No simple job

The digital development director at WUSA-TV in Washington, DC, doesn’t just manage the station’s Web site. Patrick O’Brien is also in charge of five local microsites focused on everything from young moms to entertainment to high school sports.  So what does he really do?

Here’s one specific way that O’Brien uses Twitter: as a kind of community-powered scanner. makes it easy to track Tweets from or about one specific city. O’Brien has found news tips on the DC page before they ever hit the old fashioned police and fire scanners.

O’Brien has also used his Twitter feed to look for new hires.  “I’m following several intern organizations,” he says. He’s posted jobs on Twitter and  interviewed some of his Twitter followers.

With WUSA’s recent conversion to an all-VJ newsroom, O’Brien is helping to train the staff to use new media tools like Twitter. Two of his other favorites: DrPic, a free online app for cropping and compressing photos, and YouSendIt, which makes it easy to transfer large files.

So that’s what a digital development director does.