Interesting reads (weekly)

  • “And perhaps if trust in politicians were higher, these memes wouldn’t be shared so uncritically as people would think there was something rum about them. But I suspect that the lack of suspicion about what the graphics purport to show doesn’t just arise because MPs have let us down. It’s also because of a failure to read the internet critically and a lack of education about what Parliament does and how it works. These memes certainly aren’t doing any educating, they are deceitfully spreading lies.”

    tags: trust meme accuracy

  • “User behaviour should make all publishers, especially those without deep pockets, think twice before embarking on their app adventure”
    Ironically, this appears on a site that is not responsive – it was A LOT of hard work to read on my mobile screen, and it’s only because the subject was so interesting that I persevered.

    tags: app news readers

  • Astonishing, illuminating and sometimes deeply sad account of Ben Huh’s exploits as founder and CEO of Cheezburger.

    tags: Cheezburger leadership innovation

  • Fascinating read around the troubles of First Look
    “…for all the feverish speculation… the most obvious culprit is hiding in plain sight: the reliance on truckloads of money from Silicon Valley.
    There’s a reason that the term “burn rate” was coined to describe the brief half-lives of tech start-ups—these frenetically overmanaged operations function more as monuments to the hubris of the innovation economy than as proven models of productivity. Compounding this, the First Look fiasco clearly shows that a tech industry conditioned for so long to scorn the outmoded folkways of “print culture” and “legacy media” (as the argot of Silicon Valley has it) is largely clueless about supervising the basic work of journalism.

    In a revealing account of Taibbi’s departure, a team of First Look journalists candidly noted that the start-up was hobbled at the outset by a “highly structured Silicon Valley corporate environment” riddled with “management-speak” and “a confounding array of rules, structures and systems imposed by Omidyar and other First Look managers.”

    tags: media journalists

  • I heard about Co-Creation at a recent Media Trust conference; the Girl Guides representative was explaining whey they employed the strategy as they strove to reinvent themselves for the 21st century and digital world, and have achieved remarkable results. I really liked the idea of Co-Creation and saved this to remind myself to look for other examples.
    “Low economic growth and high unemployment have led companies to look for ways to remain competitive and find new growth opportunities. Co-creating products or services together with social entrepreneurs could allow them to detect market failures quicker and find creative ways to address them, placing themselves ahead of the curve.

    At the same time, companies are looking for ways to motivate employees who are searching for meaningful jobs. As Schmidt says, “From lawyers and young marketing managers in large consumer good companies, the search for purpose is everywhere.” Co-creation projects between social entrepreneurs and employees of traditional companies are a powerful way to ensure the employees’ satisfaction with their jobs.

    tags: Co-Creation partnerships audience

  • “This practice of prosecuting editors and sometimes journalists for crimes of publication is, in my view, wrong. Very often they are strict liability offences where absence of intent is irrelevant to the prosecution.

    These laws stem from an era, probably fictional, when the editor sat at the hub of the newspaper, examining every word they published. As for the deterrent effect of such prosecution, do they seriously imagine that editors across the country sit poised ready to identify victims?

    A far more effective deterrent would be proper communication of court orders to all media”

    tags: journalists law section39

  • “Because just as we arrive at the perfect point where a shadow cabinet minister can be sacked for an event entirely conducted on and through Twitter, social platforms are also wondering how they might manage the business of editing rather better. Their answer of course is not to have contemplative meetings involving people nodding sagely at whatever their boss thinks, but to build an algorithm which will decide “on your preferences” which news and comments you should see.

    tags: journalism media technology the guardian

  • tags: tools instagram

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Interesting reads (weekly)

  • “top brands’ Facebook and Twitter posts only reach around 2% of their fans and followers, and less than 0.1% of fans and followers actually interact with each post on average. What’s more, Facebook announced last week that another tweak to its news feed algorithm will soon make it even less likely brands’ unpaid posts will actually be seen by users.”

    tags: brands facebook Twitter audience

  • “Almost every time I’ve talked to a reporter has gone this way: they had already decided the narrative beforehand. I’m never being asked for information — I’m being used for quotes to back up their predetermined story, regardless of whether it’s true. (Consider this when you read the news.) Misquotes usually aren’t mistakes — they’re edited, consciously or not, to say what the reporter needs them to say.”

