is also known as Spiderworking.com. It is also the longtime website of Ireland-based social media professional Amanda Webb. The site is subtitled “Your No-Nonsense Guide to Digital Marketing.” A chief feature is her information-rich weekly podcasts primarily for blogging and social media publishing professionals.

Social Media Marketing Blog
Top Dog Social Media is a Canada-based social media marketing company run by Melonie Dodero. She started her career after attaining viral media fame by using Facebook to find her missing father. Her stated professional specialty is “brand storytelling” for social media. Her blog is a key feature of her website. Blog articles are rich with tips and advice about the social media industry with a focus on social media platforms Instagram and LinkedIn.

The Social Media Hat
The Social Media Hat is Mike Allton’s social media news and information resource for small businesses and organizations. St. Louis-based Allton is a veteran social media and blogging social media industry consultant. His website dispenses a wide range of information. Social media topics include blogging, internet marketing, and social media platforms like Google-Plus and LinkedIn. Allton also has recommendations of social media development tools and apps; blogging tools and apps; and info search tools.