More time on social media, sounds ridiculous and frivolous for a court reporter, right? What if the question were: Do you need more information about any number of aspects of court reporting and quick answers to questions? Most likely, the answer to that question would be an emphatic yes!
For such a long time, court reporters have been a bit isolated with only close contact to others in their own courthouse or freelance office. Then, along came a lot of technology in a fairly short period of time, and along with it, a lot of knowledge that court reporters needed to know and a lot of troubleshooting. In the past, that meant a lot of time spent on the phone with tech support and much trial and error, even in front of clients. Often, that is no longer the case.
Now, with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, other social media, and general websites, information is shared and questions are answered with a few clicks of a computer or smart phone any hour of any day. If you are not a part of any social media outlet, this may make it worthwhile. Facebook Groups that I belong to are:
- Ohio Court Reporters Association
- Case Catalyst Reporters and Users
- Steno Briefs for Court Reporters
- NCRA’s Realtime Program
- Freelance Court Reporters – NCRA
- Top Gun Realtime Reporters
- Realtime Court Reporting – Clark State Community College.
There are others out there that you may find you want to join depending on the topics that interest you most. If you’re not a Groups joiner, then, just Friend those colleagues that you trust to give good advice so that you can message them when needed.
Not a Facebook person? Not a problem. Major software and technology providers have websites with pretty good tech support pages and most can instant message with you too. Generally, a CAT software company will require a support contract, but I have not found a product provider company that requires any sort of fee. Online resources will not answer every problem that may be encountered and cannot totally replace all training, but they do definitely contain a huge amount of useful information.
A web page I like to check out often to expand my skills is Mark Kislingbury’s page, www.magnumsteno.com. The home page changes with posts like “Thought for the Week,” and “Today’s Briefs.” There is no charge or obligation for just browsing the home page, and if you feel up to it, you can pay the monthly fee to get unlimited dictation practice and access to brief lists, etc. There are a few other similar sites, but this happens to be one that I look at frequently and I was a member of it for a year, and it is very helpful. If you like a particular “reporting superstar,” it’s likely that they have some sort of online presence and maybe even webinars, so do a search and see what’s out there.
Having said all of the above, I want to be sure to not diminish the numerous benefits of attending conferences, seminars, and social gatherings with our peers, but that’s another subject for another day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Conley Yungblut is a Mike Mobley Reporting court reporter based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has been a reporter since 1989. Lisa is active in the Ohio Court Reporters’ Association (is a Past President), on the Advisory Board for the judicial reporting program at a local college, actively engaged in improving her skills and has mentored many court reporting students and interns.