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Do You Yo? And Should Your Newsroom Be Yo-ing?

yo-its-that-simpleIt’s getting harder and harder for me to keep up with what the kids are doing these days, but I’ve at least heard about ‘Yo’. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the app is a messaging service that bases its platform around the frequent sending of a two-letter word: “Yo.”

No fancy filtered photos. No emojis. Just one, single greeting (with possibly a link/short hashtagged tack-on, thanks to a recent update). Whenever you want to get someone’s attention, you simply send “Yo,” and ideally, your straightforward message would notify your friend, the receiver, as effectively as a text message or email might. According to the American Journalism Review‘s Cory Blair, the app has seen 2.6 million downloads since April 1 of this year. For whatever reason, people are really into “Yo-ing” eachother.

Reported Blair, the Washington Post‘s audience strategy and social media teams want to experiment with using the Yo app for letting readers know when stories have been published. As if Twitter’s 140-character limit doesn’t present enough of a communication challenge, Yo provides even less space for disseminating information. The idea is to have WaPo readers and social media followers who use the Yo app to follow the newspaper on Yo. Then when they have a story to share, they will send a “Yo” to subscribers, and those folks get a notification on their phone. No need to open up (or pay for) a news app to get instant access to news anymore. Others including NBC Nightly News and the Nieman Lab are doing it, too, Blair wrote. Publishers can choose how and when they want to “Yo” — it could only be for beat-specific stories or at a certain time of day.

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Grading the Media on Ferguson Coverage

Now that the Ferguson protests are slowly beginning to wind down, it’s likely a good time to assess how the media handled the coverage of the recent unrest, triggered by the police shooting of unarmed teen, Michael Brown.

From the coverage I’ve seen myself, I would have to grade the media a C to C-, mainly for coverage that I thought was uneven, at best, with some national reporters even crossing journalistic lines to become advocates, rather than unbiased, objective third-parties. Read more

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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Does Your Newsroom Throwback on Thursday?

hashtagIn the name of clicks, and appearing to be social media savvy, news organizations have hopped on the #tbt train. For those that live under a rock, #tbt is the hashtag used for “Throwback Thursday,” an excuse to post your prom picture on Instagram, or tweet a link to an old blog post you’re especially proud of.

News organizations have started their own throwback features as an excuse for mid-morning Thursday content. When done well, it works as a good way to get people to dig through your archives or remind people of your authority, as in, “we’ve always covered politics, here’s a piece from 1943 to remind you of our expertise.” Read more

Which Pubs Perform the Best on Social Media?

Shareablee_co_smallAs the media landscape evolves, we’re learning that publishers have much more to concentrate on than just putting out good editorial content and having a nice website. Today’s media organizations must put strong focus on having a powerful social media presence, as Sharablee, a social engagement analysis company, has found.

Last week, Shareablee compiled its first list ranking which digital and print publishing arms have the best handle on social media. The monthly list is intended to be helpful to advertisers looking to get the very best when it comes to choosing where to allocate their dollars and publisher audience engagement.

The Shareablee Audience Engagement Ranking of Publishers is calculated based on various publishers’ progress in growing readerships on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here is a more in-depth explanation of what defines “engagement,” according to a press release from Sharablee:

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