According to Business Insider, there are six social media jobs that are going to explode in 2014: SEO Specialist, Social Media Strategist, Online Community Manager, Social Media Marketing Manager, Social Media Marketing Coordinator, and Blogger or Social Media Copywriter.
On the dangers of consuming news online only: "That’s because there’s pretty good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber." Source
Do you have any advice for other social media editors out there who might want to make a similar transition some day?
I think not limiting yourself to just being the social media person. It sometimes might mean you have to work even longer hours, but it’s really good to still know all those old journalism skills — good copy editing, having good news judgment, being able to write a news update that’s longer than 140 characters. And also just being more involved with news than just pushing things out and doing engagement.
A majority of Americans seek out a full news story after hearing about an event or issue from friends and family, a new Pew Research survey released finds. Social networking is now a part of this process as well:
Spotlight on Research
"Facebook is by far the largest social networking site among U.S. adults, and with half of its users getting news there, is also the largest among U.S. adults when it comes to getting news. As discussed in an earlier report, roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use the site, and half of those users get news there—amounting to 30% of the general population. YouTube has the next greatest reach in terms of general usage, at 51% of U.S. adults. Thus, even though only a fifth of its users get news there, that amounts to 10% of the adult population, which puts it on par with Twitter. Twitter reaches just 16% of U.S. adults, but half (8% of U.S. adults) use it for news. Reddit is a news destination for nearly two-thirds of its users (62%). But since just 3% of the U.S. population uses Reddit, that translates to 2% of the population that gets news there."
Using Kovach and Rosenstiel's "Next Journalism" framework, which calls for a shift away from journalism as a product toward more of a service for citizens, study analyzed 2,700 tweets from reporters at 51 U.S. newspapers.
Findings showed reporters engaging in a journalism of service via:
In addition to making it easy to find, consume and interact with news content once someone is on their site, it is also important for news organizations to understand where users go after they leave. Are they heading to another company-owned property promoted on that site? Are they sharing content by heading to a social network that the site pointed them to? Are they clicking on an advertisement and moving to a retailer promoted on the page? Or have they left for other reasons?
If a large portion of users are going to Facebook after leaving a site, that may indicate the site’s content is easy to share and viewed as worth distributing to friends. On the other hand, if most users are leaving for Google or some other search engine, that could indicate that users either did not find what they were looking for on the site or got what they needed but were not drawn to any other content.
"We will still have blogs, of course, if only because the word is flexible enough to encompass a very wide range of publishing platforms: Basically, anything that contains a scrollable stream of posts is a "blog." What we are losing is the personal blog and the themed blog. Less and less do readers have the patience for a certain writer or even certain subject matter. Instead, they use social media to efficiently pick exactly what they do and do not click on, rather than reading what a blogger or blog offers them."
The design metaphor at the heart of the blog format is on the wane as well. Alexis Madrigal says that the reverse-chronological stream (a.k.a. The Stream, a.k.a. The River of News) is on its way out. Snapchat, with its ephemeral media, is an obvious non-stream app; Facebook’s News Feed is increasingly organized by importance, not chronology. Pinterest, Digg, and an increasing number of other sites use grid layouts to present information. Twitter is coming to resemble radio news as media outlets repost the same stories throughout the day, ICYMI (in case you missed it). Reddit orders stories by score. The design of BuzzFeed’s front page barely matters because most of their traffic comes in from elsewhere.
When asked about his reaction to The Boston Globe calling Deadspin “a website that has broken some high-profile stories but not an outlet regarded for journalistic standards,” Craggs says: “Whatever. Why should I care what a craven, slipshod outfit like the Boston Globe thinks of my ‘journalistic standards’?” Source
Write good link text. Click here is bad link text (where will you go? You don't know!). This is good link text: Lyndon gave us 10 tips that help him write his blog. Why is it good? Because the text of the link gives you a reasonable expectation of what you will see if you click!
Write less. Short post, short sentences.
250 words is usually enough but some posts will be shorter and others will be longer.
No block of text more than 5 lines
Make headlines SEO friendly. Every word counts. The title also needs to be short — five or six words is an ideal length.
Write with passion. Actually write.
