“The first step toward innovation is optimism,” writes Mark Briggs, a veteran journalist and author of a book we like, Journalism Next: A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing.

Let’s just say Media Salad abounds with optimism. We’re innovating every day. During some of our projects, we’ve turned to Briggs’ book for ideas and inspiration. We particularly appreciate his insight into the use of mobile applications, blogs, databases and social networks to gather and deliver the market intelligence our clients need.

Briggs is a former assistant managing editor for interactive news at The (Tacoma, Wash.) News Tribune. He also gets props for being a journalism graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – just like the diehard Tar Heel who leads Media Salad.