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#Tip: How to organise your Facebook news feed

By owenwbrown on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By owenwbrown on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

If your Facebook news feed is a muddle of cat pictures, news stories, and yawn-inducing posts from that girl at school you haven’t spoken to in 10 years, you might want some help getting organised.

Luckily Mashable has some great tips for curating a Facebook news feed, including ways to see more (or less) from certain friends and creating personalised news lists – a great way to track news around certain areas and topics.

And even though it’s not possible to eliminate advertisements entirely from the platform, Mashable shows you how to let Facebook know whether those ads for facial hair removal are really relevant for you.


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#Tip: Keep an eye out for the launch of Google Capture for Hangouts

By Potzuyoko on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Potzuyoko on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

If you use Google+ Hangouts out at your news outlet, you might like to know that Jeremy Ng from Google has this week announced Google Capture, a tool for taking photos during a Hangout.

Mashable explains more:

The app lets Hangout users take photos of a Hangout in progress, saving all of those photos to a shared folder available to all Hangout invitees. Photos can be viewed while you’re in the Hangout, while you’re browsing through your photo albums, and by visiting the original Hangout post on Google+.

The post adds:

The Hangouts Capture app will be available worldwide soon within the traditional Hangouts app, alongside YouTube and Effects.

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#Tip of the day from – creating an online portfolio

Looking to set up an online portfolio? Mashable has a post by Heather Huhman which details five different platforms you could use to upload an online portfolio: WorkSimple, Behance, Carbonmade, Pinterest and Dribble.

If you’re also after some inspiration for your portfolio then take a look at a collection we have previously pulled together here, offering five examples of portfolios other journalists have created, as well as their top tips for others.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Tool of the week for journalists: Timeline

March 29th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Tool of the Week

Tool of the week: Timeline

What is it? A wizard to enable you to create and embed a timeline of curated content.

How is it of use to journalists? News sites often use a timeline for digital storytelling. This is a tool just released to enable you to do just that.

There are several examples, such as a Timeline of the Republican run-up.

Mashable compares Timeline to Storify, a tool that enables you to curate web content by dragging and dropping tweets and other media to create a story.

Mashable’s report states:

Timeline, created by Zach Wise, a multimedia journalist and journalism professor, was developed in partnership with the Knight News Innovation Lab at Northwestern University, where Wise teaches. The interactive tool allows users to generate timelines on the web by curating content from Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Google Maps and SoundCloud.

“The tools that already exist on the web are almost all either hard on the eyes or hard to use,” said Wise. “Timeline is an open-source, JavaScript and HTML/HTML 5 based tool that creates elegant timelines.”

Timeline does not offer the simplicity of Storify and although aimed at non-techies, it will require you to add some code to the head of your site and will take a quite a bit longer to create than a Storify.

One way you can create the timeline is by using a Google Doc. Timeline provides a template and you can simply add your links to the media.

For example, the below screenshot shows how we used the Google Doc template to create a timeline of some of the key phone-hacking moments, adding a Flickr photo, tweets and YouTube footage.



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#Tip of the day from – 10 search tricks you might not know

March 27th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Search, Top tips for journalists

Mashable has posted a list of 10 Google search tricks you might not know.

These include using the search bar as a calculator, using it to find public data and carrying out a site search.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Is CNN about to buy Mashable?

March 12th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Business

Reuters is reporting that CNN is expected to buy social media and technology site Mashable for more than $200 million (£128 million).

Felix Salmon, a Reuters blogger reporting from the annual South by Southwest technology conference held in Austin, Texas, says in a video posted last night (Sunday) that the broadcaster is expected to make an announcement tomorrow (Tuesday, 13 March).

In the video Salmon states:

Mashable is this huge website, it’s got the same kind of consumer focus that CNN does, it’s not aimed for the tech insiders, it’s aimed at the masses.

Mashable was set up in Scotland by Pete Cashmore who was then 19. It now has bases in New York and San Francisco and has more than 20 million monthly readers, according to the Reuters video.

However, paidContent suggests that a deal is far from being announced and suggests the story based on Salmon’s single, unnamed source is merely rumour.

Staci D. Kramer writes:

A source familiar with the situation describes the report of a deal as a rumour and tells paidContent no announcement is scheduled.

Well-known acquisitions of online-only news sites include AOL buying TechCrunch, and its Huffington Post purchase last year on which is spent £195 million.

CNN responded to a request by for comments saying:

We do not engage in speculation about our business and we aren’t commenting on these reports.

Salmon’s video is below:

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#Tip of the day from – 10 social media tips for bloggers

Mashable has produced a handy social media guide for bloggers.

It includes advice on embracing bookmarking site Pinterest, such as adding a “Pin It” button to enable readers to pin articles from your blog or news site.

Pinterest is the hot new frontier for bloggers.

Pinterest is the cool new kid, and all of the bloggers are scrambling to establish a presence there. Pin your best photos onto themed boards with links to a relevant blog post. Blogs with strong visual content, like fashion, food, design, crafts and travel, are a natural fit. Infographics will also do quite well. Dont forget to add a Pinterest plugin (like the Pinterest “Pin It” Button for WordPress users) to make it easy for your readers to share your content on their Pinterest boards.


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#Tip of the day from – using digital tools to report elections

January 27th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Mashable has a very useful post which looks at how news outlets are using online tools to cover elections in the US, which offers some great ideas for journalists to take note of.

These range from hosting debates on social media platforms to produce interactive maps and “delegate trackers”.

Last year we also collected together five tools journalists might like to try when reporting election results, from visualisation tools to social publishing platforms.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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#Tip of the day from timing your Facebook posts

In’s tech podcast tomorrow, Sarah Marshall will be looking at social media optimisation. Before that, here are some tips from PageLever’s Jeff Widman on Mashable for timing your Facebook posts to reach the largest number of people.

If you post often, you will see an immediate spike in News Feed impressions, but it’s generally not worth the cost in lost fans. When your fans see two status updates from you in their News Feeds, they’ll likely get annoyed, and will consequently unsubscribe or un-fan. There are few exceptions to this rule.

If you post too infrequently, you’re missing out on opportunities to reach your fans. Over the course of a year, a page with 10,000 fans that posts only half as often as they could misses more than 1 million chances to get their content in front of a hyper-targeted Facebook audience. The larger your fan page, the more often you should be posting — without annoying your fans.

See the full post on Mashable at this link.

Tipster: Joel Gunter

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.


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Mashable: Five tools to better time your tweets

If you are trying to work out the best time to tweet about a news story and get maximum attention, it is worth making a note of the free applications listed in this Mashable post on five tools to help you work out the best time to send out tweets.

The post has been written by Leo Widrich, the co-founder of Buffer, an application which enables you to schedule tweets.

The five tools are:

1. WhenToTweet

2. TweetStats

3. Tweriod

4. TweetReports

5. TweetWhen

Add your Twitter handle to the various websites and the five tools will provide an interesting insight and help in your planning of social media optimisation (SMO) – (although we are not convinced 8am GMT on a Saturday is really the best time for @journalismnews to tweet).


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