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Archives: February 2012

Facebook’s New Timeline For Brands Brings Key Changes To Page Management

Facebook announced today that brand Pages are getting a mandatory design overhaul, which will go into permanent effect on March 30th. But fear not, community managers! You’ll have a full month, starting today, to test the design in Facebook’s preview mode.

The new Pages should look familiar to users who have already jumped on the profile timeline bandwagon, as the redesign will capture key features of the timeline ethos. As Facebook designer Sam Lessin told VentureBeat, “We’ve seen that most businesses have a core group of loyalists, but those loyalists also have friends,” he said. “We’ve made it easier for people to connect with a business through the lens of their friends… It’s a much more personalized experience.”

So what changes will the redesign bring? We’ve listed the most important ones, after the jump.

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Snag $2 a Word at GQ

Since its start as a trade magazine, GQ remains the sophisticated older brother of the lad mag genre. And although editors expect nothing short of poised perfection in all pitches, senior editor Will Welch said they welcome irreverence with no shortage of humor in their front-of-book sections.

“There’s always a need for coverage with a super distinct point of view and the right sense of humor,” Welch said. ”The most immediate thing is for freelancers to show familiarity with the skeleton of our magazine: what the sections are and what the tone of the writing is.”

For contact info for GQ editors and more details on what they consider a perfect pitch, read How To Pitch: GQ. [sub req'd]

Knight News Challenge Accepting Entries Via Tumblr

Entries for the first of three 2012 Knight News Challenges opened on Monday, with a twist: This year’s application form is being hosted on Tumblr.

The theme of this challenge, with $5 million total in grant money, is networks. In this context, that means:

Witness the roles of networks in the formation, coverage and discussion of recent events such as the rise of the Tea Party, flash mobs, the Arab Spring, last summer’s UK riots and the Occupy movement. We’re looking for ideas that build on the rise of these existing network events and tools – that deliver news and information and extend our understanding of the phenomenon.

The Tumblr will be used for others to offer support, and critiques, for the entries. The entrance form is simplified this year, asking only 7 questions (and requiring succinct answers), ranging from “What do you propose to do?” (20 words maximum) to “How would you sustain the project after the funding expires?” (50 words maximum).

Entries appear on the homepage of the Tumblr. Within hours of the Tumblr going live, 14 entries were already posted and displayed prominently on the homepage, underscoring the popularity of the News Challenge.

The News Challenge is a major source of grant money for journalism-related projects. Last year, prizes ranged from $10,000 to $1 million. The average prize was $294,000. Past winners include Document Cloud and ScraperWiki.

In keeping with their use of social media this year, the challenge’s organizers will host a Google+ hangout tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1 p.m. ET to answer any questions.

Applications will be accepted until March 17.

Below is a video that explains more about the Knight News Challenge.

Knight News Challenge 2012 from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

Campaign finance updates in real time? There’s an API for that

Recognizing an always-on political news cycle demands immediate updates, the New York Times says its updated its campaign finance API to make updates in real time. This will give them (and other apps using this Application Programming Interface, which allows outside app developers to retrieve the data collected) access to information significantly quicker than prior incarnations.

The API, which initially launched during the 2008 presidential election, previously updated every other week. In some cases, some data updated daily, according to a post about the upgrade from NYT developer Derek Willis. Now, the updates happen within minutes after the FEC receives them (updated every 15 minutes).
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Use Content Curation To Build Readers’ Trust

In a post I wrote two weeks ago about there not being a one-size-fits-all social media policy in journalism, I tried to explain that every beat translates differently when it come to social media and other online tools like it.

For beats that translate well in social media, there comes an obligation to use social media tools in a way that benefits both the reporter/news organization, and the reader.

In addition to reporting the fact on the ground, providing context for stories and engaging readers, the reporter should also act as a content curator for the readers interested in that particular beat.

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