> web workshop

Smarter Surfing: Better Use of Your Web Time
A workshop by Sreenath Sreenivasan
[ ]
New media professor, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, New York
"Tech Guru"on WABC-7, New York / 212-854-5979
See site:
BLOG: New To Sree

Want Sree to present at your next convention, professional development session or Lunch-n-Learn? He will work with you to create a customized session of any length to suit your audience. He has several other workshops that can be incorporated or offered separately, including Figuring Out Blogs, Podcasting, Wikis and Whatever's Next or Things You Didn't Know Google Does. Scroll down to see: feedback; typical content; places he has presented; FAQ; and other useful info. Call him at 212-854-5979 or e-mail him at

More than 10,000 journalists, lawyers, bankers, diplomats, management consultants, PR pros, university and high school students, UN officials and others have taken this workshop in eight countries: the US, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Slovakia, Austria, Bermuda and Panama.

"Very valuable. Quick, easy, fun, informative. Several priceless navigational tips." — SIG GISSLER, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes

"Our most successful Lunch & Learn presentation ever for the staff recently took place at Asia Society when Sree Sreeivasan presented 'Smarter Surfing.' The presentation was informative and humorous. Although the Human Resources Department received lots of praise for setting it up, Sree deserves all the credit."
CHRIS LAWRENCE, director - Human Resources, Asia Society.

"Sree is my Internet guru. Just one tip has saved me hours — his knowledge of the Internet is mind-boggling." BAMBE LEVINE, owner/founder, Bambe Levine Public Relations, Inc., New York

"I found Sree's presentation extremely helpful. He does a terrific job. In fact, I'd like to attend again." — MERVIN BLOCK, author, "Writing Broadcast News: Shorter, Sharper, Stronger" and writing coach

"Anyone can surf the Web. But to get something worthwhile from the effort -- that takes navigation skill and knowledge of the terrain, plus a healthy measure of skepticism. Sree imparts all of that in a session that's tight, entertaining and tailored to the participants." LESTER REINGOLD, contributor to American Heritage, Air & Space/Smithsonian, The Washington Post,

"What a fantastic presenter! Sree Sreenivasan's 'Smarter Surfing' seminar was excellent. The list of useful web sites Sree provided to our students and faculty is a great resource. The fast-paced format kept the presentation interesting. All agreed that the seminar's end came too quickly." - LOREN KATSAKOS, teacher, Morris Hills High School, New Jersey.

To schedule a workshop or share your tips/feedback: / 212-854-5979
(See Frequently Asked Questions below)

See Smarter Surfing Links

See FAQ below...

IF YOU'RE like most Web users, you waste a lot of time when you look for information, especially when you need something on deadline.

The goal of this two-hour workshop is to improve your searches, your research, and your online experience.

In a hands-on session exploring the pros and cons of various sites--some extremely popular ones, some you may not have heard of--we explore ways to make your Web time more efficient. We will learn to look at sites critically, always asking the crucial questions, "Can I trust this information?" and "Who's the money behind this site?"

This workshop is designed for all levels of Web experience -- from 10 days to 10 years.

Specially tailored sessions on specific subjects, and ranging in time from 60 minutes to 4-5 hours can be set up.

Among the problems tackled:

  • Unreliable information
  • Spam, pop-up windows, viruses and other annoyances
  • Things you didn't know Google does
  • Too many search results
  • Too few search results
  • Lack of useful statistics
  • Too much techno jargon
  • Can't keep track of new sites
  • Your questions here

Among the issues covered:

  • Useful newly-launched sites
  • Which search engine is best for each search
  • Finding sources/info on deadline
  • Dealing with and digesting data and stats
  • How to conduct online interviews
  • OPTIONAL: Figuring Out Blogs, Podcasting, Wikis and Whatever's Next
  • When to use--gasp!--the library, instead of the Web
  • Your topic here

