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Archives: October 2012

A Consideration for Digital Reporting: Who Posts Political Stories to Social Media?

If you’re a journalist (and especially if you’re a political journalist), a new stat worth knowing about social media usage came out a couple days after last week’s piece on “The Twitter Narrative,” a look at who is on and uses Twitter.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s “Social Media and Political Engagement” report, just 28 percent of American social media users have “used the tools to post political stories or articles for others to read.”

Interesting on its own, but better with context. What’s the percentage of “social media users” in America? According to Pew’s report, it’s 60 percent who use “social networking sites” (categorized as Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+)  and/or uses Twitter. In other words, it’s 28 percent of only 60 percent of Americans who are the ones sharing the political links you see during your daily reporting activities. Doing the math, that’s under 17 percent who are social media-sharing the political links you eat and breathe.

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5 Stats to Note From Poynter’s iPad Eye-Tracking Study

Last week, Poynter shared findings from its recent eye-tracking study. Using “eyetracking gear, observation and exit interviews,” Poynter tracked 36 people as they engaged with news stories on an iPad, an article for the study noted.

In order to make sure differences between study participants were apparent, Poynter brought in candidates from two separate age groups: 18-28-year-olds and 45-55-year-olds.

According to Poynter, iPad users in the study fell into one of two categories when they were interacting with a news story:

“People were either intimately involved with the iPad screen while reading during our recent eyetracking study — keeping nearly constant contact while touching, tapping, pinching and swiping to adjust their view — or they carefully arranged a full screen of text before physically detaching as they sat back to read.”

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10 Web Design Tools For Journalists: CSS3, Responsive Design And Rapid Prototyping

Journalists should go to more conferences that aren’t tailored to journalists. While we’re focusing on getting developer resources in the newsroom and trying to get the support infrastructure to do data and design experiments, there are web designers out there in the world who don’t have to ask these questions and are instead focusing on the right tools to actually get things done. At least that was the takeaway for me this weekend at my first non-journalism-specific conference in ages: the Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit. Hundreds of developers and designers joined for the weekend to talk about the open source platform Drupal and tools to maximize Drupal’s usage. Here’s a list of the top tools I discovered around CSS3, responsive design and rapid prototyping.  Read more

How Would You Visually Tell The Story Of News Consumption On Mobile Devices?

Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) has released a report in collaboration with The Economist Group that looks at news consumption on mobile devices. The comprehensive study looks at the activities of 9,513 adults on tablets and smart phones, and their feelings about advertisements and paying for news.  Though PEJ has already created its own infographic, they’re asking the public to come up with something better. Read more

Pinerly: The Tool For Tracking Pinterest Analytics

We’ve written a lot about the implications of Pinterest for journalism: Five news organizations to follow, 10 more organizations to followfive ways journalists can use it and Pinterest tips for writers. But as a news organization, it’s hard to justify pouring additional resources into a new tool without any idea of the impact or reach. It’s also an important part of getting adoption in the newsroom — if you want your features writers to post food and travel ideas to Pinterest, you have to motivate them by showing how much more engagement or traffic it could bring.

This is where Pinerly comes in. The new tool — still in beta at the moment — lets you create “campaigns” around pins that track views and clickthroughs on pins you create. I have a beta account right now and have been experimenting. Here are the highlights. Read more

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