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Media Release: Journalists rate social media as a professional tool

May 26th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

More than three quarters of journalists rate social media as an important professional tool, while almost 90 per cent are using social media more than they were a year ago, according to new research.

The report, based on results of an online survey of more than 900 UK journalists conducted in this month, follows a similar study, published within the past fortnight, which found 47 per cent of journalists used Twitter as a source, up from just 33 per cent last year.

The use of Facebook as a source went up to 35 per cent this year from 25 per cent in 2010.

This survey also looked at the role social media plays in the relationship between journalists and PR professionals and found 45 per cent of journalists believed that PR professionals did not make enough use of social media.

“Journalists have been quick to incorporate social media into their processes for gathering and distributing news,” Financial Times journalist Martin Stabe, author of the report, said in a release.

“But journalists see social media sites primarily as a channel where they can communicate directly with potential sources or engaged members of their audience, without much involvement from PR professionals.”

Research for the report ‘How social media is changing the role of journalists’, commissioned by Daryl Willcox Publishing, found social media an emotive subject. Out of the 922 journalists surveyed, more than 200 made additional comments – “some scathing, slamming social media as a pointless communication channel to manage, and some pointing to the fact they are now dependent on these websites as news sources”.

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Apps and widgets? The secret to blog traffic is more simple than all that

November 24th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Social media and blogging

Struggling to get traffic to your blog? Want to know what widgets and apps will magically increase your hits and get you noticed? The secret is actually rather simple: Hard-work, regular updates, extensive reading, and good relationships with wider communities will have new visitors flocking to your site.

Speaking at a ‘Pimp My Blog’ talk at City University last night Patrick Smith, Karl Schneider, Tim Glanfield and Martin Stabe dismissed the idea that fancy apps are the secret to huge monthly visitor figures.

“There is no secret to it, there is no widget that can give you traffic,” said Smith, the editor of www.themediabriefing.com. “If it is crap then no one will read it and there is no way out of that.”
Similarly Schneider, editorial director at Reed Business Information (RBI), said: “Your wrong if you get too tied up in technology and the tools, because at the end of the day it is all about a relationship with the audience and telling a story.

While you may not be able to ‘pimp your blog’ out with one single widget, there are still some fundamental things you can do to increase traffic and, as Stabe, interactive producer at the Financial Times, said, “punch above your weight”.

Have a niche and be an expert in that field

The panel were unanimous in stressing the importance of focusing your efforts on one particular area. Schneider cited few examples of niche B2B publications that RBI runs that get a huge amount of traffic because they focus on very specific areas. The best way to get noticed, according to Stabe, is to digest everything you can about one specific topic. By doing this you can make yourself an expert and people will want to know your views.

Build Communities

To get hits you have to serve the needs of a particular community or group. Smith stressed the importance of always asking yourself, ‘what does my site do and who is it for?’ Remember the most successful blogs and bloggers are those with clearly defined communities and readerships. Glanfield highlighted that actually one of the easiest ways to start to form relationships with wider communities is to identify forums that are relevant to your subject matter and engage in conversation with members.

Be interactive

“The biggest change in journalism is that it is becoming interactive. It is not something you do to your audience, it is something you do with your audience,” said Schneider. In other words, use your blog to engage with your audience through quizzes, polls and effective linking to other sites, and make the best of Twitter. Remember it is a two-way street so you have to re-tweet others, engage in dialogue and not just constantly rant and rave.

Remember the web is a multi-media platform

Utilizing pictures and videos can really make a difference to your blog. Think about the how you can supplement your words with visuals and audio.

Essential Tools

Do not despair there are some tools which, if used correctly, can help you boost your online profile.

  • Delicious: will help you bookmark and store anything interesting that you read online. It can also be used as a social networking tool to find other individuals reading in the same areas as yourself.
  • Google Reader: Use this to get a constant stream of updates from sites you have subscribed to. Essential if you want to become an expert in a field and also very time efficient as saves you having to visit lots of sites a day.
  • Dipity: Will help you embed timelines into your posts to give it that visual edge.
  • Re-tweet/Facebook like widgets: Will allow readers to re-twetter, like, bookmark and share your blog posts.
  • LinkWithin: A widget that will allow you link related articles at the bottom of a post.
  • Google Spreadsheets: Are a great way of crowd sourcing data journalism and presenting it in a inventive way.

See presentations from Pimp My Blog on YouTube:

Tim Glanfield

Karl Schneider

Martin Stabe

Patrick Smith

Coverage elsewhere:

Thoroughly Good Blog: We’re online publishers now

BBC College of Journalism blog: video

Rajvir Rai is a postgraduate journalism student at City University London. He can found on Twitter @R_Rai.

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Wired.com: 26 per cent of Wired mobile traffic now from iPad

“Less than three weeks after its launch, Apple’s iPad already accounts for 26 percent of the mobile devices accessing Wired.com,” the technology site and magazine reports.

Overall, mobile devices account for between 2.3 per cent and 3.5 per cent of our traffic. For April 3 to 19, iPad users represented 0.91 per cent of total site traffic.

