Things You May Not Know about Facebook

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We all think we know about Facebook right? Wrong. There are many things that I learned about Facebook while listening to group presentations in my Digital Video and Production class. As a journalist, it is important to understand the relationship between social media sites in the digital age. With so many online users, sites like Facebook make it easier for companies to find their targeted audiences.

As I’m sure you know, Facebook is one of the few social media sites that dominate the Web. Five college students who attended Harvard University launched Facebook on February 4, 2004. One of the most renowned figures from the group is the one and only, Mark Zuckerberg. Interestingly enough, the Winklevoss brothers, twin brothers who also attended Harvard, sued Zuckerberg in 2004 for allegedly stealing their idea. The two brothers claimed that their idea was called “ConnectU,” which essentially had the same concept as Facebook. Despite being sued for $64 million, Zuckerburg was still able to continue as the head of Facebook.

In 2007, Facebook had an estimate of 12 million users by the end of the year. As the years continued, Facebook went from 58 million years in 2008 to 360 million by the end of 2009. Although Facebook started out as a site only accessible to college students, there are now an enormous variety of age groups who are users. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook interaction ranges from ages 18 to 65. With the digital age revolutionizing the way people interact, there’s no surprise that there is no specific age group that uses social media.

Things You May Not Know about Twitter

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Twitter is an online social media site that has connected millions of users worldwide. Essentially, Twitter is a social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Just like many other social media platforms, Twitter is a way for people to express themselves through their everyday life. Throughout this post, I will be discussing many of the attributes, as well as facts that I have learned about Twitter from my classmate’s presentation.

Twitter was brought into the world on March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass. After “working out the kinks,” the creators decided it was time to release the product. After a couple of months, Twitter was released to the public on July 15th, 2006. It started off with about 400,000 tweets a day, and over the years has grown to about 250 million tweets a day. Twitter has also done great things besides connect users all around the world. With that being said, Twitter has raised about 1.6 billion dollars through online presence alone.

One of the many important tools on Twitter is “hashtags.” Hashtags are keywords and phrases that are embedded within a photo. When searching for a particular image or recording, users type in keywords in the search bar, hence, the usage and functions of hashtags. This is great to use for engaging with various consumers, as well as great for finding particular types of users. Businesses have begun to be more active with Twitter because they see how great of a tool it is in gaining potential profit.

Building a Digital Audience (Ch. 11)

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In Chapter 11, Briggs shares his insights on how to build an online audience for news. He first starts off by illustrating how important it is to analyze search engines and other social media tools. Also, your title tag and description in your online posts help to attract potential audiences. Throughout the chapter, Briggs breaks down the fundamentals into content tracking, web analytics, search engine optimization, effective headline writing for the Web, Distribution through social media.

“Developing a culture and processes to track and measure you work product is essential to competing in this date-driven world(Briggs 296). According to Briggs, the easiest way to track what you publish is through a Web-based spreadsheet. The purpose of tracking content is to create “benchmarks“. After you start it is wise to begin with with simple stories and videos in order to find out exactly is is you want to publish. Using web analytics software, you can use a Web-based dashboard panel. Key points to identify is page views, visits and unique visitors compared, and engagement. Also by using search engines, to understand how they work, you must optimize your Web content. Likewise, to optimize Web content properly, you want to make sure Web content is found through search engines. According to Briggs, during the past decade, Google is the dominant search engine because of the techniques it uses to establish relevance.

More importantly, it is an advantage to have your search engine show up in the first ten pages. Briggs explains that many sites receive as much as two-thirds of their Web traffic from search engines. The words used to type in the search engine are called “keywords.” Ultimately, if you publish stories online, the search engine will display links based on the subjects keywords.Using search engine optimization primarily helps others find your Web pages, based on the words typed into a search engine. Content and links work together to provide growth amongst your given audience. You then use these links to create Title tags and HTML meta tags. Lastly, it is important for news sites to place considerable thought and time into writing a headline. According to Briggs, “on average, eight out of 10 people will read a headline, but only two out of 10 will read the rest of the piece” (Briggs 308). It is important to understand that headlines can either hurt or attract your potential number of viewers.

Lastly, the top priorities of Web publishing online across the Web is distribution. Targeting specific channels like blogs, social media site, and sites that stream video content are a great way to distribute information. By adequately participating in multiple channels, a news station can earn social capital. Also, by further communicating with your audiences, you are helping generate a better customer-consumer relationship amongst readers.

Understanding News as a Conversation

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In Chapter 10 of JorunalismNEXT, we began to touch on how the constant growth in technology has increased the speed of communication. With technology always evolving we find easier ways to relay news to the public, as well as find faster way to receive necessary feedback and options from viewers. In today’s time, it is important that we use technological and human resources to help cultivate constructive conversations. Briggs gives further insight on managing news as a conversation through social network and other media platforms.

