5 gadgets no social media celeb should be without

2 March 2009 One Comment Mike Evans

So you want to be Internet famous and become the next social media Rockstar? In this next post on social media, I’ll reveal the best gadgets for the job, as well as some tips on how to choose the best equipment to beat your fellow social media hacks. You’ll be the next Robert Scoble before you know it!

How to be a social media rockstar

In order to become a social media rockstar, you’ll need to get the scoops before your competitors, get the interviews they don’t get, and ensure you upload before they have even have a chance to switch their laptops on. It’s all about being first with the news and being in the bests locations to get it.

Social media rockstars like Robert Scoble travel the world finding stories, interviewing people and breaking the news before anyone else. Their videos and podcasts are professional quality and their gear never lets them down.

Just how do they do it? Easy – they buy the best gear! But that doesn’t mean it costs a fortune! The list below features the gadgets used by the pros that won’t set you back a small mortgage, as well as a few tips on making sure your gear’s as good to go as it possibly can be – and certainly better than the competition’s!

1). Break the news first with a Sony DSC-G3 Wi-Fi camera

Son Cyber-Shot DSC G3 camera
Nothing says “social media rockstar” like a gallery of pictures taken from exotic locations, or the latest sexiest toys (gadgets, cars, supermodels – whatever is your bag), or just of you hanging out with the celebs in your field.

To get those pics, you need a camera capable of taking great shots super-quick in all lighting conditions, and then lest you upload them to your favourite photo sharing site at the touch of a button.

There are many cameras you could use, but for 2009, look no further than the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-G3. Announced at CES 2009 back in January, Sony’s cracking Cyber-Shot isn’t even on sale yet, but already it’s got the tech blogosphere drooling for its release.

The reason? Built in Wi-Fi and one touch upload to dozens of different photo sharing sites. You simply take your pics using its 10.1 megapixel camera with 4x optical zoom Carl Zeiss lens, connect to the Internet by pressing the WLAN button, select the Web site you want to upload your pics to, and press send. Instantly, your pics are transferred ready for your hungry audience to lap them up, and all while your competing social mediaites are still busy trying to connect their camera to their PC.

2). Podcast to perfection with the Roland Edirol Audio Recorder

Roland Edirol R09HR audio recorder
Video isn’t the only medium in which you can shine as a social media rockstar. Ever heard of Podcasts? Of course you have! If you’re going to do professional podcasts, though, you need the proper equipment – in other words, a decent audio recorder.

Although many devices, such as MP3 players, cameras, camcorders and even mobile phones will let you record audio, if you’re going to do this properly, you need a device dedicated to capturing the audio of your subject.

Roland Edirol R-09HR Portable High Resolution Audio Recorder.

It comes with a 4GB memory card, has a USB connection for uploading your audio to your PC, and has a large OLED screen. Best of all, it captures audio in superb quality, at up to 24bit/96KHz fidelity. If you’re living blogging an event or conference, you’re going to need the little Roland, as it’ll capture the speakers voice without muffling, and it’ll give you a valuable source to refer back to when making notes on the event that you’re covering.

WebWorkerDaily columnist Aliza Sherman wouldn’t be without her Roland Edirol when live blogging, and neither should you.

3). Pick the right Laptop

You obviously need a laptop for social media rockstardom, but think about what you’re actually going to be using it for. If you plan on getting your face out there through Live Blogging or Citizen journalism, you’ll need a small lightweight laptop. Sure the latest widescreen laptops look gorgeous, but when you have a 70kg monster sat on your lap at a conference, you soon start to see the downsides of all that screen real estate!

Believe it or not, you can get by quite easily on a 12″ screen, so consider some of the lighter laptops or even netbooks that are available with this screen size. The corresponding reduction in weight and ease of carrying it around will more than make up for its lack of features.

Just make sure your laptop of choice is compatible with, and capable of powering, any software you might need (camcorder drivers, video editing software, etc.)

4). Consider your Connectivity – then consider it again

T-Mobile mobile broadband USB stick
Often neglected, but absolutely vital. You might think all you need for getting your content out there is a Wi-Fi connection, and so the nearest StarBucks will do. But what if you’re at an event where the Wi-Fi goes down? With so many people all trying to connect simultaneously, this happens at far more conferences than you’d think. Last year’s Le Web 2.0 is perhaps the most prominent conference where this happened, but it also happened to me when I was tweeting from FOWA 2008.

To make sure you have full connectivity, use a USB 3G card. These are fantastic value, and ensure your laptop is always connected to the Internet over the mobile phone network, regardless of what the local Wi-Fi network is doing.

Just for added backup, get two different 3G sticks from two different operators. As Phandroid blogger Rob Jackson discovered, if everyone’s using the same mobile network, that too will have connectivity problems. If connectivity is an absolute must, then get yourself multiple ways of connecting.

5). Power!

Sounds obvious, but no gadget is going to work without power. Fully charged batteries, spare batteries, travel adaptors, battery chargers – buy them by the bucket load! The very last thing you want is one of your devices cutting out on you just as you’re about to get that juicy quote from your interviewee.


The social media world can be pretty cut-throat. You won’t be the only hack out there trying to make a name for yourself, so you need to make sure you have the right equipment.

By now, you should know:

So what are you waiting for? Go out there and make a name for yourself!


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