* Set up a free Google Voice account, useful for recording incoming phone calls, in files you can later review, edit and post to the Web. Note: Before recording, you must get your subject's permission: "May I record this conversation for possible use on the air?"
-- Want to get picky about picking your Google Voice phone number?
-- More tools and apps for every journalism student
* Create Google News alerts to keep yourself informed on the beat you've chosen.
* Launch a Twitter account so you'll be able to share what you learn with those who care about your beat. Use mobile apps like Zite to Tweet easily from your mobile device.
-- Twitter rewards those who heed Strunk & White: Omit needless words ...
... and those who don't use poor grammar ...
... and those who don't use two spaces after a period.
Next week: How to interview people.