Include bullet point lists
Edit your post
Make your posts easy to scan
Be consistent with your style
Litter the post with keywords
Post at last 3 days each week. This keeps your blog fresh and interesting.
Let's look at a couple of sample, professional posts. This is from a blog geared to college students and is definitely longer. Another longer post from Washington Post's Wonkblog uses lots of media and is reader friendly list. Compare to this politics blog and its shorter posts.
For fun, let's also test email a post and test email a YouTube URL and photo (of yours) to your Wordpress blog.
Daily Assignment 3 (to be done in-class):
Make your first post to your beat blog, a kind of introductory post. Let them know what you hope the blog will be. We will do this IN CLASS. In addition, if you have not done your "About" page on Wordpress, do it as well (if your theme has one).
From the first longitudinal Twitter study findings: Stop tweeting so much about yourself.
“Informational content attracts followers with an effect that is roughly thirty times higher than the effect of [personal] ‘meformer’ content, which deters growth,” the researchers wrote. “We think this is due to the prevalence of weak ties on Twitter.”
In other words, your Twitter followers don’t know you that well and thus don’t care about what you’re eating. Feed them information instead. Among the accounts studied, users talked about themselves in 41 percent of their tweets while informational content accounted for only 24 percent.
Spotlight on Research
What does the most annoying tweet look like? Watch overusing the hashtags and sharing personal, stale info. The best tweets: informative and funny.
Study: Here are the factors that impart the least credibility to a tweet:
Non-standard grammar or punctuation (2.71)
Author has the default Twitter user image (2.87)
Author has a cartoon or avatar as user image (3.22)
Author is following too many users (3.30)
Another study found an author’s influence, topical expertise, and reputation all enhance a tweet’s credibility; other perceived markers of credibility include the public profiles of tweeters and how often their posts are retweeted.
A new study found that followers rated only 36 percent of 43,000 tweets worth reading. The most-liked (of six categories researchers created) of tweets were Questions to Followers, Information Sharing, and Self-Promotion. The least popular: Presence Maintenance (“Hello Twitter!”), Conversation, and Me Now (the tweeter’s current mood or status). “Given that users actively choose to follow these accounts, it is striking that so few of the tweets are actively liked,” the researchers note.
The authors conclude with a list of “best practices” for Twitter content: “[Posters should] embed more context in tweets (and be less cryptic); add extra commentary, especially if retweeting a common news source; don’t overuse hashtags and use direct messages (DMs) rather than @mentions if more appropriate; happy sentiments are valued and ‘whining’ is disliked, and questions should use a unique hashtag so followers can keep track of the conversation.”
A growing argument in new media is that quality journalism in all its new forms can distinguish itself by being transparent. First, it can aid credibility and distinguish itself from rumor and unchecked information by being transparent, revealing how information was obtained so audiences can see its origin, help correct errors, etc.
It can also give more insight into the reporters themselves (and thus aid their credibility, relatability) with more sharing of behind-the-scenes information. A recent study found female journalists were significantly more transparent than males. "They revealed more about their jobs, personal lives and everyday activities, and linked to more external websites, all indicators of greater transparency."
Source: Transparency and Other Journalistic Norms on Twitter, Volume 13, Issue 3, Journalism Studies
Using Twitter in news coverage
Twitter will be useful to reporters and other journalists in a variety of ways:
Reporters should follow the feeds of any officials on their beats using Twitter. They may break news on Twitter, using it as a format for press releases or quotes.
As you build a following of people in your community, they are a quick resource when you’re seeking sources, examples for a story, questions to ask in your reporting or even story ideas.
Twitter is valuable for story ideas, either to ask people about a good angle to take on one of those routine or annual stories or simply to follow the community chatter on Twitter and be alert for tips and ideas as they pop up/
Tweet live coverage of an event, either on Twitter alone or as a feed into CoverItLive.
Curate tweets (yours and/or the community’s) on a topic you’re covering, using Storify. (more on this later in the semester)
Followers want to know that there’s a person behind a Twitter account, and they want to hear that person’s voice: Instead of always tweeting headlines, try starting a conversation about your stories. Tweet about your favorite part of a story, share a detail about the reporting process, or pose a question. When someone answers the question, respond to them. Starting conversations about our work on Twitter — and adding to the ones already taking place — helps strengthen our voices as journalists. “If I am watching an accident on our chopper feed and it’s hard to look at, I’ll tweet that. If I get starstruck by someone who is in our studio, I’ll let my followers know.
