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JA Better Practices: Sixth annual Free Press Media Reform conference inspires a rich social narrative

April 26, 2013 in Blog, Distribution

Hilary Niles weighs in at the "Building Better Media Policy Reporting from the Ground Up" strategy session in Denver, at the Media Reform conference. Credit: Lisa Skube

Journalism Accelerator

In early April, JA participated in the Media Reform event, as Josh Stearns, the Journalism and Public Media Campaign Director for Free Press, described it: “A conference of [hundreds] of grassroots media makers.” JA met and talked with dozens of organizers, journalists and policy experts, attended great panels, and had the additional opportunity to meet with a number of leaders such as Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, executive director of Media Consortium; Lark Corbeil and Kimberly Lavender of Public News Service; Dan Moulthrop and Jill Miller Zimon of The Civic Commons; Tom Glaisyer of the Democracy Fund; Journalism That Matters leaders Michelle Ferrier and Peggy Holman; and digital media expert and journalism veteran Steve Outing, in addition to many, many others paired with numerous inspiring hallway conversations.

Covering the event across social channels, the JA designed social coverage to convey the powerful ideas of the people who came to share, learn and compare notes. Building a narrative across social platforms opens up new strategic ways to participate in content, deepen connections and offer important context. Here’s an overview on different ways you might tap into social channels, to develop your own content stream, build a rich narrative, expand your network and bring more return for the investment. Read the rest of this entry →

dlvr.it

March 11, 2013 in Distribution, Resources

Social media campaigns have become a mainstay of ecommerce marketing. Even the smallest of online retailers are likely to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, and there are indications that social engagement may improve shopper relations and, possibly, sales.

But the process of posting regular updates to social media sites is time consuming. It’s those regular updates that keep social-media audiences engaged.

Dlvr.it is a service that can automate and schedule Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Twitter posts to better engage potential shoppers.

Using Dlvr.it

Dlvr.it lets businesses publish an RSS feed to social media sites, including Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Creating a Dlvr.it account is as simple as entering an email address. Once the account is created, a marketer can add destinations like Facebook. Each destination requires authorization, using the social networks standard authentication process. Put simply, Dlvr.it becomes an app that connects to a social network.” Source: Armando Roggio, Practical Ecommerce

JA How-To: Social tools you can use to grow your business

March 1, 2013 in Blog, Distribution

Nicole in the Tweet Nest

For JA's social expert Nicole Staudinger, monitoring social is a daily practice. Sharing our best practices with you, what tools do you think we should try?

Journalism Accelerator

2012 was a huge year for social. According to Folio’s Greg Levitt, 2013 is shaping up to be the first year that social media eclipses search as the leading source of referral traffic to publishers.” Social media management has become an essential super power to connect with audiences through content and to contextually appeal to readers.

A comment posted on JA by Christopher Sailus (of Sailus Mortgage) makes the point: “Utilizing Twitter to create a market audience can be wildly successful at a very low budget.” But considering most publisher or journalist’s existing work load, how can writing you’ve already produced efficiently build followers, promote deeper content and respond to the needs of your online community in a sustainable and strategic way?

Here on JA, we’ve gathered a treasure trove of free tools that we typically use daily for social monitoring, listening and response. These tools, when used consistently, are invaluable in improving our ability to be responsive to the targeted messages we share and receive, by optimizing (and integrating) the use of our social channels. This is the first, in what will be a series of posts over the year, to share what we’re learning to help you unleash the power of social to deepen your success. Read the rest of this entry →

JA Network Profile: The Breaking News Network explores new ways of expressing media

February 22, 2013 in Blog, Experiments

Breaking News Network 

Started in 2009, the Breaking News Network curates the media and blog feeds in 350-plus cities worldwide to create a real-time ticker tape of social-media-sourced news in each city. The noncommercial network is unique in supporting each city’s civic groups, arts organizations and causes by providing them with a free media voice to connect with their community.

Journalism Accelerator

The JA had the opportunity to participate in the recent Street Fight Summit in New York City. While there, Breaking News Network (BNN) founder Patrick Kitano introduced himself.

