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Archives: November 2011

Facebook Releases The 40 Most Shared Articles Of 2011

Yesterday Facebook released a list of the 40 most shared articles so far in 2011. The full list runs the gamut from investigative and international stories to viral videos, but with one unifying thread: all articles came from major news sources. As Mashable notes, “All 40 of the stories come from just six online outlets: Yahoo has 13 stories, CNN has 11, the New York Times has 7, The Huffington Post has 7, The Wall Street Journal has one and the Washington Post has one.”

Many of the articles can also be grouped around some salient themes: parenting (“Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps” is #4), the Japanese quake (“Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami” is #1) and viral videos (the “Father Daughter Dance Medley” video is #5).

So what does this tell us about article sharing on Facebook? It’s no surprise that huge international issues like Japan’s earthquake top the 2011 list, but the study does provide an interesting snapshot of the Internet hive mind in 2011. “The stories range from cute to thought provoking,” writes Facebook, “and represent the type of news people have been sharing and discovering with friends in 2011.”

You can read the full list here.

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Spot.us Merges With The Public Insight Network

Full disclosure: I worked as a contract designer for Spot.us from late 2009 to early 2011.

Today the crowd-funded reporting organization Spot.us announced it’s been acquired by American Public Media’s Public Insight Network.

Spot.us is a site that allows freelance journalists and reporting organizations to pitch topics worth reporting to the public. If the public agrees about a topic’s worthiness, they can contribute money toward the topic. When the funding goal is met, the reporters or organizations fulfill their reporting duties and publish that information on the Spot.us site or through a distribution partner. The Public Insight Network — jiving with the theme of open, collaborative reporting — has a repository of knowledgable sources that journalists can tap into for high-quality reporting.

The merging of the two makes a lot of sense: Spot.us allows journalists and organizations to fund their reporting and reach an audience; PIN allows journalists to access sources they need to deliver strong, reliable journalism to the public. Read more

Pro Tip: Use Reddit To Find Story Ideas

Reddit is an Internet firehose, a repository of the good, the bad, the silly and the shocking.

Online journalists should make it a habit to look at Reddit from time to time. Not only can it be a great way to promote work, but there always seems to be a good story waiting there. Sometimes it’s prominent, and sometimes it’s in an obscure corner of the site. The fact that the site’s slogan is “the front page of the Internet” is telling.

While Reddit still has a niche audience, the stories that are popular on Reddit probably have some potential to be popular elsewhere. If the story fits your site, you should consider writing something similar.

Read more

What Do Followers Really Want? Not An RSS Feed

While there’s plenty of debate about what journalists should post and to retweet on social networking sites, there’s not enough discussion about what’s not getting posted. Specifically, most of what’s debated is about what news organizations want to share — not what followers actually want to see.

I’m sure there are reams of data floating around corporate offices full of feedback from focus groups and online surveys about what readers want. Yet most news organization feeds are bastions of one-way discussion and self-promotion.

Heidi Moore: The point of being on Twitter is to talk to peopleWhile there’s certainly a place for sharing content on these networks, it’s not the end-all-be-all. In fact, it’s not all that useful. Twitter and Facebook aren’t RSS feeds, and they shouldn’t be used that way. They should be used to engage audiences, and to engage audiences requires more than a requisite run down of your top stories. Read more

Before Writing a Social Strategy, Think About The Blog

When developing a corporate social media strategy, it’s important to ensure that there are processes in place to allow the social media communities to scale over time.

It’s also important to ensure that there is a training system in place for employees who will need to be taught best practice for maintaining social media communities.

But taking precedence over your social media strategy should be the development of the blog strategy and how it will fit with the coming social media strategy.

Read more

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