Credibility. "You can phrase your tweets by saying something along the lines of, “X is reporting Y, but we haven’t been able to confirm this information yet.” Or send a couple of tweets saying: “We are working on this story and will tweet updates as soon as we have them.” … “Here’s what we do know …”
The Joplin, MO, tornado coverage by New York Times’ Brian Stelter: "It was, after all, the place where my latest reporting was being posted. … Looking back, I think my best reporting was on Twitter. … People later told me that they thought I was processing what I was seeing in real-time on Twitter. I was." He archived his tweets on his Tumblr.
Live tweeting poses particular problems for students (and anyone, really); their regular followers can feel spammed when they’re suddenly exposed to a stream of live tweets.
Leslie Thornton (@ljthornton) suggests that students let their followers know that they’ll be live tweeting. “It should be clear why you’re flooding Twitter with tweets,” she said. “If you can, give people who want to follow all those tweets a hashtag to follow.”
Andy Bechtel (@andybechtel) agrees: “If you are going to tweet frequently from a live event, give your followers a heads-up with an introductory tweet. That way, they’ll be ready for a lot of tweets from you in a short period. (Example: “I’m at a social media workshop. I’ll pass along the best tips as I hear them.”)
Daily Assignment 1: (In class) Sign up for a twitter account and customize it. (If you don't want course materials on your Twitter feed, sign up for a separate account) Email me your Twitter handle. Obviously, I think you should have the Twitter app (free) on your phone.
Daily Assignment 3: (In class) Remember our "Uses of Social Media" from Day 2? Come up with a couple of Tweets from your "beat" that encompass two of those uses. Let's use a common hashtag so we all can see #com497. Do you need another hashtag? Send them flying from your account. Don't forget to use URL shorteners like bit ly and tinyurl.com and Google's shortener and WordPress.com has its own
Daily Assignment 4 (outside of class):
Analyze a week's worth of tweets from a journalist or organization on your Twitter list (related to your beat).
Write a blog posting about the experience on your in-class blog. Were the tweets personal or professional? Were they interesting? What was the benefit (or was there one) of following this person? Was there back and forth with readers/customers? What about transparency? How many tweets contained hashtags, links? How many retweets or @replies?
Be prepared to present to class on what you found. Post is due midnight Feb. 23.Minimum 300 word post.
Major assignment, due Feb. 18:
You must cover a meeting, forum, speech, etc. relating to your beat. (Default assignment is Miss Purdue, Feb. 16).
Minimum of 10 tweets from the event.
You must notify me in advance what event you plan to cover, when it is.
You must promote on your beat blog that you will be tweeting the event and encourage readers to follow you. You must also promote the live tweet on your Twitter account.
Post a blog about your experience on your class Web log. What were the difficulties covering the story this way? What were the benefits? Would you personally rather read a news story in the newspaper or online, or via Twitter? Why? Blog posts due midnight Feb. 18.
On Twitter, the best window is 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Facebook was hot at 1 to 4 p.m. And Tumblr is a night owl, with posts doing best after 7 p.m.
Spotlight on Research
Through a content analysis of more than 22,000 tweets on Twitter, a study found that journalists more freely express opinions. To a lesser extent, they provided accountability and transparency. Local media more likely than national "elite" to provide information about their jobs, engage in discussions, write about personal lives or link to external websites.
Daily Assignment 1: If you don't already have one, let's sign up for a Hootsuite account. Add your Wordpress blog and your Twitter. It's a good idea to have the Hootsuite app (free) on your smartphone.
Daily Assignment 2: Share a simple post on both Twitter and Wordpress using Hootsuite.
Daily Assignment 3: Let's sign up for a Tweetdeck account and manage your Twitter lists this way.
