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Your Twitter Chat Is Stressing Me Out

twitter logoTwitter is stressing me out. It all culminated this weekend when I wanted to waste some time on an Amtrak train, but couldn’t focus. The journo chatter was too loud. Jacob Harris seemed to understand me:

But while he seemed ambivalent about the noise, it was making me properly anxious. Not only is the conference streaming in my feed, but then you’re having inter-conference #chats, too. Of course, this could be a personal problem. I’ll disclose that because of some family matters, I’ve had to take a step back from being plugged in 24 hours a day. Since I’m not forced to post, write, or respond to news like I normally do, maybe the noisiness is more obvious to me. I can’t use it right now, therefore it is meaningless. That might be too easy of an out.

The thing is, we journalists talk too much. I like following Twitter chats — #mucked up or #wjchat — until I actually follow them. At some point in refreshing my feed and discerning what you’re trying to say about advertising and wearables in your MT of a RT of an A1 to Q2 I give up and go see what @unfoRETTAble is watching. Read more

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The Big Roundtable’s Social Media Experiment

The BRT wants the stories it publishes to be "surprising" and ambitious - and for them to be read widely.

The BRT wants the stories it publishes to be “surprising” and ambitious – and for them to be read widely, of course.

Longform startup The Big Roundtable (BRT) recently commissioned three college students to put its assumptions about social sharing to the test.

The challenge? Taking one story, one month and whatever techniques they could think of (legal, of course), the three undergraduates were tasked with the challenge of racking up the most unique page views.

Said BRT Founder Michael Shapiro on the pub’s blog, ”The contest was inspired by this simple, painful realization about the patterns in our traffic: there are none.”

Having struggled with pegging what makes people click — and how to get them to a place where they’re able to find stories — BRT noted high traffic numbers when its pieces were linked in other publications’ stories, but acknowledged that stories they thought would take the Internet by storm didn’t turn the results they anticipated. They wanted some answers.

BRT, led by Shapiro, editor Mike Hoyt and publisher Anna Hiatt, was formed in mid-2013, and is based on the idea that writers should be directly connected to, and supported by, their readers. Backed initially by a successful Kickstarter campaign, BRT has since been publishing quality longform (5,000+ words) pieces, some with media partners like Buzzfeed and Longreads, enabling authors to be paid via reader donation. Additionally, a “reader’s circle” receives 1,000 word samples of potential BRT content, so it’s not just the editorial team making calls on what gets read.

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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

SXSWi Day 3: Four Challenges of Social News Gathering (Some May Surprise You)

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Jenkins and Carvin agree that it’s more important to verify news gathered on social than to publish first, or even at all.

Journalists and news organizations are turning to the crowd’s aid for reporting and photography, since the right person with a mobile phone at the right time can often give a good picture of the news sooner than newsroom staffers.

In “Accurate, Fair & Safe: The Ethics of Social News” at SXSW, two industry pros discussed the benefits of social news gathering — but the benefits don’t come without pitfalls.

Eric Carvin, social media editor at the Associated Press and Mandy Jenkins, managing editor of Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, are on a committee within the Online News Association. The Social Newsgathering Ethics group hopes to solve five of the biggest problems associated with social news reporting (that is, newsrooms collaborating with citizen journalists, or borrowing photos from social networks). But before they can solve them, the problems must be identified, said Carvin. Read more

Gearing Up For SXSWi: How to Organize Your Online Presence With RebelMouse

5480020f0cbc7867c4dd1cc1d6839498cfd22e6443be3d3885fc60878062a841Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WordPress, LinkedIn — sometimes it’s just all too much to keep up with, especially when you’re reporting for your publication remotely and expected to keep social media followers in the loop. And with 30,000 people in the media and technology industries descending on Austin this weekend (March 7-11, more specifically) to recount the mass knowledge dump and hundreds of sessions that comprise SXSW Interactive, social reporting from the field can feel impossible.

That’s where RebelMouse comes in.

If you’re struggling to organize your digital presence and find it stressful to bounce back and forth across a dozen social media platforms, download the app ASAP.

RebelMouse’s purpose is pretty simple. The iOS app allows you to manage all of your social media handles in one spot and in real-time while you’re on assignment, and all of your feeds are updated from a pretty, personalized RebelMouse website. You can use the app’s free offering or pay more for features like enhanced branding and access to Google analytics. While it was developed to help local businesses save time on posting social updates and serve as an alternative to building an expensive website, I’m convinced RebelMouse’s main function (aggregating) is the key to making the life of a reporter and publisher easier.

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