    tags: comments podcasts engagement transparency

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Interesting reads (weekly)

  • “omments do not make a community. They can help, but again, it’s about the editorial approach. Community takes a comprehensive social strategy, not just a comment box on the bottom of articles.”

    tags: comments engagement transparency community

  • “Your audience already sends signals about their preferences; you just haven’t listened to them yet. Check out where your existing readers are coming from by looking at your social referral traffic, and determine if that says anything about them or the coverage that they’re finding on your site.

    tags: social media readers

  • ““We have been very careful to follow that maxim that we’d rather be right than first,” said David Duitch, editor of Dallasnews.com, the newspaper’s website. Caution has been a cornerstone of the company’s digital media strategy as it covered the disease in Dallas, according to Duitch and Robert Wilonsky, digital managing editor for The Dallas Morning News. The website editors opted to wait to release news developments on Ebola until they received confirmation from their own sources, even as the paper was experiencing a rapid increase in website traffic and social media followers during what became a big, fast-moving news story in their backyard.

    “We understand the responsibility that comes with the digital side of things,” Wilonsky said. “Because yeah, you can go back and correct it quickly, but man, God forbid you put out one wrong tweet, one wrong fact, one wrong piece of information on a story like this. Because God forbid people stop trusting you, and when you report something really important you don’t want them to taste that grain of salt with it.””

    tags: newspaper journalism ethics accuracy

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Interesting reads (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Interesting reads (weekly)

  • “The research suggests that Facebook is a growing source of local news, with 27 per cent of respondents using it (versus 22 per cent in 2013) and some 11 per cent listed Twitter (versus 9 per cent a year earlier).

    Local newspapers were by far the most trusted local news source in the survey.”

    tags: facebook newspapers research

  • “the vibe was a lot different 10, even 5 years ago — that people had big ideas and dreams about saving big journalism, that they were on the cutting edge of the movement to carry on the legacy of news in a digital world.

    That didn’t exactly happen..and now we’re reduced to tweaking. People are fixated on one thing: What is the secret sauce for making your story go viral. I went to one session called “How Can I Make My Story Go Viral” and another that was called (you’ll never believe this) “You’ll Never Believe How This Story Went Viral.” There was debate over whether you’ll get more re-tweets for your story if the headline is in the form of a question or a statement. There was also speculation at more than one session whether putting the word “congratulations” in a Facebook post bumps it to the top of their news feed “

    tags: journalism research viral

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Interesting reads (weekly)

  • Some new PEW research on how people use social media for news, and what that means for news brands.
    ” Facebook is an important source of website referrals for many news outlets, but the users who arrive via Facebook spend far less time and consume far fewer pages than those who arrive directly. The same is true of users arriving by search… visitors who go to a news media website directly spend roughly three times as long as those who wind up there through search or Facebook, and they view roughly five times as many pages per month. This higher level of engagement from direct visitors is evident whether a site’s traffic is driven by search or social sharing and it has big implications for news organizations who are experimenting with digital subscriptions while endeavoring to build a loyal audience.

    tags: social media pew research journalism

  • I saved this ages ago but think I’ve only just gotten around to reading it. Anyway, useful tips as ever from the BBC College of Journalism.

    tags: bbc journalism how to

  • The weight of nostalgia could drag us all down. This article makes excellent points and also hits the nail on the head about conferences where the same issues are repeatedly examined, because people can’t or won’t accept that print is never going to enjoy a resurgence. “People want change, but they want to keep things as they were before. “

    tags: nostalgia publishing WAN-IFRA

  • Sound authentic, get shared more. This is an interesting piece of work, with 8 takeaways to sound more human online

    “To try and discover the magic formula for conveying that you are in fact a human on the internet, I’ve analyzed and tested over 1,500 quizzes that have been created through interact. My general hypothesis is that human sounding quizzes will get shared more, viewed more, and commented on more because people like them better. “

    tags: how to audio

  • I do like this idea, and I think it’s exciting to see a big media group try something out like this but on the whole I think I see more potential for everyday useful information sharing using AR, in the style of Talk About Local, who demo-ed it very effectively at a Digital Editors Network meeting earlier this year.

    tags: VR innovation virtual reality augmented

  • Trendspotting on Pinterest – a really good idea. “Autumn is not yet upon us, but Jill Waage, a top editor at Better Homes and Gardens, has already predicted some of the biggest trends of the coming holidays. Painted pumpkins are about to replace carved pumpkins. Snowman cookies with jiggly eyes will overtake traditional gingerbread men. And decorative ribbons on Christmas presents are going to get much more creative.

