Category Archives: Social networking

News About Jobs News, Facebook Tips, Happy Birthday Roanoke

Some thoughts and tips for editors, with short urls included to make sharing easier.

Jobless Rate

New unemployment numbers come out on Friday, Dec. 2. Early in the week, economists polled by Reuters said they expect employers to have added 122,000 new jobs, up from the 80,000 jobs added in October. To keep pace with population growth, about 150,000 net new jobs are needed each month.

A positive number on Friday could continue to help push stock prices higher. A worse-than-expected showing can dampen the post-Thanksgiving rally.

Retailers are adding about 600,000 jobs around the country: 9 Companies Hiring for the Holidays – TheStreet Continue reading


Leave a comment

Filed under Social networking

Buy Nothing or Seek Bargains: Ready for Black Friday

Tips for editors, short url’s included to promote sharing.

The group that provided the idea for the Occupy Wall Street movement is also taking aim at shopping with an annual promotion for what it calls Buy Nothing Day:  | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters This will be the 20th year that the Adbusters group has run its Buy Nothing campaign on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and an annual festival of sales kicking off the holiday shopping season.

Background on the editors of the Canadian magazine Adbusters: Kalle Lasn and Micah White, the Creators of Occupy Wall Street: The New Yorker

Another group of people is also protesting the extraordinary overnight shopping hours and the sales that in some cases will start at 10 PM on Thanksgiving Day. A petition started by one Target worker in Omaha, Neb., now has 130,000 names on it. Many retail workers and their families don’t want their holiday interrupted: Retail backlash over Thanksgiving night openings Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Crowd sourcing, Current Affairs, Social networking

Phoenix Jones, Open Newsroom, Scanning Photos: Tips for Editors

Prompt of the Day
Does your town need a superhero to fight crime? Make a reference to Phoenix Jones, the self-styled superhero arrested in a paper spray incident in Seattle. Jones's names is at the top of the Google hot search list early Tuesday morning. Here's the rest of the round up of editor tips (short url's includede to make sharing easier).

Open newsroom
Call it budget, sked or newslist – when newsrooms turn process into product and plan in the open, everyone wins: The Guardian has started publishing its news budget on the web, letting readers in on the process. From Dan Roberts, a Guardian editor – Have Your Say:

What if all those experts who delight in telling us what's wrong with our stories after they've been published could be enlisted into giving us more clues beforehand? What if the process of working out what to investigate actually becomes part of the news itself?
It might seem a minority pursuit, but the experience of covering breaking news already suggests otherwise. Like many websites, we are discovering some of our best-read stories are the live blogs that report events as they unfold, often with brutal honesty about what we don't know or hope to find out.

What do we learn? The Guardian business news desk is kicking of the earnings season with a report on Alcoa's earnings and a politician's plan to crackdown on internet porn will be subject to a "reality check." It turns out the hidden plans of a newsroom gain nothing by being kept private.

In praising this step, Matthew Ingram of GigaOm (Memo to Newspapers: Let Your Readers Inside the Wall) says the time for secrecy is over: "Either newspapers develop a more balanced relationship with the people formerly known as the audience, by allowing them to contribute to the process, or they will find their audience has gone elsewhere."

Value of Photos — From Your Archives, From the Police
In Conway, Ark., the Log Cabin Democrat has been scanning and publishing 5,000 photos a month. It organized them into what it calls the Conwaypedia. Another initiative from this Morris newspaper is Faulkner County Booked, which is attracting 300,000 pageviews a month.
These steps are part of the Morris drive to put digital first. A Morris exec, Derek May, posted this more detailed explanation of what the company is doing in an attempt to reverse a 40% drop in revenue and a 75% drop in profits over five years.
Digital first might have a familiar ring: Digital First, of course is the holding company for the JRC and MediaNews Group newspapers, from San Jose to New Haven.
It's also the rallying cry in papers from Seattle to Wichita:
In Seattle Times’ new digital-first newsroom, roles change to ‘creation, curation, community’ | Poynter.
Wichita Eagle: Testing a new organizational model for a digital-first newsroom | Knight Digital Media Center
Making the most of every frame captured by staff photographers and your readers keeps readers engaged. When my hometown paper published a gallery showing the opening of a new fire station, our family was delighted to find this photo of my father: Photo Gallery: Canton's New Fire Station -  One tip: allow readers to add caption material.

Pumpkins, Unicef and Pet Costumes: Halloween Ideas
Who runs the pumpkin contest in your market? Size matters: 1,704-pound pumpkin earns CA farmer $10,224 in Pumpkin Weigh-off prize money:

Unicef Halloween drive is a good peg for a prompt: Are you donating to Unicef this year?
UNICEF's Little Orange Box Goes Digital This Halloween

Favorite pet costumes: has a pet costume roundup:

Have you brainstormed your Halloween coverage plan? Have you been inspired by the Guardian to publish a list of stories your have in the works?

Leave a comment

Filed under Crowd sourcing, Current Affairs, Hyper-local, Social networking

Living Legends, Lessons From a Postal Stamp Prompt

Who in your area should be on a stamp?