According to Briggs, making conversation with your readers is great for building better relationships and gaining loyal viewers. When you give your audiences the chance to be apart of the news process, it makes it easier for them to identify with your news brand. For starters, you should answer all questions asked by your readers, address criticism, and always share good responses. In addition, it is important to converse through comments left by your readers. Ultimately, the amount of interaction that is given to an online news story by the writer will help create more intimate discussions online.

Moving further into chapter 10, we see that social media offers many benefits to news as a conversation it helps create awareness through word-of-mouth, it enables a much faster pace of feedback, and it helps create transparency in the reporting process. Conversation within news is important because your audience often discovers information and gives story tips, as well as share links to your post. Reporter Dan Gillmor even stated, “my audience knows more than I do (Briggs 271). With that being said, engaging in conversations can be used as a very important tool for instances such as your news gathering process.

When building and managing your online community, there should always be a priority to make your news participatory. The more that journalist gets involved, the more that your online community will want to participate. Acknowledging those who participate in your posts and conversations will help spread your content. Lastly, as journalists we should always remember to be aware of our many resources. Lastly, spend more time investing in an online community with loyal and anxious readers.

Going Mobile ( Chapter 5 – Briggs)

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In chapter 5 of JournalismNEXT, Briggs talks about the evolution of journalism through mobile capabilities and technology. Throughout the reading, we are introduced to the newly developed uses of mobile journalism. In addition, Briggs provides information on the equipment needed for mobile reporting, how to use mobile publishing services, and how mobile reporting correlates with various professional news organizations.

Mobile reporting was bound to happen, simply because it is entirely too convenient. With the constant increase in freelance bloggers and journalist, there is also a rise in mobile reporting. According to a report from the American Life Project, about half of Americans of all ages own smartphones. Ultimately, this means that any number of people could randomly see and record a newsworthy event. This is great for professional journalists or other news outlets, because footage can be made useful without having to actually go out in the field.

Technology has gotten so advanced that according to Briggs, it is possible to do all of your mobile reporting with one device. With a smartphone one is able to record, take photos, and publish to the Web in an instant. Briggs believes that mobile reporting is best done for criminal and civil trials, important speeches and announcements, breaking news events, public gatherings, and sporting events. As you can see, there are numerous options available for mobilized reporting. Likewise, advantages consist of having little to no equipment to carry, as well as quick publishing of the regarded material.

“It is important to remember, however, that the journalism should come first, the technology second” (Briggs 121).  Continuing through the chapter, Briggs discusses the evolution of journalism through mobile capabilities and technology. It is important to understand that mobile reporting cannot replace traditional journalism. In essence, mobile reporting is only a means to an end, a tool if you will. An example would be to use mobile reporting to help you make mental notes, are publish live footage. With the Internet constantly evolving, we also can see a shift in social media uses and consumption. With that being said, micro-blogging and mobile reporting work hand and hand. Sites like Twitter and Tumblr, are great for posting snippets of a news story. As a result, once you have caught your audiences’ attention, they are likely to click on your post in order to find the full-length story.

According to publisher, Paul Bradshaw, mobile reporting gives journalists the opportunity to physically be where the events are actually happening .Also, the more mobile reporting that is done, the easier it is to inform and connect people from across the globe. In addition, mobile reporting creates an easy accessible way for gathering news stories, and sources. Lastly, mobile reporting is an important attribute that continues to grow throughout the world and should be adequately utilized.

Micro-blogging

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In chapter 4, we are introduced to the world of micro-blogging and its attributes. While reading through this chapter I was able to learn about why micro-blogging is important, and how I can use it as a tool for success. Briggs adequately presents his views on micro-blogging and its uses through popular sites like Twitter.

What is micro-blogging? According to Briggs, micro-blogging is a service that creates ways for users to publish brief messages (usually 140 characters or less) with links to other media sites. An example of this is like posting a link to your favorite song on Facebook. You’re able to not only post your song link, but you can also write something about it. The idea of “ambient awareness” or “ambient intimacy,” is one that is centered on the ability to maintain a connection with someone without a phone or email.

Contrary to belief, there are many professionals that consider Twitter as a useful tool. For journalist, the main benefits of micro-blogging are learning about your audiences. With learning more about “the people,” you are able to somewhat better understand their preferences and dislikes. Briggs also explains that micro-blogging is a great way for professional journalist to gain feedback on their work. Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb, even provided his opinion by discussing how micro-blogging is great for performing public interviews. This tool is one that helps build community, spread breaking news, and market brands.

