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Posts Tagged ‘sharing’

Everything Upworthy Can Teach Journalists

upworthyThis week, New York magazine has a profile of the website we all love to hate: Upworthy.

Upworthy is the bane of many a journalist’s existence. It peddles in clicks, and has people sharing, painlessly and by the millions, pieces of content that concern topics we actually want to report on. A 10-page feature or package with video on the effects of poverty takes months to prepare and weeks to garner attention on Twitter. They find one video on the topic and it has thousands of views. It’s  more BuzzFeed-y than BuzzFeed; they at least have a news team. You should read the whole piece, though, because there are lessons to be gleaned from their success.

1) Ah, the infamous Upworthy style headline. In one part of the feature, they talk about ‘click testing,’ where they run through possible headlines and then see how clickable they are out in the wild. If it’s not clickable, they tweak. Every media outlet can do this, and if you want to garner more traffic, you should. If you feel icky about changing the headline after it’s originally published, just add a note. I see good digital outlets doing this all the time. Slate stories, for example, often have one headline when I see it in the morning and another by the afternoon when I actually get around to reading it. If it requires emails or write offs to tweak a headline or re-run and write a new social media tease to make it more interesting — you’re doing it wrong. Read more

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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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Sharing Visually on Facebook: How Can It Get Readers to Your Site, Too?

I like photos. I tend to “Like” them, too. But despite my “clicks of approval” (read: we never really know what Likes mean), I don’t always click through to content when a news org shares an image.

Maybe everyone is more systematic than I am, but my Likes are pretty arbitrary. I’m calculated about a lot of things, but my commenting is pretty arbitrary, too.

Two things to healthily recognize here: “Liking” isn’t unvaluable to a news org, and neither is commenting. We can measure some value with those statistics and participate in a “Like science.” At the same time, measurement of engagement on something like Facebook may be inexact when you’re looking at all kinds of journalistic impact. (See good discussion on better measuring journalism’s impact here.)

Putting some of that conversation aside, if your journalistic meat doesn’t lay in Facebook’s garden, my gut is you want your audience to stay awhile on the content on your site. For whatever reason or combination of reasons—financial or philosophical.

If that’s you, here’s a good question worth considering: How do you share visually on Facebook and additionally draw in website traffic?

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