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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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How Should Newspapers Respond To Criticism On Their Facebook Page?

What would you do if someone came to your Facebook wall and started writing mean things about you or your work? You’d probably de-friend them, or at least delete the comments. But is that the way a news organization should respond? Does it matter that the industry is built on the very foundation of giving everyone a voice and space to share their opinions?

This question came up this week when the editor of the Hanford Sentinel posted this on the organization’s Facebook wall:

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How The Seattle Times Is Using Facebook Groups as a Crowdsourcing Tool

In the last few of weeks, two pretty big names in the news industry have used Facebook groups to crowdsource reporting.

ProPublica started a Patient Harm Community Facebook group to create a “community of people … who are interested in discussing patient harm, its causes and solutions.” Adrienne LaFrance over at Nieman Lab did a nice write up on the group and why ProPublica went that route.

The Seattle Times use of Facebook groups in its recent “Recession Generation” package also stood out.

The paper wanted to profile young people in the Seattle area who graduated college in 2009, during the height of the recession. When it came to finding high school graduates from the class of 2005, Sona Patel, producer for social media for the news org, decided to turn to Facebook. Read more

How The Wall Street Journal Is Using Facebook to Cover Facebook

In March, around the time Facebook launched its Timeline format, Poynter published a piece declaring “Facebook Timeline not yet a friend to news organizations.” The post’s author, Jeff Sonderman, wrote “the flashy visual template adds too little style while removing too much substance.”

The social media team at The Wall Street Journal might beg to disagree. In an innovative piece of social journalism, WSJ reporters and editors are using Facebook’s Timeline tool to cover Facebook’s initial public offering.

The news org has created a new Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GoesPublic, using Timeline to not only chronicle its IPO roadshow but to also tell the history of Facebook.

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PinView: If Facebook and Pinterest Had A Baby, It Would Look Like This

Have you ever wished Facebook looked a bit more like Pinterest? Now it can thanks to a new Facebook app called PinView.

To use PinView, you simply have to log into Facebook and  authorize the app, which just launched today and is still in beta. Once it’s turned on, so to speak, PinView turns your wall, newsfeed, photos and videos all into something that resembles a Pinterest board. Everything is divided into rectangles and definitely makes Facebook an even more visual platform than it already is.

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