Lastly, micro-blogging is a great resource that journalist can use to build their following. In addition, this tool can be used to help track down other sources and stories that are constantly streaming online. There is an enormous community that exists on the Web, and these individuals are always searching for something that catches their attention. As a result of micro-blogging, even local news is considered world news due to social platforms.

Chapter 3 Briggs

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According to Briggs, Chapter 3 is about using technology as a way to knock down the many obstacles journalist goes through everyday, and with technology comes more news reporting methods. In Chapter 3, Briggs begins to go more in depth about crowdsourcing, open-source reporting, and pro-am journalism

Crowdsourcing focuses on obtaining information and ideas from a large group of individuals in order to solve any number of questions or problems. In journalism, crowdsourcing helps to unravel solutions by answering specific issues or questions to improve a service or idea. Sites like “Talking Points Memo,” and “Public Insight Network,” have thousands of people that provide informational contributions to the public. This helps social platforms target different groups of people in order to solve problems. Likewise, I find it interesting that companies like Amazon.com and InnoCentive, hire people to do crowdsourcing. According to Briggs, the pay is usually low but companies provide certain tasks for freelance individuals to solve company complications.

Open-source reporting is important because it allows for audience feedback. With feedback it is possible to gain different insights and perspectives. The main purpose of open source reporting is to get viewers and readers to participate. According to Briggs, this type of reporting can provide benefits for both the reporter and the audience. The benefits being that open source reporting can open up an entire separate community of people with different opinions and useful data. As for pro-am journalism, this is journalism that is structured around the audience and them being able to publish pieces on the same social platforms that professional journalist use. The point of this is to help create a deeper line of coverage that journalist couldn’t provide on his or her own. With more people researching the story, comes much more broader results of information.

By reading Chapter 3, I was able to learn more about the different aspects of journalism and how to use them to my advantage. I have learned about using blogs for crowdsourcing, how important links are, as well as viewed examples of crowd-powered collaboration. Lastly, I learned that print is still an important source of news and is still greatly appreciated today. Over the years, newspapers have also built great relationships with their audiences and have strived to strengthen their community. As a result, Newspapers and their networks are excellent contributors to crowd-source, open source, and pro-am reporting.

Telling Stories With Video ( Briggs Chapter 8)

While reading chapter 8 I found it very informative in a number of ways. I learned about the importance of visual journalism, and the effects of incorporating video in order to convey particular emotions to the viewer. The chapter began by talking about the digital video revolution and its contribution to journalism. I found it impressive that the digital age has evolved to the point where YouTube reported in 2012, that one hour of footage is updated every second on their site. Video production on the Web has created many possibilities like jobs, entertainment, news source outlets, etc. As a result, a versatile form of journalism has been bored into the telecommunication industry.

When it comes to shooting videos there are many steps to take and consider when conducting the story structure. According to Briggs, it is extremely important to practice storyboarding, which is “a visual sketch of the story, separated into different parts so it can be organized” (Briggs 205). It is also important to be aware of the type of shots you take while shooting. Wide-angle shots, close-ups shots, and medium shots are just a few of the examples Briggs gives in chapter 8. These several shots all work together to create dynamics within the story, which essentially keeps the audience compelled. Ultimately, I found it insightful to learn about how film and journalism correlate in order to bring about a better effect when providing news.

Lastly, Briggs made it clear that good equipment is a necessary attribute in providing the best video quality. The most important piece of equipment is probably a “tripod”, which is used to get reporters the necessary static shots (still frame shots) they need when recording. Likewise, with important equipment comes important software. The software is used to provide the postproduction edits that are needed to actually create the video reel. After shooting, the software is the program that will piece all the recorded visuals together into a finalize presentation. Briggs touched on many important points throughout the chapter. As a result, I was able to learn dire information to better my understanding of journalism and its attributes.

There Are Such Things as Bad Blogs

 Good Blogs That We All Can Appreciate:

1.  Mymodernmet.com is a great blog site for those interested in art, photography  and modernizied architecture.  My reasons for categorizing this blog as a good one is simply because of its enormous online interactive community. The blog is essentially a space for users to post pictures relating to the several interests I listed earlier. For example bloggers will post pictures of vintage furniture that they may have seen while traveling to the mountains for the weekends with their partner. The most interesting thing about this is that the bloogers leave information about where they find these items, as well as occasionally leaving small video clips showing off the piece. If you happen to be a vintage connoisseur this is a large community of people who you can reach out to in order to find more items to collect. This blog is a good blog because it adequately provides readers with information, as well as leaves options for comments. In addition, it is beneficial to those who and provides a sense of “public interest”.