Full story at this link…

(via Martin Stabe)

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#FollowJourn: @martinstabe/online editor

September 11th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Recommended journalists

#FollowJourn: Martin Stabe

Who? Online editor at Retail Week

What? Former new media editor at Press Gazette; currently online editor for Retail Week magazine. He tracks developments in digital media on his personal blog.

Where? @martinstabe and www.martinstabe.com/blog

Contact? blog [at] martinstabe.com and martin.stabe [at] emap.com

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

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HSJ: A Yahoo pipe for health-related news

September 4th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Handy tools and technology

Health Service Journal’s acute care correspondent, Dave West, has created a tool for searching through the BBC’s Today programme for health-related content.

Built using Yahoo Pipes, West is encouraging others to open up the pipe and help make it more efficient.

Full post at this link…

(Found via Martin Stabe’s blog)

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Why Nick Denton wouldn’t set up shop in UK

From Politico: a report on a panel at the Institute’s Ideas Festival in Colarado, asking ‘What’s the News Worth to You?’

For us Brits, this is the interesting part:

“During the panel’s Q&A, Gawker Media’s Nick Denton sarcastically thanked the American newspaper industry for being so unaggressive, making it possible for ‘thugs’ like him to succeed.

“Conversely, Denton said he’d never set up shop in England. ‘Every single day, those editors get up and try to kill each other,’ said Denton. Not so in the U.S.”

(Hat-tip: Martin Stabe)

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White House press secretary wouldn’t look to British papers for ‘something that bordered on truthful news’

A video from Politico, which shows Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, responding to a question about a Daily Telegraph report ‘showing photographs of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners that include images of rape and sexual abuse’. Politico’s Michael Calderone reports:

“Gibbs not only reminded the press corps that the Pentagon denied the report but used the opportunity to take shots at the British press.

“‘I want to speak generally about some reports I’ve witnessed over the past few years in the British media,’ Gibbs said. ‘In some ways, I’m surprised it filtered down.’

“‘Let’s just say if I wanted to look up, if I wanted to read a write-up of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League Cup, I might open up a British newspaper,” he continued. ‘If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I’m not entirely sure it’d be the first pack of clips I’d pick up.'”

Video below, and Telegraph’s Nile Gardiner responding here: ‘Robert Gibbs should apologise to the British press for his sneering rant’. (hat tip: Martin Stabe)

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Digital editors on Twitter – a list for networking and problem-solving

Since I started using Twitter I’ve always been amazed (and grateful) at how quickly calls for technological help and assistance with ideas and projects are answered. It’s one of the main reasons I’m a fan of Twitter.

There are plenty of media/journalist Twitter databases out there, but below are the beginnings of a list of digital editors on Twitter.

What do I mean by digital editor? In this instance, a journalist working primarily online, on web projects or co-ordinating multimedia output. The web editor of a newspaper site or magazine site, for example. It’s in no particular order, except for being divided by ‘traditional’ industry sectors at the moment, but if this isn’t useful, just let us know – would be great to get more international representatives too.

But the criteria for inclusion on the list are intentionally loose – this is aimed at networking, problem-solving and idea sharing between journalists working in the same space and similar roles. (Feel free to nominate any additions or drop us a tweet @journalismnews)

UPDATE April 16please read blog post two on how to message the group via Twitter

Newspapers

Alison Gow (@alisongow) – executive editor, digital, Liverpool Daily Post & Liverpool Echo

Kevin Matthews (@kmatt) – head of web and data, Liverpool Daily Post

Neil MacDonald (@xxnapoleonsolo) – deputy head of web and data, Liverpool Daily Post

Jo Wadsworth (@jowadsworth) – web editor, Brighton Argus

Tom Pegg (@tomatthechad) – digital content manager, Mansfield Chad

James Goffin (@jamesgoffin) – regional web producer, Archant

Sarah Booker (@sarah_booker) – web editor, Worthing Herald

Gustav Svensson (@gustavsvensson) – web editor, entertainment and arts, Sydsvenskan.se

Stephen Emerson (@stephen_emerson) – deputy online editor, Scotsman.com

Sam Shepherd (@SamShepherd) – online journalist, Bournemouth Daily Echo

Joanna Geary (@timesjoanna) – web development editor, business, Times Online

Sarah Hartley (@foodiesarah) – head of online editorial, MEN Media

Iain Hepburn (@iainmhepburn) – online editor, DailyRecord.co.uk

Lucia Adams (@luciatimes) – web development editor, Times Online

Carmen Boles (@carmenb) – online news editor, Gazette.com

Marcus Warren (@MarcusWa) – editor, Telegraph.co.uk

Dan Owen (@danowen) – executive editor online, Trinity Mirror

Steve Nicholls (@steve_nicholls) – multimedia editor, Birmingham Post

Anna Jeys (@ajeys) – multimedia editor, Birmingham Mail

Steve Wollaston (@stevewollaston) – multimedia editor, BPM Media and Sunday Mercury

