Tag Archives: social media

Social Media Report: Gator Golf

19 Apr

While writing my ’90s blog, Gator Golf, I tried to use as many types of social media (that I actively used, at least) as possible. By doing this, I think I definitely had a higher readership than I would have without it.

I actually wrote my blog entries through the Independent Florida Alligator. I decided to blog for the paper this semester, and when I found out that it could tie in with my editing topic blog, it worked out really well. One of the pluses of blogging for the Alligator was having an editor look over my entries. Jillian was great to work with, and she would modify the headlines I wrote, which was great for SEO, and used tags that would most likely turn up in search engines. She did a lot of that work for me. In addition, the Alligator blog site had a share button through which I could immediately link to my blog through many types of social media.

Through the share button, I initially used Facebook. That is the social network I use most frequently, so I figured that would be the easiest way to promote my blog among my friends. I would always post the link with a one-sentence description, followed by a “read my blog” sentence. Many friends of mine would “like” the posts and then comment on whatever I wrote about, from Power Rangers to Furbys. I felt great that my blog created discussion.

I also heavily promoted my blog through Twitter. (Here is a Storify I created of my various promotion tweets throughout the semester.) With the Alligator’s “share” button, I was allowed to use a “bit.ly” link, which also allows you to track how many people view your link (however, I never did get to sign up for bit.ly and use this feature). A few of my followers would tweet back to me.

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Another great thing about having an editor at the Alligator was that she would email us bloggers every week with our stats. Because of the Alligator’s advanced technology, I had at least 100, sometimes over 400, views per week. Many of these were total strangers, which was awesome.

I didn’t promote my actual WordPress blog that I made for this course, since I mainly wrote through the Alligator blog. However, I did end up making a Tumblr of my blog as well, and through my use of search-friendly tags like “’90s nostalgia,” “childhood” and “toys,” I had readers liking and reblogging many of my posts. Tumblr users could track tags included on my blog also.

Overall, my use of social media to promote my blog worked out well for me. If I continue blogging on ’90s nostalgia, I will keep using these methods and maybe even move on to other networks, including Delicious and LinkedIn.

“Social news”: Why it is important, why it should be fact-checked

11 Apr

If there is one thing social media is responsible for, it is making personalization so much easier.

Many news organizations have their reporters and other staff members create blogs in order to connect with readers and have an outlet to express their opinions on different issues. After all, if reporters can reach out to the public in this way, readers are more likely to be able to relate to them. As Mathew Ingram of Gigaom said, “You should be the best possible version of yourself.” Everyday people express their opinions all the times in all kinds of personal blogs. Why shouldn’t reporters be able to?

As seen through blogs, news is not just in one central location anymore. Quora, Twitter and Facebook are great examples of new, journalistic outlets these reporters are using. Through these, journalists are allowing a much wider audience to view their work and talk about it. This goes beyond just reporting news. These sites have become so effective that there will now be a Pulitzer Prize category for real-time reporting. In addition, ongoing events like Occupy Wall Street have allowed the people to become journalists,  with many passersby shooting videos and blogging. Journalists like Elliot Volkman of Play This Magazine are now being praised for their extensive use of social media to find sources and information for stories.

As I have said before, story ideas and ideas in general can always be spread through social media. The fact that many Egyptians used Facebook and Twitter to send their message of revolution to thousands (if not more) last year shows just how effective social media can be. In this case, journalists and average citizens were able to collaborate by both finding out about and talking about the revolution.

However, as per everthing journalism, online news must be fact-checked, double-checked, cross-checked.  It is always safer to be a little skeptical of any story, especially one read online, than to not question it at all. Like any social network, Facebook is known to have its “fake” users, and if any of these become “sources,” it could potentially cause problems. However, since many young people have practically grown up with social media, they may be able to find ways around this in the future, since they know the online-media spectrum much better than many adults do. The introduction of websites like MediaBug is helping bring reporters and readers even closer by discussing errors they’ve made, along with corrections. This almost makes admitting a mistake not so shameful.

News created via social media outlets has become so powerful that I think it deserves a new name: “social news.” Because that’s what it is, isn’t it?

 

Trend and Correlate

Trend: http://www.google.com/trends/?q=gay+marriage&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

Correlate: http://www.google.com/trends/correlate/search?e=gay+marriage&t=weekly&p=us

Since gay marriage has been a pretty consistent topic over the past eight years or so, according to these graphs, it might be interesting to take different angles on this topic. This could also help with finding out how much progress has been made in other states to legalize gay marriage.

Tweeting a great social media tool that should be fact-checked

14 Mar

Twitter has become a part of daily life. It is second nature for many of my friends to tweet about what they’re doing almost every hour of their day.

Sometimes I wish I could grab my friends by the shoulders, shake them and tell them that Twitter can also be used (more effectively) as a news outlet. Lately I have been using Twitter to promote my blog on ‘90s nostalgia, as Mallory Jean Tenore of Poynter suggests. I’m not sure how well it has been working for me, but at least I’m getting it out there.

In an attempt to organize my tweets, I created a “news outlets” list so that I could have all my tweets from newspaper websites in one place. If I made my list public so that it could be shared, journalists could use this as a way to find breaking news, therefore coming up with new story ideas.

Although tweeting a finished story to sources may sound like a good idea, if you write for a local newspaper, some of your older sources may not have a Twitter, so it would still be a good idea to email or call each said source and tell them to either pick up a newspaper to see the story or send them said news story via email.

Tweeting parts of a story is also effective, since the whole point of Twitter is to spark conversation. This helps people interact more with their news. Reactions to a story via tweets can also make a great article. In short, on Twitter, anyone can be a journalist or publisher. However, Mathew Ingram of Gigaom makes a good point when he says this new “networked journalism” has made news a bit more chaotic. Instead of looking to one prominent newspaper/reporter for our news, we have many outlets, which is great but can also be a bit repetitive. Many people like to tweet the same stories over and over again.

Because of Twitter’s many benefits to the world of journalism and social media, you could say that the site has become a worldwide sensation. However, Mark Hill of Cracked.com argues that it indeed has become a sensation — only in the U.S., that is. It isn’t too surprising to me that people in the Middle East barely use social networking, since there are many third-world countries in the area, meaning a supply of computers is scarce. Although Hill is probably right, I disagree with him when he writes that social networking is a terrible source for news. Yes, people may tweet inaccurate information sometimes, but since Twitter is not an actual “news site,” it is up to us to figure out the truth. Research is still important.

Reporters should not depend on Twitter entirely for their stories; they need to check the facts first, as is common journalistic practice.

Twitter story

17 MarOlivia FeldmanOlivia Feldman ‏ @oliviarianne 

This is Olivia Feldman live tweeting from a bus filled with alcohol on the way to Wet N Wild. Happy St. Patty’s! #shotbus

17 MarOlivia FeldmanOlivia Feldman ‏ @oliviarianne 

A girl in a Gator blazer is walking around telling us “You want a shot” while holding a bottle of rum. #shotbus

Someone turns to their friend and says, “This is gonna be a long bus ride.” #shotbus

My seat neighbor is explaining the differences between different types of pigs. #shotbus

The soft country music does not reflect the mood on this vehicle.#shotbus

17 MarOlivia FeldmanOlivia Feldman ‏ @oliviarianne 

After going onto the Turnpike exit on I-75, a group of people rejoice, “We’re not going to Tampa!” #shotbus