Tag: Social Media

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Responsible Reporting Section 1 ‘News in Context’: Chapters I and II

My ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers is divided into three sections. The first, “News in Context”, is a state of the online news industry. The second, “The Five Journalisms”, examines five categories of news gathering most relevant to the age of context. The last, “What You Must Do”, applies concepts from the other two to present guidelines for responsible reporting.

In this second installment, I present two chapters from the first section. Opener “In Just Eight Years” is in part adapted from my June 2009 analysis “Iran and the Internet Democracy“, which is a provocative lens for looking back to look forward at the state of the news industry. 

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Sometimes Reddit Comments are the Best Storytelling

What could be better Sunday reading than cats jumping into cars? I stumbled onto this Reddit post roundabout way from something that appeared in my social network. Stated simply: A “cat climbed into” Jonny_Bloodbeard‘s “work van in downtown Detroit to keep warm. They choose you right?” Nearly 500 comments later, I’m impressed by the civil discourse and some of the cat tails—er, tales.

Take a look at the screenshot and the story about the cat riding to church for attention and a couple other Redditers’ ribbing responses. I love it. This is what interaction should be among commenters, and their personal stories add so much to the original post. 

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I finally say Ello, But Worry It’s Goodbye

I posted to Ello tonight. Finally. I registered three months ago and then did nothing. The text of my first post hints a little bit why not then but more why now. Thomas Hawk convinced me to try, in a ditty he posted yesterday.

Because I’m anal, the text that follows has embedded links, which isn’t their original formatting. Otherwise, the content is as it appears on Ello, which longevity I still have some doubts about. If the site ever goes tits up, the post is preserved here. With that introduction: 

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Writers, Own Your Content!

We all regret something—right? As a writer, my biggest is the loss of content, and lots of it. Don’t make my mistake! Thousands of my online posts are gone, representing the largest chunk, from May 2003 through April 2009. Six fraking years! Some of it I recovered in early 2007 and archived. The posts aren’t online but they aren’t lost either. But what I consider to be the most valuable, posted to the Apple Watch and Microsoft Watch blogs between 2006-09, is gone forever. Who says the Internet never forgets?

If you produce online content—particularly the kind of evergreen stuff with long shelf life—you cannot trust publishers to keep it or for them to simply stay in business. Related, if audience rather than search-engine optimization is your primary objective, your content should post across contextual online venues. You maximize its value through ownership rather than ceding rights to a third party. 

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The #ArtofSocial is What?

This morning, on Google+, successful self-promoter Guy Kawasaki posted about the #ArtofSocial quiz, which promotes his new book co-written with Peg Fitzpatrick  You can see from the screen grab my score, which isn’t as good as I expected. Dammit. (By the way, I didn’t take nearly 6 minutes to complete the quiz. I had a cat interruption midway through.)

Grumble. Grumble. Now I must buy another Guy Kawasaki book, with hopes this time there’s gold. I’ve yet to earn a living writing ebooks, even after reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and blame the author—meaning me, not him. 🙂

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Robert Scoble and I Turn in Opposite Directions But Share Destination

While checking Robert Scoble’s website for a link, I came across something quite unexpected: “I have completely moved to social media“. Bwahaha! He goes one way, while I head another. I’m in the process of pulling back my online posts to my personal blog, which will act as the hub for social media as the spokes.

There is nothing original about the idea. Lots of bloggers put social services second. I have long waffled between the two approaches, with the majority of my personal posting going to Google+ since summer 2011. Main reason: Large audience of followers and lots of interaction with them. 

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Apple’s Magic Formula is Secrecy and Rumors

Apple’s longstanding perchant for secrecy is legendary. It’s also a myth. Granted, the company has a strict no-comment policy about future products, which isn’t so much about keeping information from seeping out but controlling who disseminates it. Something else: Secrets are impossible to keep when a company produces physical products overseas and depends on so many third-party suppliers. Controlled leaks, or strictly managing those that aren’t, lets Apple maximize marketing advantage.

The value cannot be understated, because Apple’s business model in 2014 isn’t much different from 2001 or 1995: Reselling to the same core group of loyal customers. The Mac faithful mattered when the company struggled to survive against the Intel-Microsoft duopoly and made the majority of profits from selling computers. Cofounder Steve Jobs wisely chose to expand into new product categories—iPod (2001), iTunes Music Store (2004), iPhone (2007), iPad (2010)—that freed Apple from monopoly bondage. But the core philosophy of selling to loyal customers, even while trying to grow their numbers, remains the same. 

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One Word Describes Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Billboard and Twitter are partners in a new project delivering real-time music charts anytime, anywhere, on anything. The mechanism measures conversations around music on Twitter and presents them on Billboard’s website. Now this is contextual journalism in practice.

Billboard’s traditional approach to charting is in too many ways antiquated. The music consuming community lives in the moment—able to sample, stream, or purchase songs whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they may be. Weekly charts are stale before they publish.

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All This Googlism disturbs Me

Today, Ian Betteridge posts: “One thing that is impossible not to notice on Google+: There’s a very distinct skew towards big Google fans in commenting. It doesn’t matter which tech site’s page you look at, the (in my view, tedious) ‘fanboy’ mentality is hotter here than on any other social network”.

I commented on his post but want to draw more attention to Ian’s observation, to which I concur. I am rethinking my social service presence because of pervasive Googlism. While now immersed in the Google lifestyle, I am not a Google fanboy. But the leanings here are quite strong now, and tipping more all the time. Also, there is increasingly less tolerance for non-Google tech posts and more criticism of those regarding competitors like Apple.

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Old Media Should Pay Up If It Wants to Tumblr

There goes the neighborhood. Big media is invading Tumblr. For weeks I had been meaning to blog about how old media might ruin Tumblr. I shouldn’t have waited. Monday’s New York Times story “Media Companies Try Getting Social With Tumblr” raises the topic without rightly razing it. How could Jenna Wortham’s story have been any different, since The Times is among the old media vanguard invading Tumblr. Jenna’s story positions the big media invasion as something good. I most certainly don’t agree, given Tumblr’s free-for-all embrace.

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Does the Net Necessitate Social Media?

It’s the question I seriously ask in context of web users’ constant state of distraction and increasing inability to concentrate for long periods. Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains looks at this state of distraction. I’ve blogged posts: “Internet Attention Deficit Disorder” and “Of Course, Technology Changes You.” Are people losing their minds, so to speak, only to gain another—group mind—through online social interaction?