Julie Martin (@jules_27) – Teesside Evening Gazette

Helen Dalby (@helendalby) – regional multimedia manager, NCJ Media

Nick Turner (@nickincumbria) – head of digital content, CN Group

Christian Dunn (@christiandunn) – digital news editor, NWN Media

Hugh Dixon (@hugh_d) – web editor and production editor, thisisbath/Bath Chronicle

Paul Cockerton (@paulcockerton) – web editor, Lancashire Telegraph

Dan Owens (@hornetdan1979) – deputy news editor, Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Dan Kerins (@dankerins) – web journalist, Southern Daily Echo

Broadcast

Marsha Graham (@marshagoldcoast) – multimedia manager for 102.9FM Hot Tomato, Australia

Rob Winder (@robwinder) – news editor, Al Jazeera website, Washington DC

Tom Thorogood (@TomThorogood) – digital news editor, MTV

Magazines

Martin Stabe (@martinstabe) – online editor, Retail Week

Victoria Thompson (@VicThompson) – assistant online editor, Nursing Times

Neil Durham (@NeilDurham) – deputy editor, GP and Independent Nurse

John Robinson (@PulseToday) – digital content manager, Pulse Today

Peter Houston (@p_houston) – editorial director for Advanstar Communications, Europe

Alex Smith (@alexsmith68) – web editor, Building.co.uk

Keira Daley (@daleyrant) – web editor, Australian print magazine

Lara McNamee (@lovelylara33) – assistant intelligence editor, ICIS

Gabriel Fleming (@gabefleming) – online editor, Nursing Times

Janie Stamford (@janiestamford) – contract catering editor, Caterer & Hotelkeeper

Robin Latchem (@lgcplus) – online editor, Local Government Chronicle

Keely Stocker (@keelystocker) – digital content manager, Drapers Online

Scott Matthewman (@scottm) – assistant manager, The Stage

Specialist website

Michael Hubbard (@michaelomh) – founder and music editor, MusicOmh

Krystal Sim (@krystalsim) – web editor for sustainability magazine BSD – bsdlive.co.uk

Arun Marsh (@ArunMarsh) – content producer/editor, Local Gov

Rick Waghorn (@MrRickWaghorn) – publisher, MyFootbalWriter

Emma Waddingham (@emmawad) online editor, Legal-Medical.co.uk

Michael McCarthy (@HealthGuide) online editor, LocalHealthGuide

Steve Gooding (@rmtimestech)- Romney Marsh Times

Manoj Solanki (@ManojSolanki) – SeekBroadband.com

Graham Holliday (@noodlepie) – digital editor, Frontline Club

Craig McGinty (@craigmcginty) – publisher, ThisFrenchLife

Mark Crail (@markcrail) – managing editor, XpertHR

Freelance

Adam Oxford (@adamoxford)

Rachel Colling (@rachcolling)

Ashanti Omkar (@ashantiomkar)

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Do Twitterers have less of an identity than a newspaper columnist? Oliver James answers

This Sunday Times article has sparked a bit of a Twitter reaction in the comments beneath it, a few blog posts (Sarah Hartley, Duncan Riley and Martin Stabe, for example) and also a few raised eyebrows in the Twittersphere.

In his article entitled ‘A Load of Twitter’ the Sunday Times’ Andy Pemberton (don’t think he’s on Twitter) wrote:

“The clinical psychologist Oliver James has his reservations. “Twittering stems from a lack of identity. It’s a constant update of who you are, what you are, where you are. Nobody would Twitter if they had a strong sense of identity.”

The article, if not James’ comments, seems to imply that users of Twitter have less of a ‘sense of identity’ than people who publish via other forms of publication (comment below if you think otherwise).

It seemed only right to ask Oliver James himself about his comments, and he quickly responded by email.

Firstly, James clarified: “I should have thought my contentions are not especially surprising – see the arguments in my books regarding individualism versus collectivism, the rise of insecurity, loneliness etc.”

And is he, then, as someone who publicly publishes his own comments and opinions, any less lacking in identity than a Twitter user?

“I have frequently argued that people seek out fame and might also do newspaper columns out of lack of identity. Suppose I am one of those, does that affect whether I am right about Twittering? Not sure what your point is?”

So, finally, do journalists who publish column pieces or news also lack identity?

“I should have thought the longing for short-term quick-fix connectedness would lead to a plausible hypothesis that a significant number of Twitterers would be more insecure and lacking in identity than the average journalist, who has to wait a week for their column to be published, in the case of columnists, and 24 hours for a news journo – i.e immediacy factor could be significant, though doesn’t mean all Twitterers are identity-less…”

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ReadWriteWeb: Harper’s Index goes online

February 17th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Magazines, Online Journalism

From the ReadWriteWeb (via Martin Stabe) “Harper’s Index, the most thought provoking fun you’ll find on one printed page, is turning 25 years old.”

Harper’s Magazine, launched in 1850 and the Index ‘is the first page that many readers skip to in each issue’, according the RWW.

“To celebrate the Index’s anniversary, Harper’s has put the full index of biting trivia one-liners up on its website for searching and reposting on Twitter.”

And you can follow Harper’s on Twitter too, they’re @harpers.

Full post at this link…

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