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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

HootSuite University Moving into J-School Classrooms

It’s back to school time and the debate about how to teach journalism is already underway. As academics debate the ‘teaching hospital model’ and hackathons, there’s some real time relief for professors at the 101 level– and it’s coming from a brand. HootSuite, the social media management system, has long offered certification programs and paid pro-package ‘educate yourself’ content. Now, they’re moving into higher education.

Launched in 2011,  HootSuite University has already partnered with over 350 universties, including NYU, Syracuse, and Columbia. The program is more than just product training, though that’s included. There’s also a tailored curriculum for journalism and communications professors, which covers topics from the easy stuff like maintaining a social media presence and best practices to story tracking and analytics.

Lesson objectives cover a variety of topics from “How to Live Tweet an Event With Integrity” and “Compare Social Media Analytics with Site Traffic Using Google Analytics. The curriculum follows the “Read, Watch, Do” format, so professors have an archive of articles, videos, and examples to share with students and suggestions for homework assignments like setting up a Tumblr blog and tracking it, or revising a Twitter bio. Professors can follow the curriculum rigorously, or just use it as inspiration. Dr. William Ward, a professor at at the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse, uses HootSuite’s program to make more time for other things, he told me via email: 

I integrate HootSuite into the curriculum of all my courses because it frees me up to focus on higher level strategic concepts. Students receive recognized, industry leading professional credentials that give them a competitive advantage in the job arena.

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4 Ways to Rank Higher in Google Search

GoogleOh, Google: the search engine of our life. How many times have you answered our most embarrassing and inane questions — without a second of hesitation (literally)?

Google, in all of its infinite glory, can also be an invaluable tool for building your personal brand online. In the latest Mediabistro feature, we talk to some content marketing pros for their advice on optimizing personal search results:

“One of the many things that Google considers within its algorithm, everyone believes, is fresh and updated content,” says Nick Barron, founder of The Limbertwig, a full-service media marketing company that specializes in online content marketing. “So, if you publish a website and you don’t update it and a year goes by, Google’s going to view that as not so fresh content. If someone with your name or with similar spelling of your name comes behind and has a blog or has a fresher website, then they’re likely to rank more highly on Google than you would, because your content is just sort of stagnant.”

For more tips, read Google Yourself: 4 Ways to Fix Your Online Reputation.

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

In The Age of SEO, How Do You Change Your Name After Marriage?

In all of my preparations for my recent wedding, I didn’t plan for this one question that still lingers over me unsettled more than a week after the pastor pronounced me a wife in late July. How will changing my last name affect my SEO and search engine placement? Is it even OK to change my name professionally in the age of SEO?
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Are We Stuck with Hashtags and Like Buttons?

The coverage on Nieman Journalism Lab yesterday of the Engaging News Project pretty much ruined my coffee break as I clicked through the research: there are few things I love more than seemingly wonky research about journalism and democracy. Especially when it’s put in action. Talia Stroud’s research shows, in the most simple explanation, that when you change the language, it can also change how people engage with your website. That should perk most of our ears up. If you want, you can already start making your readers ‘Respect’ stories instead of ‘Like’ them with a WordPress plug-in.

What you can’t make people do, according to her research, is actively seek out information that goes against their views, or their niche. That sounds like old news to me. We’re all in our own little ‘bubbles’ to use Bill Maher’s lingo. That’s bad for democracy, but good for online publishers. It also has something to do with why magazines have fared better in a digital landscape. Chris Hughes of The New Republic spoke to a lot of like-minded, nodding heads this week about how readers (users? can we agree on a terminology?) still look for ‘curated editorial experiences’ whether online or off. That’s something not easy to do with a daily news site, but the goal of most magazines — whether it’s the New Republic or Slate or Field and Stream. 

Apart from saving democracy from ourselves online, the Respect button has my head spinning for another reason. In terms of design and user experience, it’s hard for pubs to break out of the Web 2.0 standards whether it’s about asking readers to like things, comment, or use hashtags. I’m sure there are many strategists and design experts who haven’t slept considering the same things.  I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that everything starts to look the same, all the time. I don’t know for how much longer I even want to ‘like’, let alone ‘respect’ content online, although that’s the formula publications work with to determine all the numbers that make up their bottom line.

Maybe it’s the stormy weather on the East Coast that has me thinking too much about it — but what do you think? If we’ve moved past Web 2.0 and onto the semantic web, how does that affect how we’ll have to start thinking about reader engagement and page design? Is it just that we’ll  be able to better search our hashtags and generate more niche content to read? 

How Secure Are Your Social Media Accounts?

A hacked Twitter account is nothing new. Unfortunately, on a regular basis I get suspicious direct messages and tweets from friends and followers with links to who knows where. They’ve been hacked. Usually, their friends flag that and it’s quickly cleaned up.

But what happens when that hacked account has more than a half million followers? When it’s verified and belongs to one of the most venerable international news organizations? When the hacked content isn’t a questionable link but what would be the most major national security story since maybe ever?

Well, that happened yesterday when the Associated Press saw its account compromised and 71 hijacked characters about explosions at the White House sent the stock markets briefly down and got notice of everyone from the FBI to the SEC. The hacked account was quickly taken offline and suspended. But as Ryan Sholin pointed out this morning when the account was reinstated (but briefly before the offending tweet could be deleted) — more than 4,000 people had retweeted that note (and those are only the ones who used the RT button instead of quoting or adding their own commentary). Read more

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