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Archive for February 28th, 2013

Even when you’re not first with the news, it’s important to be fast.

Wednesday night, ESPN broke the news that NASCAR racer Jeremy Clements had been suspended for using a racial slur in an interview. I’m not a NASCAR fan and this is the first time I have heard of Jeremy Clements. But Matt Myftiu of the Oakland Press has a NASCAR blog and he jumped on the news. Matt explains (edited from two emails, with me adding the links):

Last night there was some breaking NASCAR news and I posted a quick blog about it at my NASCAR: Beyond the Track blog.

Wasn’t even a big name involved, but the key fact here is that I posted my thoughts right away.   It only took me a few minutes to do this, and because it was breaking news many people who were searching for information on this breaking news ended up being directed toward my blog, as almost nobody had posted anything about it.

I’ve had more than 7,000 hits on that post, most of them coming from Web searches about the topic.   (more…)

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Denver Post photoMy Tuesday blog post about the value of archival photos for Facebook engagement caught the attention of Allen Klosowski, Digital First Media’s senior director, social media and mobile.

Allen, who is based in Denver, called my suggestion to the attention of his colleagues Eric Lubbers and Dan Petty in the Denver Post newsroom. “They ran with it, and it’s now going to be a standard feature,” Allen said in an email. “Nice engagement and it seemed to boost the post that came up next.”

The photo above, as you can see, got lots of shares and likes. (It also got more than 40 comments, but I can’t show them all in a screen grab.)

I think the short, pithy questions that Maryanne MacLeod of the Macomb Daily uses with some of her archival photos (below) tend to get stronger engagement. But I also like the idea of inviting people to click for more old photos on your website. I’d like to see how it works if someone combines the two techniques. This much is clear: Remember-when photos are an effective engagement tool. Please let me know how your newsroom is using them and what works well (or doesn’t work) for you.

Who remembers

Plum pit

Update: Susan Steade of the San Jose Mercury News sends along some more experience with photo archives (edited from two emails):

We started compiling archival slideshows at MercuryNews.com last summer, and now have a collection of them. The favorite so far, on the defunct amusement park Frontier Village, has gotten about 26,000 page views. Beauty queens; bars, taverns and discos; and cheerleaders and twirlers have each gotten 12,000-15,000 so far.

The slideshows have an article template that displays links to the previous collections. In a month or so we’ll be adding favorite “remember when” stories to the section.

I don’t think they’ve been getting much play on Facebook. We do have a Pinterest board for the archival photos, though, and we’ve been tweeting them out.

That’s Halle Berry at age 20 in a Miss World pageant from the Merc’s Archive Photos Pinboard.

Early responses on Twitter:

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