Tag Archives: Twitter

Can metered content save journalism?

Ok, hear me out on this one before you sit down to type out all your objections to metered content/paywalls/paid content  in online news.

Let me just point out how meters and paywalls change the objective of a newsroom.

Today, my company launched meters in four of its markets, including mine. Starting this morning, Ottawacitizen.com is free for print subscribers, 99 cents for the first month and then $9.99/month after that for all-access subscribers. (Here’s the FAQ on our subscriptions, and a note from our Publisher to readers. You can read about our subscription options here).

Rather than express my thoughts on metered content, which a) won’t change a thing, and b) won’t change a thing when it comes to our newsroom, I plan to take a look the long view.  I’ll be watching how meters/paywalls affect the business of news – and how we practise journalism long term.

Because the way we’ve been doing things online – competing for page views so that we can gain revenue from advertisers in a pay-per-click business model – isn’t working.

Continue reading Can metered content save journalism?

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Booze, Twitter and what people really want out of a tweet

A friend of mine, recently promoted to an executive-level position, asked if I could help her with Twitter.

“I’ve been told I need to twit,” she said.

It’s extremely (if dangerously so) easy, I told her, and I offered up this gem: don’t drink and tweet.

Indeed, when Jeff Jarvis was in Ottawa last fall promoting his book Public Parts and advocating for publicness, he spoke of an incident where he did just that.

After a few glasses of wine, he was watching a TV report on the debt ceiling, and he tweeted this:

One of Jarvis’ followers suggest he use the hashtag ‘#fuckyouwashington’ and things took off – a week later more than 100,000 people were using the hash tag. (Jarvis has a hilarious account of the incident, and a data visualization of the flurry of #fuckyouwashington tweets)

But at his Ottawa talk, Jarvis said that while the flurry of the hash tag was interesting and exciting, he wasn’t sure twitter was the right place to go after a drink or two.

Continue reading Booze, Twitter and what people really want out of a tweet

A foot, the government, and strong Twitter reporting

  1. I was so impressed with how our reporters worked together on Twitter to break this bizarre tale, I had to timeline it with storify. We owned this story from the start, something our reporters should be proud of.
    Hearing news that a suspicious package was delivered downtown, and the police unit’s HazMat team on scene, Citizen reporter Chloe Fedio offered to go check it out. She started tweeting from the scene.

The Guardian’s 10 ‘rules’ of Open Journalism… and money

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the Guardian’s fantastic Three Little Pigs advert, detailing how The Guardian might tell the fairy tale in print and online using social media and crowd-sourcing for information/opinions.

(Here’s a link to that advert if you’ve enjoyed your time under said rock.)

This past weekend, The news org (because let’s be honest, The Guardian is so much more than a paper)  hosted an Open Weekend: A festival of readers and reasonableness.

During the weekend, Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, was asked if the Guardian has rules for Open Journalism. Rusbridger responded via Twitter that they don’t have rules, but 10 ‘ideas’ about what it should look like:

Continue reading The Guardian’s 10 ‘rules’ of Open Journalism… and money

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.

Continue reading Pinterest, Google+ and the gender divide in social media

Politicians, social media, and why journalists should pay attention

If you were living under a rock and missed it, U.S. President Barack Obama held a town hall ‘with the people’ via a Google+ hangout this week.

“Hunh,” said a colleague in the newsroom, “That’s neat.”

It’s more than neat – it’s a big shift we need to pay attention to.

As journalists, we have often functioned as ‘middle men’, the only way the public can access politicians.

Continue reading Politicians, social media, and why journalists should pay attention

The open newsroom: Letting the community be the editor

Okay, so not all editors are like J. Jonah Jameson, the Spiderman-hating,  cigar-touting, shouting boss constantly looking for the latest spidey scoop.

Lately, I’ve noticed that a few news organizations have decided that not all editors should be in the office, like Mr. Jameson at The Daily Bugle. (And that’s as far as I’ll be taking this Peter Parker analogy…)

The Open Newsroom and community involvement is one of the biggest parts of the digital news evolution, and it’s fascinating to think where this may lead.

Of course there’s Canadian startup Openfile, which is a completely community-driven enterprise, with stories suggested by readers. It was heralded when it launched in May of 2010 as a whole new way of thinking about news.

And let’s be honest, we have to change the way we think about news, and we have to involve our community.

We’re no longer just reporting stories, we’re sharing them. And by getting our community involved in the process, they become a part of the organization.

Continue reading The open newsroom: Letting the community be the editor

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

How newsrooms can be more than a link farm

  1. Our newsroom at the Ottawa Citizen, like those across the country, is a tight ship. Everyone is busy – especially on weekends, when we’re down to basically a skeleton staff. Our weekend folks have to be able to do everything, and fast.

  2. In addition to the rest of her work on a busy Saturday, Kirstin Endemann was responsible for The CItizen’s Twitter feed. This meant answering questions:
  3. @OttawaCitizen hi! How long does it usually take to decide whether or not to publish “an emailed opinion” thanks
    November 19, 2011 9:59:00 PM EST
  4. @basma_aal Not long, usually.Email it to Letters (at) undefined.
    November 20, 2011 7:24:02 AM EST
  5. @OttawaCitizen I did thanks
    November 20, 2011 10:22:16 AM EST
  6. A regular part of an online editor’s job is to post links to our top stories. The goal, of course, is to increase page views on a sunny weekend..
  7. But there’s a difference between just posting links and tempting readers:

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