Tag Archives: Facebook

Pinterest, Google+ and the gender divide in social media

As we set up our Pinterest page, a colleague said to me, “You know that it’s mostly women on Pinterest.”

I paused. “And?…..”

“Well, that’s a good thing, because our Google+ page is seen by mostly men.”

Uh huh…

“And it’s mostly crafty lifestyle stuff on Pinterest, so we should put that kind of thing on there.”

I’m not even going to comment on the sexist comment that women are only interested in “crafty lifestyle stuff” (feel free to do so in the comments area below), as such is life in a male-dominated newsroom.

And he’s not off. We set up an Ottawa Citizen Homes page on Facebook last fall, and it has 16 fans. In the first 8 minutes of its existence, our Homes pinboard on Pinterest had 39 followers.

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As newsrooms forge ahead, training can’t be left behind

Twitter announced a pretty big overhaul yesterday, with two big changes for our business: brand pages can now be built in Twitter, and Tweets will be more easily embeddedable.

Fantastic news, I thought, and Tweeted this:

Soon after, however,  @ByDanielVictor provided a reality check, reminding followers that Tweets are not written in stone.

The Twitter updates are great news for journalists (blog post coming soon!), and those in the social media sphere are no doubt excited. I know I am.

However, I was reminded this week the importance making sure everyone  understands new technologies, and how we use them.

Continue reading As newsrooms forge ahead, training can’t be left behind

With 63,206 characters Facebook is our Gutenberg Press

Facebook has announced it is allowing people to post updates as long as 63,000 characters (word count has been made so quaint by Twitter, hasn’t it?)

I learned this, of course, from my Facebook subscription to Mashable’s CEO Pete Cashmore, along with a link to ‘Your new Facebook Status update: 63,206 characters or less. ”

“Oooh,” salivated another of Cashmore’s subscribers, “That’s a novel.”

As the news industry ties itself in knots trying to set its books in order, I’ve often said that we are applying a business model based on Gutenberg’s Press to the Internet.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how Facebook makes everyone a Gutenberg. Take Cashmore’s subscriber, for example, thinking first of her soon-to-be-classic epic.

Continue reading With 63,206 characters Facebook is our Gutenberg Press

Jeff Jarvis reveals his Public Parts

Jeff Jarvis is an unabashed optimist.

He acknowledged massive changes brought on by the Internet – likening this era to the early days of the Gutenberg Press – and said we need to embrace publicness.

Publicness, he explained is putting it out there, letting it all hang out.

Right now you’re probably cringing, thinking about how to reset your Facebook and Google+ privacy settings so that the unknown student in India doesn’t see those pics of your son in little league.

And that’s a natural reaction to change, Jarvis pointed out during the launch of his book Public Parts Friday night at a Third Tuesday meetup.

He talked about the introduction of the Gutenberg press, and the use of the Kodak camera, and people were first most concerned about their privacy.

“It’s important when we have change we worry about the bad things that can happen, but it’s also important to realize what good can happen,” Jarvis said.

“Privacy matters. It’s important, it needs protection. But we are talking so much about privacy that I have a fear about publicness. That’s why I wrote this book.

Continue reading Jeff Jarvis reveals his Public Parts

Lurking on social media isn’t enough

Thank you to Steve Buttry for putting it plainly today: Lurking on Twitter isn’t enough.

I’ve heard from far too many journalists who sign up for Twitter, then don’t Tweet. Worse, they don’t follow anyone. So now they have an account that’s dormant. These same folks have probably set up a Facebook account, but they’ve added a few friends and don’t post.

In a webinar hosted Tuesday by Newspapers Canada, Buttry pointed out that by building followers and being conversational, you’re going to have stronger engagement.

And when it comes to crowd sourcing or looking for information in the public domain, you’re going to be more effective if you’ve built up a good social media presence.

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How’s this for engaging your audience?

Hats off to Matt DeRienzo and the folks at the New Haven Register.

Not only were they bold enough to ask their readers about their commenting system, they threw open the doors and invited people in.

We all talk the good talk about engagement, and listening to our readers, but these folks were ready to sit down and take it.

It doesn’t matter that it was a small gathering – four people in attendance and more watching online – this was the company’s first step in asking readers what they thought of the Register’s new commenting guidelines before they came into effect.

There will be more opportunities for readers to voice their opinions on the guidelines, DeRienzo blogged today.  For him the forum revealed “a huge gap between newsroom, and audience perceptions.”

Continue reading How’s this for engaging your audience?

A policy for social media

Newsrooms wrestle with how to be social in forums like Facebook and Twitter, while retaining a reputation to objectivity.

We tie ourselves in knots trying to figure how to be chatty and social, and still professional.

I wonder why we can’t treat social media as simply as that.

Today, the Associated Press unveiled an update to its social media guidelines.

They were immediately attacked in the Twittersphere, particularly on this update, on how to Retweet.

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Journalism and the ubiquity of mobile

When I sent my reporting class out to do an observational reporting exercise (basically ‘go be a fly on the wall’) this week, only about 20 per cent of them left with their note books.

Interesting, I thought. I wondered how they would do with this assignment.

They were told to go out and watch a scene, and come back with 10 details to share with the group.

How to remember intricate details of a scene without a notebook? I didn’t know how they would do it.

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Why journalists can’t turn their noses up at Facebook

You’re always a journalist, I believe. You can’t separate what you say from what you write.

For that reason, I’ve always been a fan of Facebook, but I’ve had trouble reconciling what it does (broadcasting an issue I’m having with a cheesecake recipe) and what I do (managing an online team and directing our social media and communities strategies). For that reason, I’ve been on Facebook, but I’ve always been very cautious about having friends, what I like, and what I share.

Not exactly the model of openness and sharing that Facebook was designed for.

Enter Vadim Lavrusik at this year’s Online News Association conference. Vadim works for Facebook now, as its Journalist Program Manager.  He made a presentation on Facebook for Journalists (surprise), and I realized we just can’t ignore Facebook. The stats are amazing:

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