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Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category

When should journalists use their personal social media accounts and when should they use the branded newsroom accounts?

An editor raised those issues in an email (edited lightly to avoid identification, because I welcome private requests for help, even though I sometimes address the issues publicly):

Some of my staff members — copy editors who also do reporting — have been finding that crowdsourcing on our newsroom’s Facebook and Twitter accounts has been very useful, as would be expected. But, at times, they say, there can be so many reporters and editors doing it that their questions get lost in a sea of posts, all of which are almost always quality. They say they sometimes can have better luck posting crowdsourcing questions to their private Twitter and Facebook accounts, which means their sources have been gravitating toward those accounts and not the official branded accounts.

A concern raised among some editors is that these private accounts don’t give our official sites the hits and exposure they could if the groundwork was done through the official accounts. In addition, the private accounts and all the new followers staffers generate through their work here would go with the staffer should they leave.

It’s hard to find a best practice for how other papers handle this. This harkens back to the day when reporters on the cutting edge of technology initially used their private email accounts before newspapers caught on and got people their own company email account.

Anyway, I hear wisdom on both sides. Just wondering if you had thoughts that you wouldn’t mind sharing. Hope that isn’t asking too much. I read your blog routinely and find it very helpful and interesting. (more…)

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Thanks to Jeff Edelstein of the Trentonian for showing a good way for journalists to use Klout.

I have wavered in my views on the value of Klout.

I think you can overdo metrics, especially when you are measuring the wrong things. But I do think we should try to measure the results of our efforts. And Klout tries to measure influence in social media. (more…)

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An email (slightly edited) from a Digital First Media journalist last week raised a couple questions I hear frequently relating to social media:

I asked an important question at a staff meeting today, and the city editor suggested I e-mail you. It has to do with tweeting and/or posting opinions.

As a reporter (I know, you like the term journo), it is ingrained in me not to reflect my opinions. Last weekend, I scanned Twitter off and on and found many news outlets tweeting about the Occupy Oakland protest going on. A TV van was damaged, a flag burned at City Hall, etc.

My first impulse was to tweet my personal gut response: that I didn’t understand protests and flag burning in my generation and I don’t now. I also wanted to tweet that once Occupy got violent, that ended the argument for me.

But I had misgivings about whether I should post any kind of opinion at all, so I refrained.

So, is there a guideline about this? I thought about asking via Twitter, but obviously that wouldn’t work. (more…)

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Facebook engagement doesn’t mean just posting links and questions on your own page. Good journalists should be reaching out to the community on other pages.

In a recent email, Toni Sciacqua, Managing Editor – Digital at the Daily Breeze, Press-Telegram and Daily News in Southern California, shared a great example of Facebook engagement:

I wanted to share a big social media aha moment we had recently at the Daily Breeze that illustrates how listening to and engaging with the community can pay off in building a new audience and help us address issues the community is talking about. (more…)

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How is your newsroom using Google+ Hangouts?

In recent months, I’ve seen some good examples of Google+ use in some Digital First Media newsrooms. I asked my colleagues to explain what they did and how. Their responses are presented below, with minimal editing. (You’ll note that I’ve been hanging onto these examples quite a while. I’ve had more blog-post ideas than blogging time lately. I hope to catch up in the next few weeks.)

From Karen Workman of the Oakland Press:

The Oakland Press and The Macomb Daily made Michigan history Thursday, Dec. 22, by conducting the first editorial board meeting with a governor by using a Google+ hangout. (more…)

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My blog post on questions to guide beat reporters drew a helpful response from Buffy Andrews that I wanted to give more attention than it would receive simply as a comment. So I’m reposting it separately, with minimal editing:

Another excellent post, Steve. I totally agree about establishing a routine to check on digital sources. I do this every day (you are one of them) on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, etc.

What I love about using an interface such as HootSuite is the ability to set up various columns that search for people or hashtags or companies. This makes it easy to check every day. I’ve been doing this for a few years now. I’ve catagorized my searches. For example, I have the following (among others): (more…)

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As I was live-tweeting an interview of Foursquare General Manager Evan Cohen Tuesday, Joey Kulkin asked a good question:

I promised an answer:

So here goes. Why do I “check in” every time I eat at a restaurant or attend an event (or even at each train stop as I roll home from New York tonight as I write this)? (more…)

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I’m learning lessons about social media nearly every day. But I learned long ago that few things touch people like photos of animals. The two types of learning come together in this story of a mountain lion, a Maine coon cat and some smart journalists at the Denver Post using an array of social media tools.

In a couple of recent meetings, I have met and discussed community engagement with Post colleagues, gaining respect for their smart use of social media. We will be working together much more closely as the Journal Register Co. partnership with MediaNews progresses. In our initial meetings, I have seen multiple ways we could benefit from sharing our ideas and insights in both directions.

I’ll start that by sharing, through this post, a great example of using social media in multiple ways to bring some fun content into the site and then to bring attention to that content. What’s interesting is that the photo in question actually was submitted initially to a TV station’s website, and the station wasn’t making full use of it. Then the Post journalists tracked down the photographer, got more pictures from her, and multimedia magic ensued. (more…)

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I need to make better use of Facebook.

When I started using Facebook almost four years ago, I understood the basic idea: connecting and reconnecting with friends. I enjoyed some of that right away, finding an old college friend I hadn’t seen or heard from in years and staying in better touch with lots of other friends.

But I didn’t understand other things: For instance, I found it annoying when a friend wanted to compare favorite movies. I didn’t want to annoy the friend by not playing, but I didn’t really care to find out if I was “soulmates” with a casual friend (as one game suggested about a friend with similar favorite movies). Somehow, I don’t think soulmate is defined as someone you drift out of touch with until a computer program finds the person.

As I was trying to figure out Facebook, I started using Twitter, which was even more confusing at first (fewer friends were using, and I didn’t understand the 140-character limit). But as I started to understand Twitter and use it more, it quickly soared past Facebook in my understanding, appreciation and use. (more…)

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Here are resources to help journalists using Twitter and other social media.

For the last few months, as I’ve been visiting Journal Register Co. newsrooms and blogging more tips for journalists using social media, I have been meaning to update my Twitter resources for journalists (now more than a year old). After today’s news that a new Journal Register subsidiary, Digital First Media, will start managing MediaNews Group, I suddenly got messages that I was being followed by lots of MediaNews journalists, particularly from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

I don’t know yet what my specific role will be in working with MediaNews, but I think it’s safe to say I will remain a leader in social media news for JRC, with likely roles in leading social media use for Digital First and/or MediaNews. So maybe I should introduce myself to my new colleagues with a list of resources for journalists using social media.

(more…)

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I will be presenting a full-day workshop today for the Committee of Concerned Journalists and Georgetown University for a group of visiting Portuguese journalists. We’ll be talking about social media and reporting.

I will be discussing points made in several earlier blog posts:

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