Daily Assignment 4: Do backgrounding for your event you will cover via Twitter (agendas, bios, previous newspaper articles, articles from other towns, etc.) Make sure you ask for any information they may have available, i.e. Web pages, brochures, fliers, news releases (what kind of information did you find on social media?). You need to be able to effectively convey who is sponsoring the event, what is planned, why it is being held, the impact of the event, etc. Post links to your class blog. Due: prior to event covered
Reporters are being asked to do more. Let's look at this Georgia chain that eliminated its photographers. So you need to know how to avoid the cliche photo. The right photo (taken on an iPhone, edited using Instagram) can take off.
See this example of Washington Post reporters using Instagram to upload photos from the campaign 2012 trail. In addition, citizen journalists use Twitter to upload photos from ice storms in Seattle area and the Weather Channel combed social media of Oregon flooding to compile this Storify For a little fun, the 12 most cliche photos on Instagram
Daily Assignment 1: If you don't have it already, download Instagram onto your smartphone (it's free). Same with Photo Express.
Daily Assignment 2: Take a few photos with your smart phone. Bring to class. Then, in class, edit one using your Instragram or Photo Express app or play with the online Photo Express app. Share one via your app. Also embed a photo on your beat blog.
Major assignment: Using either the camera provided or your smartphone, we are going to take photos to accompany a post to your beat blog (or to just serve as a post). Due week of Feb. 24
1. You must have a minimum of four photos.
Edit them using Photoshop, Photoshop Express (or Photoshop Express app) or Instagram. (Use the best application for the job).
Then create a Wordpress slideshow. Sample 1 and Sample 2 from students (these were Flickr but you get the idea).
4. Don't forgot to check the grading checklist for this assignment.
Week 7 –Facebook and other issues; Pinterest
Readings:Reporter's Guide to Multimedia Proficiency, Section 1, Reads Blogs and Use RSS, pgs. 2-3; Mashable's Facebook guide; Facebook and social media presentation
Day 1:Facebook, etc.
Facebook reported in October 2013 that the average referral track from Facebook to media sites jumped 170% last year. Facebook credits its News Feed algorithm. "We're getting better at showing the right story at people who are interested in it."
Recent study: Facebook was responsible for 3 percent of traffic to the 21 news sites that allowed data to be tracked, according to the study's co-author, Amy Mitchell. Five of the sites studied got 6 percent to 8 percent of their readers from Facebook.
Facebook had some advice to media firms: Post more. Facebook worked with 29 media sites over a seven-day period recently and found a greater number of posts "frequently" increases referral traffic by more than 80%. At some point, you can overload fans with too many posts. Media properties will have to figure that out on their own. Shoot for 5-10 if a news organization.
Business/organizations not more than two, usually.
What to post:
Spotlight on Research
A study of engagement with journalists' pages reveals that incorporating personal analysis (opinion) increased sharing of posts by 20 percent. In addition to commentary or analysis, posts need to be more informal and conversational, and invite people to participate (ask questions, provide suggestions)
Daily Assignment 1: In class today, find an upcoming event related to your beat. Come up with a Facebook post you might make about the event if you had a professional Facebook page (i.e., you were a beat reporter for the J&C and had a Facebook page in that capacity). The post must include a URL that you used a shortener to obtain. Next, make a post touting one of your beat blog posts and link to the blog post. Take screenshots of both these posts and post them to your in-class (Tumblr) blog.
Daily Assignment 2:
Monitor a newspaper's/media site's Facebook page for one week.
Find what you think is a great Facebook status (or the best one they had during that week). Just one is all you have to find and share. Share it via screenshot on your in-class blog. What was its main use? Was it creative? Did it generate any comments or shares? And if they simply didn't have that any good ones, find one and comment on what else they could have done. Post due by midnight March 8.
A new study from Gigya, a social login provider for many media companies, including ABC, NBC, and FOX, found that 20% of all "media/publishing"-related content shared to social networks in Q3 was shared on Pinterest. Facebook (40%) and Twitter (30%) maintained leads in the category, but Pinterest gained some ground after accounting for 18% of media and publishing shares in Q2.
Uses of Pinterest
Pinterests new article pins are big news for news organizations
Use the bookmarklet to pin as you browse the web. When you see an image you want to pin, click Pin It on your browser. This will pull up all the images you can pin.
Select the image you want to pin, choose which board the image belongs on, type a description, and add some tags to help users search for it.
You can choose to share the pin to Facebook and/or Twitter.