When BNN was launched three years ago to give voice to community causes, Kitano brought a unique knowledge from early experiments using Twitter (2006 – 2009) and social media to develop hyperlocal community information networks for the real estate market. Focusing on social at the outset, Kitano was “cobbling together” segmented lists on Twitter before Twitter had even created “lists.” (For context, Twitter launched in July of 2006.) This early social community development revealed new ways that Kitano found effectively enabled an active, community-sourced and locally driven information network.

Kitano sees BNN providing a shared social channel – one community, one voice, one cause at a time – with promise of doing good for others by supporting civic groups, local causes and arts organizations. Read the rest of this entry →

JA Tech-Tips: Twitter’s API is changing in March – what you need to know

February 8, 2013 in Blog, Technology

Twitter Word Cloud Bird

Twitter's API changes in March 2013, are you ready?

Journalism Accelerator

Twitter’s API (application programming interface) has become so popular that it’s rare you don’t see a website that has a feed of Twitter content or a way to login using your Twitter account. In August 2012, Twitter announced some upcoming changes to its rules and regulations to foster a more consistent user experience across platforms and devices. The deadline to meet the requirements of API v1.1 is March 5, 2013.

This could affect any website that uses the Twitter API and many third-party apps, such as Hootsuite or Flipboard, who have had to make major adjustments to adhere to Twitter’s new rules.

Even Journalism Accelerator has had to make some changes. Are you ready? Read the rest of this entry →

Disqus

October 25, 2012 in Resources, Technology

With a few quick steps, you can turn your old comment system into a new way to engage your visitors. From small blogs to massive websites, Disqus is [an easy way] to build active communities. It’s free to use and works with virtually any type of website.” Source: Disqus

Disqus looks to make it very easy and rewarding for people to interact on websites using its system. Commenters can build reputation and carry their contributions from one website to the next. Using the Disqus’ built-in network effects, bloggers and publishers can expect a higher volume and higher quality of conversations by using the comment system.” Source: Crunch Base

ReadrBoard

October 11, 2012 in Community, Resources, Technology

There are many schools of thought on how to improve commenting on the internet, most of which focus on trying to convince commenters to be more civil. But ReadrBoard turns that idea on its head, asking commenters to be more specific. And doing that, it found a whole new way of looking at the process. Co-created by Porter Bayne, Tyler Brock and Eric Chaves, ReadrBoard aims to change the face of online conversation as we know it. After a successful beta test on news site Hypervocal and (full disclosure) Latoya Peterson’s site, Racialicious, Bayne, Brock and Chavs decided to revamp the overall design and user interface in 2012.  Here Bayne explains the concept behind ReadrBoard, discusses redesign on the fly, and shares a visual history of ReadrBoard’s evolution…

At ReadrBoard, we all think that all reader engagement — a share, a Like, a comment, a bookmark, a copy-paste, anything — is preceded by some emotion or thought: “That’s funny,” or “no way,” or “really?” or “my friend would love this,” and so on and so on. And we’re sure that far more readers have a reaction to content than are currently Liking, commenting, etc.

So, ReadrBoard is working to make it simple for readers to do that: react to content, with just a click. Sort of like a Like button … but any emotion or thought. And you can react to the whole page, or any part of a page…

The biggest conceptual change we had was realizing that the reaction precedes everything. Our early, prelaunch versions would show a reader five buttons after they selected content: react, or comment, or share, or search or bookmark. But we wanted it to be as simple as possible, as it felt like work to have to pick. Steve Jobs would say, “make it have one button.” Well, which one?

So, we asked ourselves, “what is the ONE thing this MUST do?” It seemed clear: react. The idea of losing the other functions was a system shock in a way, but we dug in on it. We would ask, “what if someone wants to react & share? React & comment?” It was always “react and _____”. That helped us realize, “oh… everything comes from a reaction. Rating, sharing, & commenting are all forms of expression that elaborate on the initial reaction or thought. So let’s start there.” Source: Journalists.org

New Media Toolkit

July 13, 2012 in Craft, Education, Resources

New tools are emerging every day for telling stories, engaging audiences and monitoring online impact. How can nonprofits and ethnic and community news organizations use these tools to their advantage? How can beginners sort through the overwhelming volume of all the different available technologies? And how can those wishing to improve their digital skills find the best resources?