Sreenivasan tells a class, "Have I got a site for you!"
PHOTO: John Smock

YOUR INSTRUCTOR: Sreenath "Sree" Sreenivasan, is ABC-7's "Tech Guru" - he can be seen Thursday mornings at 6:20 a.m. and Saturday mornings at 7:45 a.m. on Channel 7 in the NYC area and He's also an online journalism professor at Columbia University, where is also dean of students. He serves as the "Web Geek" for Popular Science magazine. His work explaining technology to lay readers has appeared in The New York Times, Business Week and Rolling Stone. He was founding administrator of the Online Journalism Awards, the largest international new media news contest. He is co-founder and past president of SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association. He writes a WebTips column, with Jon Dube, for, which is read by 10,000 media professionals. (see bio)

To schedule a workshop:
212-854-5979 /

Q: I have been using the Web for a few years now; won't this be a waste of time?
A: It is meant to improve your existing skill level, so unless you keep up with the latest sites and techniques for journalism research/search, this should be useful. This class has been been taught at dot-com offices and even folks there found it useful. Of course, there's never a guarantee that anything is not a waste of time!

Q: What kind of facilities do you need to teach this workshop?
A: Ideally, a single PC or Mac with a Web browser, an Internet connection and projection (ie, LCD projector onto a screen or a white wall). Theater-style seating for the students works well, as does gathering everyone around a conference table and sticking me and the projector at one end. If you want to have a special hands-on session, then you need to arrange for several computers and more time.
See Admin section for more details

Q: What do you charge for this workshop?
A: My fees are flexible and I can work within your budget. For small nonprofits who cannot afford to pay, I will do the session pro bono - but I do charge those with deeper pockets.

Q: I am in interested in having a workshop scheduled for my colleagues at the office. What next?
A: Get in touch and we can work out the details:

Q: Can you tailor the workshop to suit a particular set of "students?" Can you increase/decrease the length of the session(s)?
A: Yes. Let me know what you need. I have taught various versions of this to journalists and non-journalists, too. Groups have included lawyers, doctors, management consultants, tech professionals, high school students and more.

Q: How many students can you teach at one session?
A: I have taught groups as small as eight and as large as 450. We can scale up or down, depending on the facilities.

Q: Are you willing to do a session outside NYC?
A: I regularly teach this workshop for various organizations in the US and abroad. Depends on the place and time. Short answer, yes. Long answer: Am available any time to teach in Bali or Fiji; other places, we need to negotiate.

Q: Do I get Columbia university credit for this workshop?
A: This is an optional workshop with no university credit points. However, you do get several karma points.

Q: What if I can't make any of your sessions and I want a solo lesson?
A: Individual tutoring is tough to schedule. Still, contact me and we can see what we can work out.
I can also refer you to others.

Q: What is your favorite comic strip?
A: Calvin & Hobbes. (OK, I haven't been asked that question in reference to this workshop, but you never know when I might be.)

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Free, low-volume list of Web tips & tricks — once a month, from Sree's "Smarter Surfing" Workshop

Send an e-mail to

See Sree Newsletter Archive / 212-854-5979 /


Some organizations where this workshop has been taught (NYC unless otherwise indicated):


  • 60 Minutes, CBS News
  • ABC News World News Tonight & 20/20
  • KSTP-TV, Minneapolis
  • Twin Cities Public Television, St. Paul, MN
  • WABC-TV, New York
  • WNBC-TV &, New York
  • WXYZ-TV, Detroit


  • American Lawyer
  • Columbia Journalism Review
  • The Nation
  • National Journal, Washington, DC
  • New Voices national Jewish magazine
  • Reader's Digest, Pleasantville
  • Time Out New York


  • Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Indianapolis Star
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • Star-Ledger Job Fair, Newark
  • The New York Times
  • The Wall Street Journal news staff
  • The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page


  • Associated Press
  • Bloomberg News
  • Czech News Agency, Prague
  • Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  • Thomson Financial


  • Czech National Radio, Prague
  • Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul
  • National Public Radio, DC - Morning Edition Staff
  • Public Radio International, Minneapolis