    But instead of spotting these trends by consulting colleagues or outside experts, Ms. Waage has tapped Pinterest, the social media site that lets its members pin, or post, images of their favorite foods, hairstyles and clothes.”

    tags: pinterest

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Interesting reads (weekly)

  • This chapter opens with a description of how users of 4chan set out to exploit, humiliate and expose a girl who – from her willingness to pose with her meds – seems to have some problems with her mental health. It’s a Very Tough thing to read, by the way. It then expands into a discussion with a self-annointed troll, and looks at the history of the phenomenon. It is, in short, a very good read for anyone who deals with online communities.

    tags: trolls OnlineCommunities abuse

  • Crunching the data on what you really see on Facebook.
    “My News Feed showed me only a fraction of my network’s total activity, most of what it showed me was old, and what I was shown was often jarringly unexpected.”

    tags: facebook social+media

  • “News organizations learned about the arrest and harassment of their reporters on Twitter and were able to take steps to get them out of jail. In the meantime, important information continues to flow out of Ferguson. As much as any traditional wire service, Twitter spread the remarkable work of David Carson, a photographer at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch who managed to take pictures despite being pushed around by both the police and the protesters.

    Continue reading the main story
    There is a visceral quality to Twitter that can bring stories to a boiling point. Ron Mott, an NBC correspondent and a social media skeptic, watched Twitter turn up the heat on Wednesday and tweeted, “As powerful as our press have been through years of our democracy, social media raises temp on public officials like never before.””

    tags: ferguson shooting nytimes social+media twitter

  • Handy little gif maker from YouTube videos – let people watch Fenton running after those deer over and over and over and….

    tags: gif youtube how-to

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Social media is humanising – it’s how we use it that can dehumanise

Discussions of what is and isn’t acceptable for publishing on social media (specifically Twitter and YouTube in current debates) are occupying much of my timeline.

Articles written around the role social media played in disseminating images and messages following journalist James Foley‘s murder will abound and I wasn’t intending to add to the noise, but then a couple of things happened: First, Mathew Ingram’s tweeted question made me consider my personal view, and where that view fitted in the expanding horizon of content publishing and distribution.

Most respondents indicated these platforms shouldn’t remove it (Mathew’s conclusions from the debate are here). I suspect our views are actually moot; removing such content from the internet is an exercise in futility – these images aren’t expunged, they simply slide down through the strata of the web to darker layers, or become downloaded shared content, and so viewers gain an extra frisson and the pedlars weird exclusivity-linked kudos.

When Ken Bigley was beheaded in 2004, the videos were removed by YouTube but you could buy a DVD  of the killing – should your tastes run that way – at a Liverpool street market. So YouTube did revoke publication rights but a secondary distribution market had already sprung up.  Ten years on, the options for alternative online distribution platforms are far greater, and harder to control.

The ability to view something isn’t really the same as wanting to view it. I know I could find and footage of James Foley kneeling and dying alone in the desert but I don’t intend to seek it out. I haven’t clicked any links that looked likely to lead to it, and although I believe there were gifs they weren’t in my Twitter feed or in my hashtag columns. Twitter is considering removing the images in deference to his family’s wishes, although I imagine that won’t stop them being searchable and shareable elsewhere.

The second thing that happened was a world away from the horrors of a young man’s murder, although it was a photo someone retweeted into my timeline. It was utterly innocuous but made me consider how censorship via the removal of content had influenced me.  It was a photo of Gerry Adams and a goat.

