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#Tip: Note these ways to optimise images for Twitter’s in-stream preview

Twitter T

“If you’ve got a story which is around a map or a graphic but you don’t bother to crop that image properly, you’re effectively killing your own story,” the BBC’s  Mark Frankel told Journalism.co.uk earlier this year.

Twitter got a lot more visual when it rolled out in-stream previews for images late last year, meaning photos posted in a tweet were automatically expanded without users having to click on them.

However, getting it right isn’t as foolproof as it sounds, as the image below shows.

So to avoid giving your own hard work the kiss of death, take a look at this infographic from visual.ly.

It includes handy hints such as the recommended size and crop ratio for landscape images, and how to upload a portrait image which doesn’t accidentally lop off your subject’s head.

 

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#Tip: How often should you be posting to social media?

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Social media might be a great tool for communication, but we all know someone who is a chronic over-sharer.

There’s nothing worse than having your timelines full of someone else’s verbal diarrhoea (and if the person in question is you, it’s a sure-fire way to get yourself unfollowed).

So how many times should you be posting to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+?

This post on the Buffer blog highlights the importance of striking “the balance between informative and annoying”.

While it doesn’t exactly deliver a cut-and-dried answer, it does offer recommendations from a range of sources – including Buffer’s own strategy for social sharing.

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#Tip: Advice from Twitter on tweet engagement

March 18th, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Simon Rogers, Twitter’s head of data, posted a data analysis on the social network’s media blog last week, looking at the statistics of what drives engagement in the fleeting world of Twitter.

The effects of photos, hashtags, links, quotes, video and numbers included in the tweets of more than two million verified accounts were assessed by data scientist Douglas Mason, explained Rogers. All of the above had a positive impacet, but depending on the type of account and the industry they work in, some are more effective than others.

The Twitter data team wrote up individual posts for each industry they looked at to give a more detailed analysis of the breakdown in engagement stats and warned that although the new data is useful, it should not dictate an overall social media policy.

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#Tip: Create an RSS feed using the Twitter API

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

It used to be easy to create an RSS feed to follow a Twitter hashtag, user or keyword. One way to do this was to create a Twitter RSS feed using Twitter search engine Topsy.

Twitter switched off the API for RSS back in May, so Topsy is now unable to offer that function.

The good news is that it is still possible to create an RSS feed from Twitter but it is slightly more complicated.

There is a helpful guide here.

And this video guides you through step-by-step:

There is also a written explanation in this Journalism.co.uk guide on how to create a tweet-powered light bulb.

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#Podcast: Balancing breaking news and light-hearted stories on social

November 15th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Podcast, Social media and blogging
Image by Thinkstock

Image by Thinkstock

When a big story breaks, should a large news outlet still be sharing news about light-hearted stories?

How many updates are too many when it comes to sharing information around a breaking news story? And how do you create stories that are sharable?

To find out the answers, Sarah Marshall, technology editor at Journalism.co.uk, speaks to:

  • Anna Doble, head of online, Channel 4 News
  • Mark Frankel, assistant editor of social news, BBC

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the Journalism.co.uk podcast feed on iTunes.

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#Tip: Consider accepting direct messages from anyone on Twitter

October 17th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Twitter has changed its policy on direct messages to allow users to accept direct messages from any other user, instead of just those people you follow.

Mashable has reported that this option has been available for some select users since 2011, but it is now being rolled out to a larger group of users.

If this includes you, the option can be found in the ‘Accounts’ section of Twitter’s settings with a simple check box, making you more readily contactable by sources for potential stories.

Naturally this also makes you more susceptible to drowning in a deluge of spammy messages, which is why Twitter have apparently stopped users including links in direct messages according to ReadWrite.

Nieman Lab have a neat summary of pros, cons and comment from Twitter users in their post reporting the change which can give you a little more insight should you wish to take the plunge.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.

 

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#Tip: Remember these tips on live-tweeting

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Live-tweeting has taken on a prominent role in events coverage as an integral part of the 24-hour news cycle. As well as writing up a traditional news piece, reporters are often expected to give live coverage to conferences, speeches, protests, sports events, court cases, council meetings and any other context of breaking news, within the law. Anyone can tweet, but not everyone can do it well.

So Adam Tinworth, online journalism lecturer at City University, digital media consultant and liveblogger since 2001, has shared his three top tips on live tweeting, a blog post which is gathering further useful comments from other digital luminaries.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.

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#Tip: Search Twitter using Topsy (which now has every tweet since 2006)

binoculars

 

As this New York Times headline states: ‘If Google could search Twitter, it would find Topsy‘.

Topsy is a search engine that lets you find archived tweets – and now includes every tweet sent since the dawn of Twitter.

The New York Times article states:

On Wednesday, the San Francisco company announced that it has now indexed every Twitter message since the first tweet was posted in 2006 — about 425 billion pieces of content when you include photos, pages linked from Twitter, and other related material. (Previously, its complete archive only went back to 2010.)

Here’s the full New York Times article.

Topsy

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#Tip: Use foller.me for quick, free Twitter analytics

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by petesimon on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Some forms of web analytics can be over-complicated and over-priced, but foller.me, as recently highlighted by David Higgerson, is neither.

Giving a quick overview of historical statistics and recent trends for any Twitter account, foller.me is a quick and easy way for anyone to see a more detailed view of a Twitter handle and Higgerson gives some pointers on how this can best be used by journalists and editors in particular.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.
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#Tip: Delivering short data video with ‘datavines’

August 23rd, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Vine leaves Flickr transistr_sistr

Early last month former Guardian data editor Simon Rogers, who now has the same title at Twitter, blogged about how journalists could tell data-rich stories using Vine – its app for creating six-second-long videos (here’s more on that). He also shared some practical pointers for the most effective use of the platform.

And just this week, the Guardian put this idea to the test when it shared some of the key takeaways from GCSE results day across five videos.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.

 

 

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