WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Fri - 31.10.2014


Web 2.0

A few days ago, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson switched the name of his official Twitter account @MayorofLondon to @Boris Johnson, just at the start of the formal election period and his re-election campaign. This provoked heated accusations that he had hijacked the official account by transferring the 253,144 followers tracking the activities of the London mayor's office to his re-election campaign, reported the Guardian.

In fact, when someone changes his or her Twitter handle (the @name associated with the account), all the other profile information – followers and following – remains the same.

The electoral debate aside, the Guardian took the opportunity to reflect on the nature of social media identities and the “ownership” of journalists’ Twitter accounts.

The case have some journalistic precedents for example the episode when Laura Kuenssberg, formerly the BBC’s chief political correspondent, moved to become ITV business editor, and transferred her 60,000 followers to her new account.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-03-22 18:20

Many news organisations, particularly in the US, are investing time and resources in their social media strategies: both how to attract more readers, and how to engage with them more deeply. The latest Pew Research Center report on The State of the News Media in the United States found, however, that the role of social media in directing traffic to news sites was not as large as previously imagined. Nine per cent of Americans ‘very often’ follow news recommendations from Facebook or Twitter, either on computers or mobile devices.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-03-19 16:48

According to the 2012 annual State of News Media report, more Americans than ever own and receive news from smartphones and tablet computers, the Pew Research Center reported.

A survey of 3,000 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that 44% of people over 18 now own a smartphone, while 18% of adults own tablets—a 50% increase in tablet usage from the summer of 2011.

The survey found that, of the majority of Americans who own a desktop or laptop computer, more than half also own a smartphone. In addition, it found that almost a third of smartphone owners also own a tablet. Overall, 13% of the adults surveyed owned all three devices.

 

The survey also asked participants about their smartphone and tablet behaviors, discovering that about half of smartphone owners and more than half of tablet owners use their respective devices to get digital news.

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-03-19 15:34

A 30-minute video advocacy campaign exposing Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony got viral last week on the web reaching 17 million views on Vimeo and about 80 million views on YouTube.

The Kony 2012 video, realised by Invisible Children, generated a huge debate, amongst others, about how to conduct an advocacy campaign, how to cover complex issues trying to reach a wide audience or how to report on Uganda problems.

From a journalistic point of view, what was most interesting is how the video went viral so quickly thanks to the role of social media and online sharing.

An article on Forbes illustrated the 12 lessons we can learn from the video about how powerful social media can be in aiming for social changes.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project published a survey about the role social media played amongst young people, ages 18-29, in sharing the video. It was based on telephone interviews conducted 9-11 March 2012, among a national sample of 814 adults 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States, the report says.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-03-16 18:52

Liz Heron, a key social media editor at The New York Times, is moving to the Wall Street Journal to take up the position of director of social media and engagement for the WSJ Digital Network.

 “In this pivotal role, Liz will lead a growing team that will be ever more focused on deepening the engagement we have with existing readers globally, as well as expanding our audiences, both on our own platforms as well as in social media,” said Raju Narisetti, WSJ’s managing editor for digital, in a memo reproduced on Capital New York.

Heron also announced her move on her Facebook page, where she has more than 380,000 subscribers. In a later update, in response to those who have asked if there will be a war between the two papers over her subscribers, she said that “The Times is too enlightened for that.” Nobody can “own” Facebook subscribers, she continued, adding that she hoped her fans will stick with her but that she has already suggested plenty of other NYT journalists to follow if they prefer.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-03-16 17:53

News.me has launched a new bookmark tool called Exposé, which it calls “your social editor-in-chief.” When a user visits a news site, they can click on a bookmark and Exposé will show them any articles from that site that their friends have recommended on Twitter.

“Front page editors at major publishers like the New York Times and the New Yorker are masters at laying out content on their homepages, and the recommendations implicit in that layout are incredibly valuable,” write the founders of News.me on their site. “But more and more, we’re learning that recommendations from our friends can be just as useful,” they continue.

News.me already has apps for the iPhone and iPad and a daily email service, all of which deliver the stories shared most by the users’ friends on Twitter and Facebook. The interesting aspects of the new Exposé tool are that it easily allows users to check out just their favourite sites, and it is integrated into their browsing experience. It provides a link to the article and quotes the relevant tweet, so it is immediately clear to a user exactly what their friends have been saying about it.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-03-13 16:38

Yesterday, Twitter announced its acquisition of blogging platform Posterous Spaces, a move which could have interesting consequences for online sharing.

“Today we are welcoming a very talented group from Posterous to Twitter,” stated a Twitter news blog post. “This team has built an innovative product that makes sharing across the web and mobile devices simple—a goal we share.”

Posterous, which allows users to upload blog posts, photos or videos by sending an email, simplifies online sharing and cross-blogging for the tech-averse, as previously reported by Poynter. Co-founded by CEO Sachin Agarwal and Garry Tan in 2008, Posterous also allows users to post on-the-go via mobile phones, which can help bloggers share news-worthy information faster than a traditional blogging platform.

In a blog post, the Posterous team expressed its approval of the acquisition, citing the two companies’ common interests in simplifying the sharing process for users.

Author

Gianna Walton's picture

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-03-13 14:03

Al Jazeera has launched a video campaign to teach people how to use Twitter and Facebook, with the ultimate aim of empowering them as citizen journalists.

The Qatar-based news organisation has started a new YouTube Channel named Al Jazeera Unplugged to distribute videos, teaching users the basics of social networking. 

For the moment, the information is very basic indeed. “Twitter is a website where people can send and receive ultra-short messages called Tweets,” begins one clip.

Users might question the wisdom of running an educational campaign about how to use social media on a social media platform – surely most people who are on YouTube already know how to use Facebook?

Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-03-09 17:04

Facebook’s newest feature allows users to create special sections or feeds for specific topics via ‘lists’ in a new Interests section. “Interest lists can help you turn Facebook into your own personalized newspaper,” says Eric Faller, a Facebook software engineer, on the company’s site.

The new tool can be used much like Twitter lists: anyone can create a list on a specific topic and others can subscribe to it, if the creator chooses to make it public, or visible to his or her Facebook friends. Creating a list from pages or people who you already follow is straightforward, and Facebook then suggests other organisations and people who you might want to add to it. Only the creator can edit the list.

Lists are accessible in an Interests section to the left of the newsfeed. The most popular stories from lists you subscribe to will also be shown in your main newsfeed, reported TechCrunch. Facebook gives a couple of examples of lists created by its staff: NFL Teams and 2012 US Presidential Candidates.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-03-09 14:36

A video shows the terrible havoc a Ugandan warlord inflicts on his country and on his army of child soldiers-turned-slaves. In a few days it goes massively viral online with 14.4m views on Vimeo and more than 49m on YouTube at the time of writing.

It is spread via Facebook and Twitter, where suddenly it's a top trending topic.

It is a perfect example of the viral power of the Web, especially when it comes to making the public aware of sensitive issues. But criticism has started to arise about the accuracy of the information contained in the documentary, which has cast a shadow on the story.

The video in question is “KONY 2012”, a film campaign created by the non-profit group Invisible Children with the aim of raising international attention on the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, leader of the rebel called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and gathering wide public support for his arrest following his indictment by the International Criminal Court in 2005.

With this roughly 30-minute-long video, Invisible Children wants to make Kony “famous” to keep pressure on US policymakers to ensure US don’t withdraw their support after President Obama authorised the deployment of 100 US army advisers to help the Ugandan military track down Kony last October.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-03-09 14:26

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