Tag Archives: social networking

Google+ users can now share circles – help us create and share a UK journalists circle

Google+ users can now share their circles, one of the key features of the social network which launched in private beta three months ago and is now open to all.

Users create their own circles and give them a name, such as ‘journalists’, ‘city councillors’ or ‘PRs’. They can then read news from members of a particular circle and share updates with one or more specific groups.

A link now appears when you hover over a circle that allows you to share it with a contact. Your circle remains hidden and confidential from others and is not updated in your contact’s account when you add more individuals.

The video below explains more.

Help us create a master list of UK-based journalists on Google+

Journalism.co.uk will now create a master list of UK-based journalists on Google+. When we have built the circle we will share it with those who request our circle.

We will be doing this from John Thompson, owner and managing director of Journalism.co.uk’s account as Google+ does not yet allow news sites or brands to create an account. You can connect with John at gplus.to/JohnCThompson and fill in the form to let us know you would like us to share the Journalism.co.uk master list with you.

LinkedIn growing by two new members every second

LinkedIn is growing by two new members every second, according to figures released yesterday (4 August).

Around 14 million people joined the business social network in the three months to 30 June.

That equates to an average of:

LinkedIn has also released impressive web traffic figures and financial results:

  • Unique visitors of 81.8 million per month, an increase of 83 per cent from the second quarter of 2010;
  • Page views of 7.1 billion, an increase of 80 per cent from the second quarter of 2010;
  • Revenue for the second quarter was $121.0 million, an increase of 120 per cent compared to $54.9 million for the second quarter of 2010.

The results represent LinkedIn’s first quarter as a public company.


MediaGuardian: PCC to regulate press Twitter feeds

Guardian media and technology editor Dan Sabbagh reports this afternoon that reporters’ and newspapers’ Twitter feeds are expected to brought under the regulation of the Press Complaints Commission later this year.

According to Sabbagh’s report, Twitter accounts that include the names of publications and are clearly “official” – he cites @telegraphnews and @thesun_bizarre as examples – are likely to come under regulation, but reporters’ individual work accounts could also be brought under the commissions’ ambit.

The PCC believes that some postings on Twitter are, in effect part of a “newspaper’s editorial product”, writings that its code of practice would otherwise cover if the same text appeared in print or on a newspaper website.

A change in the code would circumvent a loophole that – in theory – means that there is no form of redress via the PCC if somebody wanted to complain about an alleged inaccuracy in a statement that was tweeted. Last year the PCC found it was unable to rule in a complaint made against tweets published by the Brighton Argus.

Full post on MediaGuardian at this link.

Twitter at five: who has made the most of it in journalism?

As you may have heard, today is Twitter’s 5th birthday (and my 25th, though slightly fewer people seem bothered about that one).

To celebrate, we’re looking for stand-out examples of journalists using Twitter in the course of their work. What stories has Twitter helped to break? Have you found a great story or vital source there? Can you think of a journalist who has?

We’ll also be taking recommendations for the journalists that make the best of Twitter day to day, from those who are innovative to those who are simply effective. Let us know your thoughts.

You can comment below, tweet us at @journalismnews, or email joel [at] journalism.co.uk.

Find out your Twitter birthday here.

Wired: Al Jazeera English to launch social networking talk show

Al Jazeera English will soon be launching a new television show called The Stream which will closely integrate online communities and the news by harnessing social networking in both the sourcing and reporting of stories, according to a report from Wired.

During the course of the show, they’ll read tweets and updates (and display them on-screen) as they come up. They’re also planning on interviewing guests via Skype — connection quality issues be damned. In a screen test we saw at the Wired offices recently, the hosts bantered with each other and with in-studio guests, but also responded to viewers’ @ replies, played YouTube videos, and Skyped with social media mavens around the world. The studio was liberally sprinkled with monitors, and the show frequently cut to fullscreen tweets while the hosts read the 140-character updates out loud, hash tags and all.

According to this Twitter account, The Stream, understood to be due for launch in May, will be “a web community and daily television show powered by social media and citizen journalism”.

Outlining the plan on Facebook AJEstream says it will initially cover about five stories a day, based on the work of journalists and producers trawling the web and also by using an element of crowdsourcing opinion online on what topics interest people the most.

See The Stream’s website at this link.

Lost Remote: Media brands stand to benefit from new Facebook features

Media brands stand to benefit from some of the new features being rolled out by Facebook, according to Lost Remote.