When you're done, click Pin It.
Daily Assignment 1:Let's create your Pinterest account (if you don't have one). If you need help as you get going, the Pinterest help page is just that, helpful. Download the Pinterest app to your smartphone if you want. Create a board you will use for class (don't worry, you can go back and change the name, topic, etc.). Send me the URL to the board.
Daily Assignment 2: To get started on your board a) Pin at least 1 photos. b) Repin at least 1 photo. c) Create a pin to one of your blog posts. and d) Embed a pin or the board to your blog to let your followers know it's there.
Daily Assignment 3: You can try to add a Follow me on Pinterest button to your Wordpress blog. (Don't be upset if it doesn't work).
Major assignment, March 31-April 14, due April 14:
You must create a Pinterest board associated with your beat (you can put it under the name of your beat blog if you have a personal Pinterest account already). It can be an overall board or a more narrow topic.
Pin to the board on a regular basis for two weeks. You must have a minimum of 14 pins per week to the board (I strongly suggest you do more than the minimum requirement). And you can't lump pin!!
"Journalists will not longer focus exclusively on gathering information and producing a story. Now they're managing and amplifying the conversations the community is having; conversations that will happen with or without them.
Journalists will also have social content creation more integrated into their workflow, whether that means creating content for specific platforms or using the content from that platform for the purposes of curation."
“Aggregation and curation are techniques of using content from other sources to provide content for your audience. They occupy overlapping spaces on a spectrum with original reporting at one end and mechanical aggregation at the other." (Buttry)
Link, attribute, add value:
Aggregation can be done ethically if you follow these guidelines:
Always link to the original source.
Always include clear attribution (in addition to the link). For an example, see the first paragraph of this post.
“Attribution helps consumers evaluate the reliability of information.” (Buttry)
Always use quotation marks (as in the previous item) when you copy and paste someone else’s text.
Add value to the material — add original reporting (you may even talk to the same people), updates, analysis.
Another way to add value is to summarize and/or compare reports from several other sources.
Do not simply copy information, especially from unknown or unreliable sources.
Part of the value that you add is that you are using only sources that you trust.
News curation platforms like Newspeg (the Pinterest for news).
What is Storify? It's the compiling of social media (Twitter, YouTube, etc.) to tell a story (without or without comments). (Think Buzzfeed) Storify sifts through all that's out there. There's even a bookmarklet under tools (bottom of page, just like the Pin It button).
You can use the LinkedIn bookmarklet to share articles on your account.
Daily Assignment 1:If you don't have one already, create a LinkedIn profile. If you do, look for new contacts and send out requests, or find companies/groups to follow. Or upload (or link to) a sample of your work.
Week 9 – Ethics of Social Media; Interviewing
Day 1: Ethics of Social Media
For journalists, the definition of ethics gets a lot longer. The Society of Professional Journalists offers a long list of what constitutes journalistic ethics, including: making every effort to be accurate, avoid stereotyping and offering a diversity of viewpoints. It also calls for journalists not to plagiarize and to distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.
So are things any different online?
Online Journalism Review argues no. Journalistic ethics are pretty much the same online as in print or broadcast: Don’t plagiarize; tell readers how you got your information; don’t accept gifts or money for coverage; tell the truth; be honest.
Retweets, like tweets, should not be written in a way that looks like you’re expressing a personal opinion on the issues of the day. A retweet with no comment of your own can easily be seen as a sign of approval of what you’re relaying. For instance:
RT @jonescampaign smith’s policies would destroy our schools
RT @dailyeuropean at last, a euro plan that works bit.ly/xxxxx.
These kinds of unadorned retweets must be avoided.
However, we can judiciously retweet opinionated material if we make clear we’re simply reporting it, much as we would quote it in a story.
Colons and quote marks help make the distinction:
RT Jones campaign now denouncing smith on education: @jonescampaign smith’s policies would destroy our schools
RT big European paper praises euro plan: @dailyeuropean “at last, a euro plan that works” bit.ly/xxxxx.
These cautions apply even if you say on your Twitter profile that retweets do not constitute endorsements.
