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Pew: There’s a ‘Spiral of Silence’ on Social Media

spiral-of-silence-theory-1-728We often think of the Internet as a breeding grounds for idea exchange — a place that lends itself perfectly to sharing viewpoints on topics both trivial and complex. But according to Pew Research Center, there’s something deeper happening in your social media networks that goes against what many of us may perceive.

What they’re calling a “spiral of silence,” Pew found that sites like Facebook and Twitter are often being avoided as outlets of discussion for political and controversial issues such as the Snowden-NSA revelations for fear that followers will disagree with the poster’s views.

Not only do those 1,801 people polled seem to have an aversion to airing out their opinions on social media, but Pew found that “people who thought their social media friends disagreed with them were less likely to discuss the issues in face-to-face gatherings, as well as online forums.” Still, 86 percent of Americans said they would have an in-person talk about the NSA’s mass surveillance program, though only 42 percent of Facebook/Twitter users said they would post about the issue on those platforms.

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Why Are Only 60% of Journalists on Twitter?

ajr.jpgCan we talk about something? It looks like 2008 is calling and they want their newsrooms back. The American Journalism Review posted a piece this week with the headline “Some Newspapers to Staff: Social Media Isn’t Optional, It’s Mandatory.”

Everyone take a deep breath. It’s not totally ridiculous: The piece, written by Mary Ann Fischer, discusses the various ways newsrooms get editors and reporters on social media, how it’s hard to call it “mandatory,” and how social media guidelines should be “living breathing documents.”

All true.

Also, Dean Baquet hasn’t tweeted yet. But that’s not the worst of it. Fischer writes:

 Nearly 60 percent of journalists were on Twitter in 2013, according to a survey done by Oriella PR Network. San Francisco Chronicle managing editor Audrey Cooper said the lack of social media activity is more pronounced among print journalists. “If you look at your average newspaper editor, they don’t have thousands of followers like the editors of BuzzFeed,” she said. “As a group we tend to have not embraced digital media as much. That’s not good or bad, but it does raise the question of how do you perform in that space if you’re not a user of digital media.”

I just don’t know what to say aside from, hey, print people: It’s time to quit the boycott.

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How News Orgs Can Make Weather Interesting on Social Media

Weather forecasts can’t possibly be funny, right? But Digital Communities Manager at the Dallas Morning News, Michael Landauer, has made the impossible possible in his hilarious daily weather Facebook posts.

Poynter has been giving Landauer’s postings some love over the last week, but as I’m a Dallas native and follow the comical newspaperman on Facebook (he was my editor back in the day, when I wrote for the DMN as a Student Voice), I’ve been noticing Landauer’s unique take on weather for several weeks now. Another disclosure before we go further: I write for the DMN-owned content agency Speakeasy doing sponsored editorial, though that has nothing to do with the News‘ general Facebook presence.

Back to the weather. I read these posts each morning as I scroll through my Facebook feed in bed. Here are a few of Landauer’s most inspired works:

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Social Networks and Digital Publishing: Friday Link Round-Up

eulogyfortwitterAh, it’s Friday and finally nice out. Which is why I plan on catching up on all the good links and stories I had to breeze through during the work week. Somewhere outdoors, facing the sun, preferably with a morning coffee. Here are some social media themed links I’ve been thinking about this week; tweet us @10,000Words or comment with articles you think we should catch up on this weekend.

1) I saw that this conversation was going on, but couldn’t bring  myself to get buried in it. Until now. The Atlantic’s ‘Eulogy for Twitter‘ makes some interesting points, though I think media people tend to get caught up, as if Twitter has to be the same for everyone. Maybe it’s just not for journalists anymore, but that’s pretty ridiculous, too.  The point about Twitter a catalyst, like AOL was for email, is something to chew on alongside your Sunday bagel. If Twitter’s dying, someone tell the White House, who is obviously stressing way too much about it.

2) I only log into into LinkedIn when my train’s delayed and I’ve become bored with Twitter (well, now…). I notice that they’ve sent me  a bunch of email notifications,  go in to clean up the mess and see who viewed my profile, as if it were some freemium dating service. But I digress — turns out there are a lot of people like me, which is why this Quartz piece says that LinkedIn is still focusing on being a content site. But a newspaper?

3) I hate to toot our own horn, but this Angela Washeck post on Facebook newswire lays out its plans and asks some good questions. It’s made entirely possible with Storyful, which means, how is it better than Storyful or even a well curated Twitter newsfeed?

So what did we miss out on this week? What are your weekend reading plans?

Image credit: The Atlantic.

Nudged by Social Media, Martin’s Breads Removes Controversial “Yoga Mat” Additive

Few consumers knew exactly what Azodicarbonamide was before food blogger Vani Hari of foodbabe.com campaigned Subway Sandwich Shops to remove the controversial “yoga mat” chemical and food additive from their breads.

martin's post picNow, in response to hundreds of customer requests via a combination of calls and social media messages on Facebook and Twitter, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc., makers of Martin’s Potato Breads and other baked goods, announced it is planning to remove Azodicarbonamide (ADA) from its’ products “as soon as they are able.” Read more

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