One of the most important new features is the ability for page administrators to post comments as the corresponding page brand (in our case, “Lost Remote”), not just as themselves. This certainly comes in handy when moderating a comment string and sharing the admin duties across several people. You’re communicating as a brand, not as a bunch of unrelated people. To avoid dehumanizing pages entirely, admins are displayed in the upper right of the page, which is a nice touch.

Full post on Lost Remote at this link.

jBlog: How Facebook credits could save newspapers

Dave Lee offers some interesting ideas on how a virtual gifts or credit model implemented via Facebook could help newspaper publishers rethink their revenue models.

Am I telling everyone that newspapers need to start deploying farm-based games across their sites? No, don’t be silly. What I am saying is that people’s desire to have Facebook Credits in order to play online games is, for editors, a gift from the gods. Suddenly, we’ve got millions of people – young people, don’t forget – who have credits. Credits which they didn’t buy to read news but, now they’ve got them won’t give much thought to spending a couple on content.

The newspaper would, on current rates (dictated by Facebook), take 70 per cent of each credit’s monetary value.

I believe, ladies and gents, that’s what we call a business model.

Full post on Dave Lee’s blog at this link…

ONA Conference 2010: What’s next in online journalism

This article was originally published by the European Journalism Centre. It is reposted here with permission.

The 2010 conference of the Online News Association (ONA) pushed further the debate on how technology is shaping the future of journalism in the evolving web media landscape. The event was held in Washington DC, the US capital, between the 28-30 October, 2010.

Founded in 1999, ONA now has more than 1,600 professional members, both American and international, who are active in the business of gathering, producing and disseminating news through the Internet.

Jane McDonnell – Executive Director Online News Association from European Journalism Centre on Vimeo.

Since its first edition in 2004, the association’s annual conference has been the premier global arena bringing together highly engaged digital journalists, multimedia producers, content editors, technologists, programmers, designers and newsroom decision-makers from major media markets, independent websites and leading academic institutions.

Also this year hundreds of participants converged from all around the world to meet and learn about the latest software and hardware tools for content management, search and distribution platforms, to discuss advancements and challenges in the industry and to network face-to-face in order to share best practices.

After the official inauguration on 28 October, the following two days featured an intensive marathon of thematic sessions where prestigious speakers reviewed the current state of art in all aspects of online journalism.

APIs and social networks: The revolution of news distribution

Day 1 took off with the latest fashion of technology-driven collaborative journalism: ‘Contents-Sharing through APIs’. This was the title of the panel with Delyn Simons, director of platform strategies at Mashery.com, leading provider of customised platforms through which online media can enable third parties to re-use and present their contents in all kinds of new ways, thus expanding visibility and users.

Delyn outlined case-studies of news organisations using Mashery services, such as the New York Times, USA Today and, in particular, the Guardian which has just launched its Open Platform Webfeed. By logging in with a personal API key anybody can access and organise data from the British news daily, and possibly remix them with her/his own data, in order to create original online products for either a personal web platform or the Guardian’s website.

The parallel session ‘Rethinking Online Commenting’, moderated by Alicia Shepard, ombudsman at National Public Radio site NPR.org, discussed newsrooms’ policies for users’ engagement. The same topic was covered in a more technical detail at the panel ‘Social Media Storytelling’ where Zach Seward, social media editor at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), unveiled the secrets for a successful use of Twitter and Facebook when reporting a story.

“One of the first steps we take is trying to identify what the potential community or audience is. Usually that is as simple as me asking a reporter about groups and existing communities around his or her subject area”, Zachs says, “Then it’s figuring out how to get in front of and be a part of that community. That’s doesn’t mean you have to have Facebook, Twitter or a Digg account for every project or reporter”.

Zachs made the concrete case of the Facebook page created by the WSJ to document a Haitian-American’s mission to rescue his family in Port-au-Prince soon after the earthquake. “Our foreign editor had an idea to tell the story in real time. We thought of the best way to make that happen, and a Facebook page with its status updates seemed to be particularly useful”.

How to preserve news quality in the online environment

Besides enhancing contents distribution, technology can also help improving contents production. One of the most powerful examples is ContentCloud.org, a new open-source semantic-web platform which makes primary source materials easier to scour, annotate and share.

At the panel named after his own company, Jeremy Ashkenas, lead developer at DocumentCloud, showcased a number of investigations conducted by news outlets across the US through using DocumentCloud as a workspace where reporters upload documents, share them with their team and do structured searches and analyses based on extracted entities: The people, places, and organizations mentioned in the text of the documents.

