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Posts Tagged ‘reddit’

Gawker’s Kinja Platform: Please Don’t Make Me Blog for You

It finally happened. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a Gawker groupie and I’ve been waiting for the rollout of Kinja on all of their sites. Not because I am an avid commenter (that requires more dedication than I can give), but because I wanted to see how it was going to work from the sidelines. I have mixed feelings.

 1) Mobile Layouts 

I know that everyone keeps saying that mobile is the future, and it is, of course. Fine. But I still don’t know how I’m supposed to work on a tablet. The old Gawker layout was optimized for a desktop experience, with the main blog post and a scroll down menu of new and trending posts. You could pick and choose, hop around the site before getting back to whatever you were avoiding before you came to Gawker in the first place.

The new Kinja layout is clean, sleek and modern. Everything you want a digital experience to be — except that you have to scroll around too much. I find myself reading many of the blurbs without actually clicking on a story. And when you do click into a story, that’s it. You have to work to browse. 

On a tablet, the Kinja reading experience makes more sense. Video and ads and posts all come together in one, non-annoying, continuous roll. My reaction to reading the new Gawker on my laptop is the first time I ever felt old. And why can’t you Tweet single posts? What’s the deal, Denton?   Read more

ProPublica Asks Reddit: What Should We Cover?

This week, the non-profit investigative journalism group ProPublica decided to take its quest to uncover the untold stories in a different direction on the Internet: Reddit. And here’s the twist, they’re not seeking sources — they’re seeking stories. They’ve opened up a channel, InvestigateThisNews, asking users to tell them what they should be covering.

Now Reddit, which has been around for years, seems to be having a heyday these days. I mean, even the President did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) during the campaign! But for ProPublica, it’s part of their Get Involved strategy, according to senior engagement editor Amanda Zamora. She discussed it in a Q&A over at Niemen Journalism Lab, in which she talks extensively about user engagement and where the Reddit channel fits in. I think she nailed it with this point on why places like Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, etc. matter not only as a reporting source but as a story source:

…[W]e still pay attention and use social media to build a general audience for our work. We are using it to get the word out about what we report. But we’re just as concerned at using these tools to help attract people who want to participate in our work. We’re doing a lot of community building.

In other words, if you want to know what the story is, or if there’s a story people in your readership and your community think is uncovered and important, why don’t you ask them. Engage them in the reporting process before there’s a reporting process.
Read more

Andy Carvin of NPR Shares Wisdom On Reddit

The rapid rise of the online social community Reddit has born out a phenomenon that has captured a large swath of the Internet: the “Ask Me Anything” or AmA. Everyone from Icelandic indie band Sigur Ros to President Barack Obama has hopped onto Reddit to answer user questions about their lives, their dreams and their goals. It’s a growing medium for communities to connect to a heretofore unreachable public figure, and every once in a while it creates a major teaching moment.

That happened today when NPR’s Andy Carvin —  a senior strategist and reporter whose work on the Arab Spring, primarily through his Twitter account @acarvin, led the Washington Post to call him a “one-man Twitter news Bureau” — dispensed helpful advice about digital journalism and production on stories that occur thousands of miles away. His hour-long AMA gave great insights into his own reporting style, and the toll of covering the Arab Spring.

Here’s a roundup of some of the highlights.

On Authenticating Video

The most import thing to do is look for context. Is there something visible in the background that can be IDed, like a building or other landmark? If people are speaking, what kind of accents do they have? If there are weapons involved, what kinds are they? Does the timestamp of the video match the weather forecast, or the location of the sun and shadows? Etc, etc. Fortunately, I have a lot of Twitter followers who love this type of detective work. Read more

Congressman Asks SOPA Opponents to Help Draft Mobile Privacy Law

Reddit, one of the main leaders in the anti-SOPA blackout, has become the go-to place for one lawmaker. Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia has turned to the Reddit community for input on how to create mobile privacy legislation. He announced his AppRights.us initiative on Reddit yesterday, saying, “It’s an open, bottom-up approach to drafting legislation that will protect the privacy of mobile device users.” Hoping to engage the technology community after the SOPA/PIPA debacle, Johnson is inviting netizens to share their thoughts on the AppRights website and through discussion on Reddit. Read more

Panel of Techno-Optimists: The Shift to Social and Who’s Doing it Right

(L to R) David Carr of The New York Times, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, WaPoLabs Chief Strategist and Editor-at-Large Rob Malda, and Flipboard Editorial Director Josh Quittner.

In an event hosted by New York University’s Center for Publishing and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies last night, social media experts discussed the shift to social content and what that means for the media industry. Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, Rob Malda, chief strategist and editor-at-large of the WaPo Labs, and Josh Quittner, editorial director of Flipboard, opined under the moderation of the New York TimesDavid Carr. The mood was decidedly optimistic—as Quittner said at one point, “I think we’re all techno-optimists on this panel.”

The Social Epiphany
The conversation started on the shift to social. “I don’t really surf anymore,” said Carr, “most of my content… comes from somewhere and it’s like this vast, human enabled RSS that is pushing things towards me.” According to Smith, there was a dramatic change between 2010 and 2011 in terms of BuzzFeed’s traffic. Within a year, their biggest referrer went from Google to Facebook. As people change their media habits from seeking content to more passively getting content in the form of their Facebook or Twitter feeds, will they be able to stay well-informed? Read more

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