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Archives: September 2011

Social Media and Online Community Posts From Around The Web

Every Friday I post links to a few of the blog posts that I read during the week that I found interesting and insightful.

Included in this week’s round-up are posts is a case study of one of the best branded online communities; best practice for using forums on your website; the three layers of social media connections and what they mean;  and a discussion about the fate of Facebook brand pages.

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7 Positive News Sites To Cheer You Up

We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ Stories on crime and other violent acts get more attention, and eyeballs, so editors typically give them more prominent play on the news (be it TV, print or online) than other, more benign stories. But where do you go when you want news that isn’t all doom and gloom? Why not visit a positive news site?

A recent article in the Columbia Journalism Review by Alysia Santo does an excellent job reviewing online news sites that cover the “glass-half full beat.” These are sites that share hopeful news or as Geri Weis-Corbley, founder of the Good News Network, puts it, “We need to be informed by a world view that is not dripping with sensationalism and attuned to the police scanner.”

Are these unrealistic or fake news sites, as some critics may claim? Santo succinctly sums up the critics’ argument by asking, “… can you have “news” in your title if you won’t report on the bad? The function of “the news” is to tell us what we need to know, good or bad.”

This is true but sometimes we all need a break from news that only deals with death, wars and bad economies. Here’s a list of seven positive sites you should check out when you need a reminder that people are reporting on good events, not just the negative. (For more details, I highly suggest you read Santo’s article.) Read more

3 Enterprising Journalism Kickstarter Campaigns

For independent journalists, raising funding to pursue your stories can be difficult. Crowdfunding through Kickstarter can be a great way to raise awareness about your project and build momentum around your cause.

Currently, Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world and has helped users raise over $40 million since its inception in April of 2009. While film, music, and design projects tend to be the most successful, there are also a great number of journalism projects available. Pledges on some of these campaigns are as little as $1.

Here are a few great journalism proposals on Kickstarter which span a wide range of voices. Do your part and pledge your support to any or all of these campaigns!

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‘Producer Matthew’ Closes His Blog

Aggregation journalist “Producer” Matthew Keys (@ProducerMatthew), who we first told you about in March, has stopped providing real-time news aggregations on his Tumblr blog,

Matthew Keys

Back in March, Keys was an unemployed journalist. He would aggregate important developments — especially pertaining to the Arab Spring — using Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. His efforts made him a finalist for an Online Journalism Award.

But two months after we published that interview, Keys was hired by KGO-TV, the ABC owned and operated station in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more

The Kindle Fire: Amazon’s Answer to the iPad

Looks like the tablet family just got a whole lot bigger. Today, Amazon announced three new e-reading products with impressively low price points that are sure to tantalize even the most fanatical luddites amongst us. Along with an upgrade to their original Kindle, Amazon released two touchscreen e-readers called the “Kindle Touch,” one with free 3G wireless capabilities and one without. What’s so cool about the Kindle Touch is that even though it incorporates the multitouch technology we’ve grown accustomed to in our mobile devices, it still eschews LED backlit screens in favor of E Ink, a format that makes the reading experience much more akin to reading printed copies. It’s also easier to read E Ink in bright environments than it is to do so on backlit devices like the iPad.

But perhaps the most exciting product announced today is the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s answer to the iPad. With a price point significantly lower than the iPad, and no camera or microphone capabilities, the Kindle Fire isn’t a direct competitor to the iPad, but it’s definitely a significant stride in that direction. It’s a smaller color screen device that comes loaded with access to Amazon’s impressive entertainment database of movies, music and books. The tablet runs on Android OS, making it easy to sync your Google and Amazon accounts on the device. The Kindle Fire’s affordable price is what makes it a formidable opponent. A Kindle Fire device is just $199, compared to $499 for the least expensive iPad model.

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