In-depth journalism was also the theme of the panel ‘The New Investigative Journalism Ecosystem’ where Charles Lewis and Kevin Davies, respectively founder and CEO of the new InvestigativeNewsNetwork (INN) explained how the number of global non-profit reporting organizations (many of them INN members) has exploded, from three in 1990 to more than 30 today, and how they use web tools and platforms to collaborate and make public interest journalism available to an increasing number of online users.

But how accurate reporting can survive at a time where journalists can use more and more online sources which are not always reliable? An attempt to answer this challenging question was made by Solana Larsen, managing editor at GlobalVoices, at the panel ‘Tools for Crisis Reporting’.

According to Solana, journalists often belong to two opposite and extreme categories: On the one hand, you have those who rely too heavily on social networks without doing any background checks or speaking with real people; on the other hand, you have those who rely on official sources only and don’t look for unreported local voices scattered across the web.

GlobalVoices platform intends to fill this gap through helping journalists use alternative sources of information in an appropriate way. How? “Unless you talk to somebody who knows well enough the blogosphere of a given country you cannot understand if what is published on a specific blog is representative of a general trend or not”, Solana says, “GlobalVoices aggregates comments on each issue from all local blogs in order to provide a more accurate and diversified picture”.

More HiTech, more news

Day 2 was marked by the panel ‘Ten Tech Trends in ’10’ where Amy Webb, CEO at her own consultancy company Webbmedia Group, highlighted the latest digital tools and their application to online journalism.

Let’s start with what is called Geofencing. “Network mobile applications can now literally locate people in a defined space”, Amy says, “That implies a radical change for hyperlocal journalism. Today people go to a website, type a zip code and get local news. Tomorrow, with Geofence, people can run a mobile app which allows their phone to be identified in a given space and receive automatically news updates related to that specific location. Users will no longer follow the news. The news will follow them anywhere they go”.

Locating people is also possible through Sensor Technology. “Just put sensors in cloths and coffee cups to keep track of everything people are doing”, Amy says, “There are a lot of opportunities for reporting, but also a lot of privacy concerns. Data can be uploaded on the web where reporters can look for them and use them to write their stories”.

Once you have got the information you were looking for, the next step is delivering it to your users according to their specific needs. “Flipboard.com is a dynamic content generation platform which allows users to select twitter feeds, Facebook accounts, and other web sources on their favourite topics and creates automatically paginated online magazines displaying updates on such topics”, Amy says.

The last sessions focused on news apps, including those which help make public data available in a more users-friendly way, tools for data visualization and techniques for video-shooting, which completed the hyper-tech-gallery which already included web design and search engines during Day 1.

Stefano Valentino is an Italian journalist based in Brussels. Since 2008 he has been operating his own EU online customised information service EuroReporter.eu. In 2008 he founded the no profit association Reporters for an Interactive, Cooperative and Specialzied Information (Ricsi).

The Daily Beast: How Facebook’s news feed works

Missed this story from last week – the Daily Beast’s attempt to crack Facebook’s algorithm for who and what it puts in users’ news feeds. Interesting reading for any news organisation or brand attempting to use Facebook as a promotional tool.

The Daily Beast set out to crack the code of Facebook’s personalised news feed. Why do some friends seem to pop up constantly, while others are seldom seen? How much do the clicks of other friends in your network affect what you’re shown? Does Facebook reward some activities with undue exposure? And can you “stalk” your way into a friend’s news feed by obsessively viewing their page and photos?

Full story on the Daily Beast at this link…

What can the new multimedia Twitter offer journalists?

Twitter is launching a serious overhaul of its design, adding more multimedia options. An attempt to move people away from Twitter apps to using the tool via twitter.com perhaps?

The key changes as far as news organisations and journalists using Twitter are concerned are the additions of embedded video and images – e.g. rather than following a link to an image on TwitPic that image will appear within the tweet.

When reporting on a live or breaking news event using Twitter, journalists can now offer readers more and a more user-friendly, all-in-one experience. I can also see clever journalists using the embedded feature to tease stories with video snippets and by giving their Twitter audience more content encourage those followers to visit a news site and engage there too.

In terms of newsgathering, the new design should also prove useful. When a tweet is clicked, a sidebar showing details of the author or subject will appear, as well as relevant @replies, a map of where it was sent from if geotagged and other tweets by that author. Essentially, it’ll offer journalists a more efficient way to build up a profile of an individual tweet or tweeter and assess how useful that information or contact might be to their story.

The changes will be rolled out across all accounts eventually – for now, you can see more details about the redesign on the newtwitter site.