GalleyCat FishbowlNY FishbowlDC UnBeige MediaJobsDaily SocialTimes AllFacebook AllTwitter LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser

Twitter

Teaser Tweets: Treat Them Like the Lede

As if researching, writing, and publishing a story isn’t enough work, we have to promote them, too. It’s easy enough with social media, especially if you have a social media guru in your newsroom. But it’s also easy to get caught click baiting on Twitter. Noam Cohen of The New York Times wrote about the Twitter account @HuffPoSpoilers this week, which tweets summaries of Huffington Post stories, which are usually tweeted with vigor — and lots of buzzwords. Often, the story isn’t as interesting as the tweet.

Don’t fall into your publications tweeting traps. Let them tweet what they will, but take matters into your own hand, too. 

Whatever your platform, I think what comes before the link should be treated with as much care as your lede and 140 characters should suffice. 

  •  Remember the 5 W’s and the H. It’s hard not to bait your followers, but don’t make me wonder where, say, that earthquake hit. If it’s so far away from your target reader that they may not click on the link, you’ll have to live with that.
  • Unless you work for TMZ, lose the crazy adjectives. Did the congressperson really ‘explode’? Is Marissa Mayer really leading a ‘revolution’? Check yourself. 
  • About retweeting. I often fall into the trap of tweeting story links with a vague, one word response. But I’m making a pledge to all my social media friends to start being more useful. If you tweet a story that’s not yours, tell me why I need to read it. ‘Right on,’ or ‘This is naive,’ are click-bait cliches. The short links give you so many characters to describe the story to me — use them wisely! Give me a reason to bookmark the link and read it later. Be your brand, and venture to have an opinion of your own now and again. 
So, be honest: how much time does it take you to craft the perfect teaser tweet?

Help On The Media ‘Fix Twitter’

There’s been a lot of moaning about misinformation on Twitter the past few weeks; myself and other 10,000 Words contributors have done our fair share of kvetching. 

But the team over at the On The Media podcast are actually trying to do something about it. In a short segment in this week’s podcast, which you can listen to here, they’re asking listeners to help ‘fix Twitter.’

When news breaks, it’s commonplace to just tweet and retweet what people are reporting, and then find out later that the information was totally wrong. The problem is that most organizations or individuals will either delete the tweet, or correct it another one. We all know the scrolling feed moves at a breakneck pace, and sometimes the correct tweet can be overlooked. Meanwhile, the incorrect one is left to be found by users later on in someone’s feed and the cycle of misinformation continues. 

So, there has to be a way for people to tweet to-be-confirmed information that fits into the overall Twitter aesthetic and that sticks with the original tweet itself, so that the “not yet confirmed” status of the information doesn’t get lost in the ether. 

On the Media host (and editor…) Brooke Gladstone suggested a question mark. The punctuation fits into the lexicon of Twitter — it’s just one character. But, as they point out in the segment, that mark could potentially be deleted in retweets. OTM producer PJ Vogt suggested a ‘flag’ function, that would immediately gray out a tweet that needs to be corroborated. Then as he puts it, the ‘onus is on the reader’ to seek out more information. 

Got any good ideas? Head over to the OTM Blog and leave a good suggestion — the comments are already filling up withpretty good ideas ranging from the highly technical to simple key-worded hashtags that journalists could propagate. 

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. 

Read more

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

5 Must-Have Chrome Extensions for Journalists

It’s no secret that one of the keys to being a successful journalist these days is mastering the art of combing the Internet. And, a large portion of finding great stuff on the Internet relies on properly and efficiently utilizing clever tools that elevates your online skills from “great” to “practically superhuman.”

Chrome is now the most popular Internet browser, and for plenty of good reason: in addition to having a straightforward search bar and integration with all of Google’s great tools (auto-complete in the browser!), users can customize their web experience with a host of add-ons. These add-ons, called “extensions” by the browser itself, can do amazing things — and boost your reporting abilities to make you more organized, connected, and efficient.

Here are five extensions that are popular for their great utility in any journalist’s arsenal, and they are all absolutely free to download.

What’s your favorite Chrome extension? Let us know in the comments.

OneTab

Reporters everywhere are singing the praises of OneTab because it beautifully solves one of the biggest pain points for online journalists: the agonizing slow-down of a computer once it crosses its maximum threshold for open browser tabs. If you tend to have dozens and dozens of tabs open at any given time, this extension will speed up your computer without losing all of your hard-earned tabs. Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>