What's the point of of questioning the audience? In your newsroom, when you ask a question across your site and social media platforms, do you have a metric for success? Is it 20 responses? 200? Somewhere in between? 

Do you know what brings more responses — time of day, wording of question, amplification by repeating across platforms? Is someone in charge of keeping track of what works and what doesn't and issuing guidance?

If you typically ask one question a day and generate 100 comments or responses a week, what can you do to increase that by a factor of 10? Who in the newsroom has suggestions for steps to take that might make that much of a difference?

Asking a question is not a resource issue — it takes two minutes to go to Facebook and ask "what should we cover today?" or "how are we doing?" 

It does take a few more minutes to monitor your activity and make adjustments so that week by week you engage more readers.

The Objective A highly engaged audience that is regularly creating content, a newsroom that initiates discussion, readers who react to news by spending time with your brand. 

Measures of Success Comments, likes, clicks, page views, new questions, discussion threads — and journalists who repurpose those discussions into articles or posts for a website or a print product.

Who's doing it well? Here's some evidence from a postal prompt about what works and what doesn't. If you have not asked a "who should be on a stamp" question, today is a good day. (Short url's included to ease sharing.)

The Indianapolis Star in one day had 17 Facebook likes and about 80 comments on a survey: who from Indiana should be on a stamp? Who will it be? Time for Indiana living legend on postage stamp | Note the large photo of a favorite son.

The AP asked on Facebook and received 96 comments in the first day: They amplified the request with a Twitter prompt that did two important things: directed people to Facebook and seeded the question with some possible answers from top names trending on Google search: Twitter / @AP: Interesting ideas of who belongs on a stamp — Wangari Maathai? Chuck Norris? — are on our Facebook page AP tweet to 500,000 followers had two dozen retweets:

The Tennessean asked on its site and across social media feeds for local living legends worth featuring on a stamp. From the managing editor's Twitter feed @megdowney: I vote John Seigenthaler. @Tennessean. Which living TN legend would you want to see on a stamp?

Seeding the conversation with a few names seems to work. The Des Moines Register drew 50 comments on Facebook on the first day with this prompt:What living Iowan should be on a stamp? The U.S. Postal Service has changed the rules to allow living people to be honored on postage stamps. So — who would be your Iowa choice? (Around the newsroom, suggestions included Hayden Fry, Slipknot, Fred Hoiberg, Shawn Johnson and Captain James T. Kirk.)

A post on the Register's site had a bold call out asking readers to go to the Facebook page to answer: Who do you think should be first living Iowan on a stamp? |

Lauren Wilbert List, a community producer for the Times-Picayune website,, received more than 20 comments when she asked the question: Which living person would you like to see on a stamp?

The LA Times fashion writer set up a survey: Poll: Which living face of fashion belongs on a U.S. stamp? –

There were 89 comments in a day and a half on this Florida news site, and note that the writer included an email address for readers who wanted to add a suggestion without leaving a comment. Does that mean there will be a followup? What living American would you like to see on a stamp? Let us know – St. Petersburg Times

How many news organizations will do more than just collect a few comments? The Postal Service is inviting official submissions. Here are the official stamp criteria from the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee

This is an opportunity to keep the conversation going, to solicit a list of names, to put out a poll, to narrow the list to the top five, to formally submit the names on behalf of your audience, and to report back the status of the request. The requests can be segmented by geography or topic area: who would be your metro area choice? your state choice? who would be your choice from among local sports stars? fashion stars? business stars? civic leaders? entertainers?

Each one of those points is an opportunity for deeper audience engagement. 

What is working for you? 

Leave a comment

Filed under Business models, Crowd sourcing, Social networking, User-generated content

Fall Splendor, Obama and Schools, Heirloom Veggies, Crowdsourcing

Some ideas for social media prompts from newsrooms. Short url's included to make sharing easier.

Fall Welcome

It's fall and these first days of the season are a good time to ask your audience a related question. In Nashville, the paper put together a list and asked for more suggestions:

On Twitter / @karenleeryan: 20 things to love about fall — what is on your list?

On Facebook 20 things we love about fall

President's Back-to-School speech

On Wednesday, President Obama continues his annual practice of presenting a back-to-school speech. His focus has been personal responsibility. Every year, schools discuss if this is a government event that everyone should watch or a political event. Here we go again: Teachers decide whether students can watch Obama’s school speech | The Jamestown Sun |

Will classrooms in your area be tuned to the speech?

From the 2010 Obama school speech (in Philadelphia): "But you’ve got a job, too.  You’ve got to show up to school on time.  You’ve got to pay attention in your class.  You’ve got to do your homework.  You’ve got to study for exams." –

From the 2009 Obama school speech (in Arlington): "none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities, unless you show up to those schools, unless you pay attention to those teachers, unless you listen to your parents and grandparents and other adults and put in the hard work it takes to succeed." -

Harvest time

Are you running a best harvest contest? Asking readers for photos of giant squash? Helping your audience make plans for next year? Today, Sothebys is running an auction of heirloom vegetables – kale, squash and cabbage:

Are their heirloom garden growers in your area? How are they saving their seeds for next year? What are some favorite meals and recipes that use the harvests?

