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Wall Street Journal uses Foursquare list feature for hurricane evacuation centres

August 31st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology, Mobile

As Hurricane Irene lashed the east coast of the US at the weekend, the Wall Street Journal used Foursquare’s recently-launched tip lists feature to provide details of the locations of New York City evacuation centres.

The tip lists were launched on 15 August and were used by the WSJ for a breaking news story less than a fortnight later.

Users of Foursquare, the mobile phone app and social network which has 10 million members worldwide, can check-in and share their location with their friends and contacts by using the WSJ’s NYC Hurricane Evacuation Centers Foursquare list.

A total of 130 people follow the evacuation centres on Foursquare, a low number when compared to other networks (the New York Times @NYTLive Twitter account accrued 22,000 followers in three days when reporting on the hurricane), but the WSJ’s innovative use of lists is another example how news publishers can interact with readers.

Eric Friedman, director of business development at Foursquare, told Journalism.co.uk how the WSJ list works:

This is a page that the Wall Street Journal can administer and actually people can follow the list, which is a great way for them to interact with their current fan base on Foursquare and also as resource for anyone else for a quick way to develop something that was extemely helful in a potentially very damaging storm.

Friedman went on to explain another way in which the WSJ has used the platform.

It’s a way for them to build a following on a new network, which is Foursquare, and for them to get really timely and relevant information attached to a place.

In the past they’ve use [their Foursquare page] to attach breaking news to a place, when something is going on in Times Square, for example. They’ve also used it in a way which is very interesting, for past historial events to let someone know “hey, I’m at the Brooklyn Bridge”, here’s what happened at this time on this date many, many years ago. So it’s a way of bringing the old Journal information to the forefront as well as a way bringing new information to someone in a breaking way.

Mashable has more information on user-generated tip lists allowing users to create crowdsourced lists.

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Journalisted Weekly: Gaddafi, Hurricane Irene, Steve Jobs & GCSEs

Journalisted is an independent, not-for-profit website built to make it easier for you, the public, to find out more about journalists and what they write about. It is run by the Media Standards Trust, a registered charity set up to foster high standards in news on behalf of the public, and funded by donations from charitable foundations. Each week Journalisted produces a summary of the most covered news stories, most active journalists and those topics falling off the news agenda, using its database of UK journalists and news sources.

Gaddafi, Hurricane Irene, Steve Jobs & GCSEs

for the week ending Sunday 28 August

  • The liberation of Libya and search for Colonel Gaddafi was this week’s lead story
  • Hurricane Irene, Steve Jobs’ resignation and GCSE results covered lots
  • Strikes in Chile and Pukkelpop stage collapse covered little

Covered lots

  • The fall of Libya, and subsequent search for Colonel Gaddafi, as rebels took control of the capital Tripoli, 782 articles
  • America battened down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Irene, 238 articles
  • Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple due to ill health, 161 articles
  • GCSE results announced, 160 articles

Covered little

  • Violent clashes during Chile’s national strike, 11 articles
  • Canadian opposition leader Jack Layton dies aged 61, 10 articles
  • Bolton man dies after being Tasered, the third death following an arrest in 8 days, 9 articles
  • 5 people die at Belgian music festival Pukkelpop as weather conditions cause stage collapse, 5 articles
  • Cyprus’ financial problems continue, as the government debates an emergency fiscal package, 3 articles

Political ups and downs (top ten by number of articles)

Celebrity vs. serious

Arab spring (countries & current leaders)

Who wrote a lot about… former News of the World editor Andy Coulson

Long form journalism

Journalists who have updated their profile

  • Tom McArthur is currently an online producer at ITN as well as writing for Sabotage Times. He has formerly written for Pale Blue News and Under the Influence Magazine, before which he interned for Ultimate Rugby 7s website and completed work experience at the Independent on Sunday. He read European & International Politics at Northumbria University, and is a former winner of Vice Chancellors Community Sports Award. You can follow Tom on Twitter @TomMcArthur
  • David Wooding was associate Editor (Politics) at News of the World, a position he held from 2010 until the paper’s closure in July. Prior to NoW he worked at The Sun, The People, Daily Mail and Daily Express. He studied at the University of Lancashire and is a former winner of the News Reporter of the Year award. You can follow David on Twitter @DavidWooding

Read about our campaign for the full exposure of phone hacking and other illegal forms of intrusion at the Hacked Off website

Visit the Media Standards Trust’s Churnalism.com – a public service for distinguishing journalism from churnalism

The Media Standards Trust’s unofficial database of PCC complaints is available for browsing at www.complaints.pccwatch.co.uk

For the latest instalment of Tobias Grubbe, journalisted’s 18th century jobbing journalist, go to journalisted.com/tobias-grubbe

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