  • &


  • American Society of Journalists & Authors, NYC/2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
  • American Jewish Press Association, NYC/2002, 2004
  • Asian American Journalists Assn, NYC/2000
  • Canada Media Marketplace, Los Angeles/2002
  • Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations, Boston, 2004
  • Independent Press Association, NY, 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Inter American Press Association, Panama City, 2005
  • IRE, Investigative Reporters & Editors, San Fran/2002
  • National Hadassah Convention, NY/2003
  • National Writers Workshop, Hartford/2002, Ft. Lauderdale/2004
  • SABEW, Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Phoenix/2002
  • SATW, Society of American Travel Writers, Bermuda/2001, Orlando/2003, Las Vegas/2005
  • SPJ, Society of Professional Journalists, NYC/2004, Las Vegas/2005


  • American Women's Economic Development
  • Asia Society
  • Independent Business Women's Circle, Long Island
  • Institute at the New York Center for Community and Coalition Building
  • Fundraising Day New York, the largest one-day philanthropy event in the U.S.
  • Jewish Comunity Relations Council
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
  • Metro Labor Relations Council
  • Playing2Win Harlem Technology Center
  • Seeds of Peace, Prague delegates summit
  • Sister Fund
  • Westside YMCA
  • Workforce NJ Employment Center, New Brunswick


  • American Family Insurance, Madison, WI
  • General Motors HQ, Detroit
  • Katzenbach Partners management consultants


  • American Press Institute, Reston, VA (several years)
  • Center for Communication, New York
  • Center for Independent Journalism, Bratislava
  • Center for Independent Journalism, Budapest
  • Center for Independent Journalism, Prague
  • Independent Press Association, NYC
  • Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, FL (several years)


  • American Jewish Press Association
  • American Society of Journalists & Authors, DC
  • American Society of Magazine Editors, NY (annual presentation for several years)
  • Asian American Journalists Assn
  • Hungarian Assn of Journalists, Budapest
  • Kansas Association of Broadcasters, Topeka
  • New York Assn of Black Journalists
  • Professional Writers Alliance of Mercer County
  • South Asian Journalists Association, DC
  • Society of Professional Journalists, Indianapolis Pro Chapter
  • Women's Freelancers Group, NYC


  • Beta Phi Chapter of Delta Pi Epsilon, New Jersey
  • Montclair Schools PTA
  • Morris Hills High School, Morris Hills, New Jersey
  • Nutley High School, NJ
  • P.S. 8, Jersey City, NJ
  • Roosevelt Intermediate School, Westfield, NJ (700 kids)
  • Roslyn Middle School (900 kids)
  • Roslyn School District, Long Island - three years
  • Union High School, New Jersey

EDUCATION - Other institutions

  • Emerson College, Boston
  • Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore
  • LaGuardia Community College, Queens
  • Long Island University, Brooklyn campus
  • Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
  • Montclair State University, NJ
  • NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies
  • Tufts University College of Citizenship & Public Service
  • Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia


  • U.S. Embassy, Panama
  • Embassy of India, Washington
  • Foreign Press Center, New York
  • Foreign Press Center, Washington
  • Israeli Consulate, New York
  • State Legislative Leaders Foundation
  • United Nations Secretariat, NYC
  • United Nations Secretariat, Vienna


  • PR21
  • Public Relations Society of America
  • Wednesday PR Group


  • Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations, Boston 2005
  • Massachusetts Governor's Conference on Tourism, 2005, 2006
  • SATW, Society of American Travel Writers, Bermuda/2001, Orlando/2003, Las Vega/2005
  • Travel Industry Association of America


  • New York Public Library
  • West Windsor Library, Princeton Jct, NJ
  • Columbia Center for New Media Techology
  • Columbia Journalism Alumni Assn, Washington
  • Columbia Scholastic Press Assn
  • Columbia University Alumni, Tampa, Detroit & Minneapolis, Cincinnati
  • Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program
  • National Arts Journalism Program
  • Pulitzer Prize newspaper jurors
  • Scripps Howard New Media Fellowship
  • Columbia Workshop on Globalization, 2005, 2006
  • Columbia Journalism Alumni Weekend, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

See Talks section for upcoming sessions

Subscribe to SreeTips
Free, low-volume list of Web tips & tricks — once a month, from Sree's "Smarter Surfing" Workshop

Send an e-mail to

See Sree Newsletter Archive