The Renaissance Journalism Center curated this comprehensive collection of tools, tutorials and resources to help you navigate the often confusing and intimidating world of online media. The site was designed specifically for those working at small to medium-sized nonprofits and community and ethnic news organizations, as a way to help you jump-start your efforts in social media, video, audio, blogging, and monitoring and metrics. The site is intended to serve as an accessible gateway for beginners, with plenty of resources and tips for those ready to advance their skills and knowledge.” Source: New Media Toolkit

JA How-to: A four-step guerrilla guide to social listening

June 4, 2012 in Blog, Craft, Technology

Social Media Signals

Investing time exploring social listening tools can help tune your business strategy, connecting the dots for greater profitability AND deeper audience connections. Image: Intersection Consulting

Journalism Accelerator

Have you been keeping up with all the hype around “social monitoring” software? There are scores of tools out there that promise to deliver a secret treasure map of insight and intel: how to decode the value of your products by “listening” to your audience “talk” about them across social channels.

Here at the JA, we have been evaluating social listening tools for our own work. This post offers a summary of what we’ve found, for you to consider as you size up methods for deeper knowledge of and engagement with your audience. We’ll tell you a little bit about how each tool works, and share a framework so you can consider how social listening may advance your success. Our goal with this list isn’t to cite everything that’s available, but to present a comprehensive range of options we think may be most useful in your work.

There are a number of ways publishers might apply social listening techniques. Some are simple, some more complex. To help guide the build of our service model, we subscribed to and tested the capabilities of one social listening industry leader, Radian6, over the past eight months. While it appears to satisfy major corporate brands like Pepsi, UPS, and Dell, it didn’t do as well helping the JA achieve its objectives, which are less about brand loyalty and more about tracking emerging trends.

So we began to explore other options. If you’re considering the offerings of the big kids on the block (such as Radian6, Crimson Hexagon, Lithium, Simplify360, or Alterian), know specifically what you want out of it before you go in. Also, don’t let budget stop you from experimenting. If you’re on a shoestring with little time to spare, you may find some tools you need in these free or low-cost alternatives.

Our best success in both choosing tools and getting a good outcome from social listening came from having a clear plan going in. Outlining your community and business requirements early on focuses your search for a social listening solution that provides the best fit for both budget and bandwidth. Know what you want to achieve before you start trying tools, and know how much time you have to invest in the effort. Going in with an idea of what you hope to learn sets up the experiment for a greater return on the effort.

There are four basic steps to successful social listening: discovery, analysis, management and integration. We list tools that can help with each element below. Read the rest of this entry →

Interactive Dynamics for Visual Analysis: A taxonomy of tools that support the fluent and flexible use of visualizations

May 3, 2012 in Craft, Resources, Technology

The ACM’s Queue magazine has a new, comprehensive taxonomy of visualization techniques drawing from the theories of Edward Tufte and citing examples from academia, government, and the excellent NYT visualization team. This list contains 12 steps for turning data into a compelling visualization: Visualize, Filter, Sort, Derive, Select, Navigate, Coordinate, Organize, Record, Annotate, Share, & Guide….The citations alone make this an article worth bookmarking.” Source: Slashdot

The increasing scale and availability of digital data provides an extraordinary resource for informing public policy, scientific discovery, business strategy, and even our personal lives. To get the most out of such data, however, users must be able to make sense of it: to pursue questions, uncover patterns of interest, and identify (and potentially correct) errors. In concert with data-management systems and statistical algorithms, analysis requires contextualized human judgments regarding the domain-specific significance of the clusters, trends, and outliers discovered in data….

The goal of this article is to assist designers, researchers, professional analysts, procurement officers, educators, and students in evaluating and creating visual analysis tools.” Source: ACM Queue