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– According to Briggs, ” a good blog is a continuing conversation.”

2. Another great site to check out is whowhatwhy.org . This is a blog that is centered solely on investigative reporting, specifically on controversial topics.  The site’s motto ” We don’t cover the news, we undercover the truth,” is just an example of how determined this blog is on providing its online community with information related to many concerned topics. This is a great blog because it is very informative, and to navigate. They provide great pictures that embody each individual topic, as well as provide a section under each post for users to comment. This blog is great for those who love debating, as well as communicating personal  ideas and thoughts with others across the board.

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– Briggs explains that blogs are posts that should contain links, summaries, and analytical attributes. 

There ARE Such Things as Bad Blogs:

3. Tumblr.com is not necessarily a bad blog in the sense of not being adequeatly presented, and structured. Tumblr is a great way for free users to post anything, and I mean ANYTHING. The thing about tumblr is that you can find either the things you are really searching for or the things you really are NOT looking for. Meaning that, this site contains a lot of inconsistenceies when it comes to providing users with the specific content that they are interested in looking up . This being because many of the free users put any number of tags across their photos, which causes a problem for those looking for certain types of things. If you type in the words “tennis shoes” you can easily be taken to a feed of not only tennis shoes, but gang related post, and even pornography. The point is that who ever posts these photos , may have used the words that you typed in within their tags . As long as a pornstar is wearing tennis shoes in her most recent production, there is a good chance that you may stumble upon it. It kind of makes you wonder what your 8 year-old kid might find by typing in “cat,” or  maybe even “candy”. Believe me, these types of words could possibly introduce you to a world you may not want to see. This site does not have a particular purpose, and it does not have a sole market audience, but many people love tumblr so again it is not as bad as it seems.

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4. If you are interested in finding out  gossip about your favorite celebrities, then Bossip.com is the site for you. When comparing its criteria as a blog overall, it pretty much gets a failing grade.  Bossip is a site that posts all the juicy stories of celebrities and their current issues. You can find any amount of stories about Drake and Nikki Minaj dating, to the recent stories about Bill Cosby and his sexual assault charges. The bad thing about Bossip is that they area  “rumor based” blog , so they tend to post a lot of inaccurate information. The site’s purpose is to draw readers in through entertainment, so either way the site meets its overall goal. In comparison, this site/blog is like the cheap magazines with the crappy title covers that you see on the racks in the grocery store aisle. Nonetheless many people love entertainment news and tend to spend much time on this site.  However, if you are looking for a blog with reliable information, I would not recommend Bossip.com.

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The Journey Into Digital Broadcasting

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Introduction: JournalismNEXT

While reading chapter 1 and 2, I learned many things I did not know about as far as the journalism world is concerned. Although we talked about several points in class from the “Introduction” section in the book, I still gained much insight on the evolution of journalism and its importance. Examples of the points we discussed, as well as what I read, were about the many jobs that are available for journalist in this day and age. Seeing as how the print business is a declining market, I was quite surprised to find about successful independent companies like “Voice of San Diego,” “ArtsJournal,” and “paidContent.org

Chapter 1: We Are All Digital Workers Now

Moving further into the chapter, I gained knowledge on several computer components such as “cache,” and “RSS” uses and essentials. I also found it interesting to see how modern technology like “apps,” have help innovate Internet use as well as further aid printing business’ and its transition into the digital community. This in itself is a huge contributor in creating a long-lasting relationship between consumers and their favorite magazines, and newspapers. Co-founder of Storify, Burt Herman, made a great point by explaining how for the first time in history, everybody has free access to the press through the Web. The possibilities that are presented in the virtual community are almost limitless. In addition to reading the “web-design basics” section in Chapter 1, I was completely blown away by how extensive web design code is. As an aspiring journalist, I was not aware that learning web code would be essential to my career.

Chapter 2: Blogging for Better Journalism

When reading through Chapter 2, I gained a much better understanding of blogs and their contribution to publishing. Blogs not only bring together a community of like-minded individuals with certain types of interests, but it also helps journalist find an outlet to hone their skills, as well as way for them find their niche market and audience. In addition, Briggs talks about how the creation of blogs have changed journalism for the better. I found it interesting how he related the tragic terrorist attack on September 2001, to the growth of blogs and user interaction. At the time this was a great way for those to vent and share their thoughts about the incident, thus creating a much wider participation in independent blogging.

According to Briggs a good blog is ..

1. One that has a great appearance

2.  One that knows its audience and puts the reader first.

3.  One that has links , and organized summaries

4. One that posts often and stays updated

5.  One that has a catch title

6. One that has photos and videos