If you are not already using Facebook Questions on your news organization’s Facebook page, you are really missing out.
Formulating poll questions is simple, and there is high potential for a poll question to go viral, placing both the question and your news organization’s brand on the walls of many “strangers.” Every time someone votes on the question, their vote gets recorded to their wall, which will also display on the newsfeeds of all their friends.
Those friends also can vote on the question, which, in turn, will show all of their friends the question. They need not “like” your news organization’s Facebook page in order to vote. However, in my experience, I have noticed an increase in “likes” after a question is posted to a Facebook page.
Facebook users passionate about a particular topic asked can “follow” the topic and be notified about new votes. Like most things on Facebook, questions can be commented on. Write-in answers are also allowed.
It is a lot easier (and typically more engaging) for people to vote on a question than to share a link they first see posted to a Facebook page. For this reason, I believe using Facebook questions should be imperative for all news organizations.
In a video announcing the news, NBC VP of News Greg Dawson described what they’re looking for as an organization that complements and expands what the local stations can do. Voice of Sandieo and the local station, for example, partner on three main features, including Fact Check. “The purpose of this is good journalism and serving the city,” Dawson says. “We wanted to do stories that are unique, that you can’t get somewhere else, that you wouldn’t necessarily get on our air, if we were doing it ourselves, or on Voice of San Diego’s website, if they were doing it themselves.”
While they don’t specifically say the applicants for the partnership need to be websites, the application makes it very clear they’re looking for already established, robust online communities by whomever is chosen. They specifically want to know about page and video views and about how much content your organization is putting out on various platforms, including specifically asking about blogs and in a separate question flat out, “How do you use social media?” It’s clear that the TV stations realize that’s how they’re going to reach people interested in these unique, untold stories.
NBC says the deadline for local non-profit, news organizations to apply is July 22. (So pass this link on to your favorite!) It wants to pick at least four other cities to launch these cooperatives in. It will be interesting to see which cities it finds an able and adept partner in, who those partners are, and whether the work there is as fruitful as what comes out of San Diego. What’s encouraging, either way, is that this is an example of a major company deciding to partner with rather than try to start-up and compete with local, home-grown news organizations.
I’m not going to open up the whole “print is dead” can of worms, but I will point to a statistic I learned from Ken Doctor’s latest piece on Nieman Lab: Print ad revenue has faced 21 consecutive quarters of decline (year over year) in the U.S. That’s saying something. So, on a lighthearted and slightly tangential note, this is a list of five projects worth buying a newspaper for — and you can do them all while you read news on your iPad.
Newspaper gift bags
Everyone knows you can wrap a gift box with newspaper, but for those of you who want to go the extra mile, newspaper gift bags are an adorable and fun little treat, especially when the gift is coming from a journalist. Said bags would be ideal for newsroom gift exchanges, the birthday of a journalist, or even as a desk decoration. Jessica Jones, a designer who blogs at How About Orange, has the step-by-step guide. Read more