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Posts Tagged ‘aggregation’

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 that discuss the value of using data from users’ actions in your online community; the latest data and statistics about social sharing;  and breaking own Twitter’s awareness vs usage problem.

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Storify: The Pros and Cons

In the last couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of buzz about Storify, a new social media curation tool aimed at professional and citizen journalists that moved into the public beta testing phase on April 25. Some, such as Matthew Ingram, have even gone as far as to call it “the future of media.” We even covered Storify back in November, but is it too good to be true?

The site allows you to pick a topic and then search for related news articles, Tweets, Facebook comments, Flickr photos and drag and drop them into an embeddable multimedia story.

“We have so many real-time streams now, we’re all drowning,” Storify founder Burt Herman told the New York Times. “So the idea of Storify is to pick out the most important pieces, amplify them and give them context.”

The site’s stories have been viewed more than 13 million times since its private launch in September 2010, according to Storify’s website. Sounds great but is this new platform worth all the hype?

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3 Social Media Skills They Should Teach In Journalism School

Photo Credit: Vaidotas2007 on Flickr

I won’t make broad statements that journalism schools are failing in some way when it comes to incorporating social media into their curriculum.

I know that many are making great strides to marry the two. Plus I’ve been out of journalism school for a few years, and around the time I left is when social media was really starting to kick off, so I don’t have first-hand knowledge of what is and is not happening.

So instead, I want to share three social media skills that I believe should be part of any journalism school’s curriculum, if it isn’t already.

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Meet ‘Producer Matthew’ Keys: Aggregation Journalist

Uprising in Egypt. Earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Missile strikes in Libya.

Major news has broken in every corner of the world during the past few weeks. In that time, Matthew Keys has proven himself to be a must follow for the latest from these hot spots.

Keys, 24, is a new style aggregation journalist. From his home in Sacramento, Calif., Keys even altered his sleep schedule so he can be awake to bring the latest developments from Japan.

“What my audience is looking for is somebody who, in a time of crisis, or in a time of breaking news, will just get to the facts,” he said.

Better known as Producer Matthew, Keys worked until October as a Web producer at KTXL, Sacramento’s Fox affiliate and is now unemployed. He considers himself an early adopter to social media, joining Twitter in February 2007. The service arguably began getting mainstream attention during that March’s South by Southwest Interactive Conference.

Keys still considers himself a journalist. Why? Everything he tweets or retweets he ensures comes from a credible source, or it is something he could verify.

“About 90 percent of the information I put out comes from a media source that I can verify with them,” he said.

Keys relies on reporting from global wire services like Reuters and Agence France-Presse, as well as local news services. For information from Japan, Keys has aggregated information from NHK and TBS.

“This is information that I’m putting out for my audience but it’s really coming from a third party,” he said.

While Keys agrees that Twitter is an excellent way to get news, he dismisses the notion that it will become a police scanner.

“Most people can listen to a police scanner and know that about 100 percent of the information that they’re getting from the scanner is going to be accurate, because it’s coming from law enforcement sources,” he said. “If you’re following someone in law enforcement on Twitter, absolutely. But you could also be following an account — like the Steve Jobs account — and if you’re new to Twitter, you’re not gonna know that Steve Jobs doesn’t have a Twitter account.”

“I don’t think it’s ever going to be the main source of news,” he said.

Keys also maintains an active Tumblr presence.

“The use that I have for Tumblr is for photos — a lot of people on Tumblr like photos,” he said. “They’re very visual. They don’t necessarily like to read a lot. They like video. They like audio. It’s very multimedia rich.”

Keys says being a citizen journalist has helped his reputation more than working at KTXL.

“I’ve made friends at ABC, at CNN, CBS, and a lot of the stuff I put out on Twitter … they’re now wanting to use that stuff,” he said. “That never happened when I worked at Fox.”

Follow “Producer Matthew” Keys on Twitter at @ProducerMatthew and on Tumblr at

Friday roundup: 10 free and legal multimedia tools, WaPo’s “Trove” project

Yes, another tools list. But this is a really good one.

A great post this week came from Adam Westbrook — a new media journalist, film maker, lecturer and blogger based in London — who blogged about 10 free and legal (i.e., not pirated) multimedia tools for journalists.

He calls out a few awesome tools that I’d never heard of, like MPEG Streamclip, which converts video files to fit your needs, whether that means smaller, bigger, a new file type, etc. Another cool tool is Framecounter, which detects frames per second in your video so you don’t have to do the math, and Wisestamp, an email signature generator.

Check out his full list for the whys and hows on his top 10 list.

Trove: A new experiment from WaPo

An interesting new experiment is coming out of The Washington Post called Trove. Vadim Lavrusik at Mashable reports that the project will launch in March 2011 as a news aggregation service that customizes news based on preferences of the user. These preferences are determined by a quiz-like interface that the user participates in.

Trove pulls from thousands of sources around the web beyond The Washington Post. Lavrusik, who has access to a Trove beta account, isn’t yet convinced that Trove delivers much unique value:

Trove doesn’t quite fulfill the promise of its name: a newfound treasure. It’s far too similar to other aggregation news sites out there, most notably Google News. The utility of Trove isn’t different enough from other aggregators, aside from its user interface and the ability to easily filter content.

If the site is truly about helping users find the signal in the noise, it will use the selected interests to build more focus in the channels created, rather than continuing to add a stream of content based on the user’s interests on the main page.

Read the full story at Mashable.

Trove is currently in private beta. At, you can sign up to get an account after the site is open to the public.

Disclosure: Founder of this blog, Mark Luckie, is a senior news director for the Universal News Desk at The Washington Post.