What would you do if someone came to your Facebook wall and started writing mean things about you or your work? You’d probably de-friend them, or at least delete the comments. But is that the way a news organization should respond? Does it matter that the industry is built on the very foundation of giving everyone a voice and space to share their opinions?
In the last few of weeks, two pretty big names in the news industry have used Facebook groups to crowdsource reporting.
ProPublica started a Patient Harm Community Facebook group to create a “community of people … who are interested in discussing patient harm, its causes and solutions.” Adrienne LaFrance over at Nieman Lab did a nice write up on the group and why ProPublica went that route.
The Seattle Times use of Facebook groups in its recent “Recession Generation” package also stood out.
In March, around the time Facebook launched its Timeline format, Poynter published a piece declaring “Facebook Timeline not yet a friend to news organizations.” The post’s author, Jeff Sonderman, wrote “the flashy visual template adds too little style while removing too much substance.”
The social media team at The Wall Street Journal might beg to disagree. In an innovative piece of social journalism, WSJ reporters and editors are using Facebook’s Timeline tool to cover Facebook’s initial public offering.
The news org has created a new Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GoesPublic, using Timeline to not only chronicle its IPO roadshow but to also tell the history of Facebook.
Have you ever wished Facebook looked a bit more like Pinterest? Now it can thanks to a new Facebook app called PinView.
To use PinView, you simply have to log into Facebook and authorize the app, which just launched today and is still in beta. Once it’s turned on, so to speak, PinView turns your wall, newsfeed, photos and videos all into something that resembles a Pinterest board. Everything is divided into rectangles and definitely makes Facebook an even more visual platform than it already is.