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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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

Breaking News and Social Media: Stop Fighting It

Social media and journalism are back in the ring this week. They’re both pretty strong contenders, but not without their weaknesses. In the immortal words of Paulie Pennino, let’s blow these punch-outs.

In this corner: Journalism

As the underdogs trying to maintain a presence and a living wage, we all know journalists have the power of story-telling and, hopefully, credibility, when news breaks. This Nieman Lab post illustrates the timeline of breaking the Boston bombing on Monday. It shows social media users were able to catch events up to the minute, but it’s only when Reuters retweets it that it becomes News.  

That’s all because of context. Journalism takes its hardest blows when it forgets that its mission is to provide context. To keep up with social media, journos have fallen prey to the allure of being first. Cable news outlets broadcast, and then tweeted, information about the ongoing investigation and hunt for the bomber without verifying information. Instead of relying on their credibility, their only other strength, media outlets engaged in a strange feedback loop citing each other, updating homepages and official tweets in a dizzy little dance. 

No shortage of adrenaline, but certainly a shortage of facts. 

And in this corner: Social Media

In the midst of breaking, or not-quite breaking, news, social media was aflutter with corrections. 

Social media is now the watchdog of the fourth estate. If it weren’t for social media, no one would have realized until it was too late how silly some of the reports coming in from mainstream media outlets were. 

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Andy Cohn on How The Fader Is Thriving in the Digital Age

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s  So What Do You Do?  column, Andy Cohn, president and publisher of The Fader, says that staying true to your audience is essential for building devoted followers.

“I think a lot of people get caught up on just trying to build Web traffic and posting things that aren’t really essential to the core of what they’re all about, writing to the lowest common denominator, etc.,” he told Mediabistro. “You now see sites and media properties that tweet about breaking news that has nothing to do with the core of their editorial platform. And that’s the stuff that may give you short-term eyeballs and short-term gain in traffic or circulation but, ultimately, you’re going to alienate any kind of core audience that came to you for what your original intent was.”

Read more about how The Fader is thriving in the digital age in So What Do You Do,Andy Cohn, President and Publisher of The Fader?

Nicholas Braun

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