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Posts Tagged ‘news’

WatchUp: ‘Video Centric News Reader’ Relaunches With New Features

As if you needed another way to waste time, WatchUp, an app that aggregates news video content has relaunched with new partnerships, a redesign, and new features.

It’s worth a download, especially if you consider news consumption to be anything but a way to waste time.

Founder Adriano Farano, a self proclaimed ‘digital dinosaur’ who helped found Cafe Babel, calls the app a “video centric news reader” focused on setting a new standard for the news experience on the iPad:

It’s no joke… There are many video aggregators but none that focus solely on the news. We offer all that comes with the immersive experience of video, and a chance to read print articles.

He’s talking about the new Watch and Read feature, which allows you to choose to ‘lean in,’ he says, if something is particularly of interest and click on links to related articles from around the web for context.

Read more

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Survey: People Aren’t News Reading; They’re ‘News Snacking’ [Infographic]

infographicMobiles Republic, a global news syndication company, recently released the results from its 2013 survey of news reading habits.

The study, based off the responses of over 8,000 of its News Republic® app users, indicates that news consumption is rising; as the number of news outlets grows, so do readers’ appetites for accurate, multi-sourced and fresh news.

Here are key takeaways and the full infographic:

People are checking the news more frequently and for shorter amounts of time.

Forget news reading. Today, it’s all about “news snacking,” meaning people are checking the news more often and typically on mobile devices. 75 percent of readers with smartphones and 70 percent with tablets check the news more than once a day. Read more

Upworthy Shares Memes That Make You Think, Not Just Laugh

There’s more to the Internet than LOLcats and dating sites. Sometimes surfing the Internet feels like swimming in an ocean of viral videos and vitriol. I’d like to say news sites are a tropical island in the middle, but too often they promote or fuel the storms. That’s why, Upworthy, seems refreshing and, well, worthy of sharing.

It’s premise? Find the things worth sharing and make those viral. The site, which David Carr of the New York Times profiled this week (Two Guys Made a Web Site, and This Is What They Got), makes no bones that it has an agenda — so while you may not lean as left as the founders appear to — the idea of making things worth knowing as shareable and visual as an Oatmeal comic, animated GIF or LOL cat is nice.

From Carr’s piece, because he explains it better than I can:

“Upworthy, a news aggregation site that began publishing on March 26, is serious news built for a spreadable age, with super clicky headlines and a visually oriented user interface. Eli Pariser, the former executive director of MoveOn.org, and Peter Koechley, a former managing editor of The Onion who also worked at MoveOn, noticed that much of the media that gets shared online is built on cute animals and dumb humans that are good for a laugh, but not much else.”

Or from UpWorthy’s site a, what else, graphical representation of what they’re trying to do:

 

By applying the same sorts of visual pow, social media acrobatics and SEO-friendly tactics news sites, and every site worth its salt online, tries to employ, the site attempts to make things that matter easy and fun to share. That gives you venn diagrams like the one above and headlines that beg to be clicked through, such as What Does Congress Spend Half Of Its Time On? (an infographic look at the fundraising necessary to run for office these days); Yes, Facebook Will Be On The Final Exam (another infographic, but about a new study on how time on Facebook doesn’t necessarily cause less study time); and Smoking Does WHAT To Your Breasts? 5 More Reasons Not To Smoke (a video describing reasons beyond the whole lung cancer thing not to light up).

It will be interesting to see how the site grows and what other innovative ways they find to promote causes or need-to-know information. Already it’s gaining followers, and judging from its Facebook wall, plenty of likes/shares. As a journalist trying to produce serious work (but with a soft spot for animal memes), I appreciate the attempt to raise the profile of stories, videos and graphics that make me think, not just laugh.

Infographic: How Social Media Wins At Breaking News

Here’s some lunch-time fodder to consider. How reliant are you on social media to keep up on the latest news? How has this changed for you in the past decade?

To put this in perspective, think about this:

  • On September 11, 2001, how did you hear about the World Trade Center attacks? For those in New York and D.C., how did you connect with your loved ones to let them know you were OK? For everyone else, how did you show your support? Chances are you watched the towers fall on TV, read the full story in the next edition of the newspaper and grabbed a copy of a news weekly that week, which you perhaps hung on to as a moment in history. Likely, as well, you talked to your family and friends in person or over the phone if you could get through. It definitely wasn’t via Twitter of Facebook, neither had been invented yet.
  • On May 1, 2011, how did you hear about the death of Osama Bin Laden? (Or before that, about President Barack Obama’s planned press conference announcing the death?) Chances are good you heard about it on Twitter or Facebook, or from someone who heard about it from some sort of social media.
  • While both the old and new media clearly have a role in telling news stories (and especially the stories behind the news) today, social media has clearly become the way to find and share breaking news for a large portion of the population. This infographic from Schools.com uses info from a variety of sources, including the Pew Research Center’s recent report on “What Facebook and Twitter Mean For News“, to pretty aptly cover some of the seismic shifts taking place in the news industry, in particular how consumers receive their news.

    This graphic tips at, but doesn’t seek to explain the bigger problem: Trust. With news spreading so swiftly, it’s hard to discern fact from fascination when people eager to break news share it before verifying it. But that’s a question that needs answered another day.

    Here’s the full graphic: Read more

    Tips to integrate hashtags into daily news coverage

    I may be dating myself here, but I remember when Twitter didn’t automatically link @usernames and when #hashtag was a workaround to make disjointed streams of updates easier to find in their clunky search engine.

    Well, Twitter has done a good job of integrating those ideas of its users to make the service what it is today. Why shouldn’t news organizations do the same and take the best ideas from their readers and viewers? One great way to gather their feedback and ideas is to integrate hashtags into your coverage. Here’s a few tips on doing that:

    1. Have a standard hashtag for your news organization’s daily coverage. It could be #nyt or #cnntv or it could #[city]news or whatever it is (shorter is better) that is easy to remember and relatively easy for Twitter users to identify. Make sure it’s not already in use by someone else — unless they’re talking about your content. Don’t re-invent the wheel: If your community is already using a hashtag to link to your work, latch on and adopt it! Refer to this often in on air, in print and online so people start to associate that hashtag with your brand and your content. Encourage readers to use this tag when they mention your stories or when they have reaction to, questions about or tips for your coverage. Ask your reporters and staff to include the tag on their updates. That way, there is one stream of information you can send readers to for on-going updates without having to follow dozens or more accounts. The top news should make it there, and user story suggestions get that tag. Read more

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