The Future is Here

Jon Dube summed up the ONA meeting in Boston: Highlights from the 2011 Online News Association conference |

A key point: the future is here (even if it is unevenly distributed). Jon's report includes a great set of links to more resources. "Users rule the web" is his version of John Paton's "How the Crowd Saved Our Company," which includes this: "The Crowd collectively knows more about any subject, city or event we choose to cover than we do." —

Every suggested prompt I send out is a recognition 1. that the crowd is already engaged in a vibrant conversation about important topics and 2. that you can extend and amplify that discussion on your platform under your brand.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crowd sourcing, Social networking

Facebook Friday: Tips for Editors and Reporters

Facebook changes The FB world changed this week for you and your readers. The changes are a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to fully understand how to use the extended tool set to serve your community. The immediate opportunity is to be the trusted guide for your readers as they work to understand the changes.

Here are a few tips on some of the new features and on some tried and true tactics for encouraging reader interaction on your page. Short url's include to ease sharing.

Reassurance One of the best comments I saw was not from a media brand, but from a solar power company that I follow because our son Carter works there: @StionSolar tweeted this note about FB:

Facebook has changed it up again, but don't worry the Stion Solar facebook page is still there- check it out

Have you sent a similarly reassuring message to your readers?

How are we doing? A good prompt is a simple prompt: What can we do better to help you? See this from The Daily Pelham: Put it on a schedule that works for you — once a week, once a month — and keep asking. When readers know the door is open, they will enter the room and join the conversation.

Music, Timeline, More Mashable, the social media news site, posted this guide on Thursday: Facebook Changes Again: Everything You Need To Know

Facebook Poll Do you readers like the changes or hate them? Facebook's journalism program manager posted his own poll: Pay tribute to Vadim and run a poll on your Facebook page.

Sports results 46 likes on a Saturday night? Upbeat or downcast, sports news rings reader bells. From the Morning Call, a FB prompt that drew immediate response: The Phillies have captured their fifth straight NL East title with 9-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. More soon at!

History prompt Do you know an interesting tip about Wilton's past?

Local dining We want your pizza stories and memories

Subscribe? Will my fans still "like" me? A quick guide to what it means to subscribe to a Facebook feed, along with a list of people and blogs providing strong news coverage through their Facebook feeds: Want to keep up…

You can compile lists of people you follow, grouped in various categories. Facebook explains: Creating a Subscriptions List

Beyond FB: Jobs Many newsrooms are smaller. Many media company tech shops are growing. To build a career you should know the basics of journalism — verification, accuracy, clarity. To build a brand, more media executives realize you also need developers. See these postings: News Developer Jobs – Google Docs

Is your company building these teams? How can you make sure your brand isn't left behind?


Leave a comment

Filed under Social networking

Using LinkedIn to Find Stories: Examples Worth Studying

Hewlett-Packard Shows Hazard of Sharing LinkedIn Profiles: Tech – Bloomberg

There are important lessons for journalists in this Bloomberg piece about company security and LinkedIn.

The lead is about an H-P exec, Scott McClellan, who mentioned a new Web-storage initiative in his profile on LinkedIn, revealing previously undisclosed details of Hewlett-Packard’s cloud-computing services. This Bloomberg piece notes the importance of this profile information to competitors and investors. It's also important to beat reporters.

The article quotes Abhilash Sonwane, senior vice president of product management at an Indian cybersecurity firm, Cyberoam, who did a study of social media disclosures by employees at dozens of companies and found signs at one company of a slowdown in orders:

A few months later, a vice president wrote in a LinkedIn status update that he was looking for a new job. When his followers asked why, he responded that the company was about to file for bankruptcy — which it did less than six months later, Sonwane said. He declined to identify any of the companies in the study.

Important for competitors, investors — and reporters who follow the industry.

A local reporter with a geographic beat would be smart to follow the companies and other institutions that have an impact on that beat — a large employer, a hospital — and the executives who are in charge.

ESPN examined a LinkedIn profile of a person in the news and found revealing details. The subject of the article, Ken Caldwell, was a central figure in an investigation into possible recruiting violations. Caldwell told reporters that he did no recruiting. From the article: Ken Caldwell investigated for ties to UCF recruiting, securing commitments – ESPN

On a LinkedIn profile, Caldwell claimed to be a "recruiter [of] NBA players at ASM Sports management" — Andy Miller's agency. Purnell also said Caldwell identified himself within the last year as working for Miller.Caldwell denied presenting himself as an associate of Miller's and says he makes his living as a realtor. When asked about his LinkedIn profile, he said, repeatedly, "It means nothing." On Thursday, the LinkedIn profile had been taken down.

For at least four years, reporters have used LinkedIn to find sources and ask questions. The best way to learn more about how to use LinkedIn, including advanced search tips, is to sign up for Krista Canfield's training sessions.

The next LinkedIn for Journalists training is on Monday, October 10 at 2 pm PT (CA time) / 5 pm ET (NY time). | LinkedIn


Leave a comment

Filed under Social networking