When I was a child, Gerry Adams was judged to be allied with a cause so dangerous UK TV viewers and radio listeners could not even hear his own voice being broadcast, thanks to a government ban. Instead, an actor spoke his words. Today he publishes selfies and uses myriad broadcast and distribution channels (not least an autobiography). The internet would never suffer such a restriction to hold  now and, that is a positive development.

Media companies make daily decisions around in-house and external codes of ethics and conduct, not to mention legal restraints and what the audience reaction might be. Twitter and YouTube are platforms that host content; they don’t create, own and distribute that content, users self-publish. Journalists rail at Google when it removes articles in accordance with the Right To be Forgotten ruling but I can see parallels with YouTube withdrawing a user’s content that is being re-published and distributed across myriad networks.

Taking away someone’s actual voice is a powerful insinuation that we need protection from them, and it made a powerful impression on me as a child. Skip forward a few decades and the world is quite a different place –  I know Adams doesn’t speak with Received Pronunciation, for a start, and he is considered the architect of the Peace Process. But until today I had never thought of him as a man likely to take a selfie with a goat.  Social media is actually very humanising; it’s how we use it that can dehumanise.

Later… 

The Guardian’s James Ball sums it up better than me: “Before clicking, serious self-examination is required: why do you want to see this? Do you need to see it to understand something important? Still deeper self-examination should certainly be engaged before even contemplating sharing such material.” I recommennd reading his article in full

 

Interesting reads (weekly)

  • “When you see a troll or abuser online, what do you do about it? Do you egg on or ignore the miscreant? Do you shame the fool? Do you support the troll’s victims? Or do you laugh at them?You — yes, you and I — are creating the norms of our new society. What are those norms? What is our new society? Is it something we are proud to pass on to our children? Does it improve society for them? Or is it easier to snark and snigger at some stranger’s expense?”

    tags: trolls online community culture

  • There is nothing wrong with wanting people to read something you have written well and spend time on. The SEO email doing the social media rounds jars with people who don’t work in newsrooms – I imagine some of the practical terms and descriptions you’d hear in hospital staff rooms would probably shock those of us who don’t work in the medical trade.
    “SEO is sales for your content…Newsagent posters screaming “Shock Hollywood death” work for that medium.
    A massive picture of the face of the person we have lost with their birth-death years works for print.
    But people won’t find your stuff online with headlines like that, because that’s not how people look for them.”

    tags: seo

  • This blogger is writing about designing websites, but I think the idea translates to online journalism too – stories are constantly evolving and the presentation of them should too … “The homepage is constantly evolving throughout the project (even if you try to stick to your sketches, wireframes or prototype). It’s also the page which tends to block the project the longest, because getting the look and feel right is a difficult part of the design process.

    tags: homepage online

  • “32.9 percent of 18-34 year-olds now use Snapchat, reveals new data from comScore, compared to less than one quarter (23.8 percent) who use Twitter. To be clear, this is users of smartphone apps, and doesn’t include Twitter’s desktop audience. Still, with the world going increasingly mobile – and Twitter (alongside everybody else) wanting to gobble up the biggest slice of that pie – it’s a worrying trend.”

    tags: Twitter Snapchat

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Interesting reads (weekly)

  • “Twitter appears to be testing a feature that will better organize its chaotic world of hashtags” – Man, I *really* hope this happens.

    tags: Twitter hashtags

  • The Google+ video shares figures are very interesting. In my unscientific way, just from the networks I have, or have been added to on there, it seems to be where the audience is more engaged, and possibly comprises more of time-served internet users. Possibly, as someone said to me this week, Google+ fans use it harder because they remember what happened to Wave.
    “We took the 20 most popular videos from the YouTube channels of four big players in the video space – VICE, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph – to see how some of their most successful content is performing on the social web.

    The results
    It’s apparent that Facebook and Google+ are where the majority of shares happen for these publishers’ video content.”

    tags: collaboration video social sharing

  • This is fascinating – what happened if news media treated each other as collaborators, not rivals?
    “What if five regional sites share ad staff and combine their audience numbers to attract new advertisers? What if 15 local newsrooms could support a world-class development and technology shop? What if a data journalist, an event planner or a designer could make a great living by serving a bunch of these local sites?” he asked.”

    tags: news collaboration

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.