Going to check out @Storyful resources now after hearing positive comments from #UGCethics panelists. Sounds like a useful tool! #sxsw
Daily Assignment 1 (homework):
Take one of the incidents above. Give your opinion on the actions of the news media involved on your in-class blog. What should/could they have done? Be prepared to discuss your post in class. In addition, give your reaction to EITHER of the Exponent incidents discussed above. Was the Exponent reporter in the right or wrong? What about the Exponent's coverage of the events? Was it fair?
"Another great trick for audio interviews is to have your subject re-enact the story. It makes for good sound and helps you avoid having too much of your own narration later on."
Daily Assignment 1: Pick a classmate. Interview them about something related to your beat posts this week. Record on your smartphone (you can use your memo or download Recorder Plus (it's free and we will use it later) to make sure you get the actual quote. You decide and you decide the questions. Then, evaluate the answers you receive and chose one. Can you use it in a post?
The explosion in online video prompted many print publishers, especially newspapers, to hire videographers and push their news staffs to start producing lots of videos in the mid to late 2000s. Newspapers actually surpassed broadcasters in total minutes of video streamed, although they tended to produce shorter pieces.
But some of the fervor about video has waned recently, and a lot of newspapers are cutting back on video production and laying off video journalists, according to an Associated Press study. This was in part due to the continuing economic slump that caused major reductions in newsroom staffs.
Another problem is that video production hasn't necessarily translated into big viewership numbers.
In response some papers, like the WSJ, created an app that allows reporters to use cellphone video to report.
Irony: A reporter from a competing newspaper must get video for a story on how photographers at rival paper laid off so reporters could do their job, including getting video.
Contiguity is the process of adding multimedia elements and combining them with text at just the right place in a story. The most effective multimedia story quickly provides key connections between text, video, polls, etc. Reserach shows that readers will spend more time on a site when it includes text explaining how all the story's elements relate to one another. And users learned significantly more from the contiguous stories.
Source: Mastering Multimedia, AJR
What is a video illustration? It's the simplest type that complements or illustrates a text story. It enhances the print story by showing something that is not as effectively described in print as by video.
Let's take a closer look at examples from Worldstream (WSJ).
Let's look at these example together. Here is an example of telling the story two different ways (which do you prefer?).
Daily assignment 1:Sign up for a YouTube.com account. You should have an Instagram account already.
Daily assignment 2: Take an "action" video that "relates" to your blog using Instagram or Vine. Post it. Make sure you post it on Tumblr, too, so we can see.
Daily assignment 3: Upload iMovie, Videolicious, etc. View a how-to video. Become familiar with it. Shoot some test videos. Edit them using the app. When video is done, upload to YouTube from your phone. Embed a link to the YouTube video on your class blog for practice.
Major assignment, due midnight April 7:
Record two videos at an "event" (one will be interview/testimony and one will be natural sound). Event is used loosely. A dinner with friends is an "event." Shopping is an "event." It depends on your blog.
Edit the videos (less than 2 minutes each) using iMovie or some other editing app on your phone.
Post the videos to YouTube
Post a link to the videos on your blog post (embed). A reminder, the video adds to the blog post. It is not simply the post.
Podcasts are audio programs that are broadcast over the Internet. They can be downloaded onto your phone, etc., or played on your computer. You can download one or many, for free (generally), or you can subscribe to an RSS service for downloads so you can be alerted when new postings are made available. The name podcast comes from compounding the words iPod and broadcast.
Daily Assignment 1: Let's practice. Interview a classmate, trim their answer using either a phone app or Audacity, and upload it to your Tumblr. (How to post to Tumblr from your iPhone). You will need to convert an m4a file to mp3. (Here's how to upload to Wordpress. You have to save it first onto your career account).
Daily Assignment 2 (you will need to bring the audio to class with you):
Interview an organizer/participant of an upcoming, blog-related "event" whom you interviewed.
Write a post previewing/about the event. Include at least one, strong soundbite from the interviewee.
That soundbite should not be longer than 30 seconds.
Cover an event on your beat (default assignment is a Grand Alternative event the week leading up to Grand Prix, April 20-26). From this event you must construct a 2-3 minute Soundslides show. See details on assignments page.
Upload project to your career account
Post URL on in-class blog and beat blog (if beat related). Due end of class period on April 30.