AP vs. Social Media: For Whom the Pepper Spray Tolls

Chilling video images surfaced online today showing a campus police officer at the University of California, Davis, calmly pepper spraying the faces of Occupy Wall Street protesters seated quietly in a line with their arms interlocked. The images, captured with cellphones by several onlookers, quickly spread virally across the Internet. As unsettling as the video images are, the keyword for me in the news event is onlookers plural. It reminded me of … [Read more...]

A Surprising Side Benefit of Concrete Language

Do you think using big words and industry jardon makes you look smart? If you do, think again. It actually might make you look like a liar. A recent psychological study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shows vivid details and lots of facts make a statement seem more credible. Here's what the results of the study, which I first read about in AM New York, suggest: Use simple language. If people can process your statements quickly, they … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Fast & Easy Story Curation

UPDATE: About 45 minutes after posting this article, I (like a million other people around the world) learned via Twitter that Osama bin Laden had been killed. That was about 45 minutes ahead of President Obama’s official announcement. Compare The New York Times' writeup on how the news leaked out with Australian Broadcasting Corp's Storify version to get a feel for the curation tool’s ability to provide context in an entertaining way and help readers make sense out … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Andy Carvin & News Curation

My March 2011 video clip of the month is a PBS News Hour interview of Andy Carvin, (@acarvin), National Public Radio's social media guru, on how he used Twitter to curate social media to turn himself into a "real time wire service" for the protests in Egypt and Tunisia. I chose the video because Carvin’s work curating the news provides a hint of what news and information management can look like in an increasingly networked world. From a cubicle in Washington, … [Read more...]

The Social Media Revolution Nobody Watched

"Huh?" I thought to myself as a Twitter retweet from @Galrahn flashed across my screen: "I just watched a government fall on Twitter while #CNN interviewed the Jeopardy host about a robot contestant." Then I saw another retweet from @pareen reading: "I am relying on someone live-tweeting al-Jazeera to keep up with Tunisia news. MSNBC reports that Martha Stewart's dog split her lip open." "Wow," I thought, "what is going on?" So I checked the Washington Post's web … [Read more...]

Panhandler’s Viral Hit Is ‘Dragonfly Effect,’ Not a Fluke

If you think the YouTube-catapulted rise of Ted Williams—the now-famous homeless man with the "golden voice"—is a fluke, you should read The Dragonfly Effect, by author-couple Andy Smith and Jennifer Aaker. The book is a must read for anybody interested in using social media to drive social change. It's full of big strategies, small tips, and real-life success stories proving you don’t need money or power to inspire seismic change in a Web 2.0 world. All you need … [Read more...]

From Wax & WordStar to Paper.li Daily ‘Newspapers’

Back when I was editor-in-chief of my university's student newspaper in the 1980s, it seemed we were on the cutting edge. We'd recently obtained some PCs, WordStar word-processing software, and a laser printer, so we could print out articles reporters typed themselves in columns ready for layout. It was so much easier than retyping and coding all the copy with an old phototypesetting machine.   Even with the new technology, however, laying out the newspaper still … [Read more...]

Brokaw: ‘I Don’t Get Twitter…Just Stuff That Fills Air’

I read an interesting PoynterOnline blog post today about Tom Brokaw, former anchor of "NBC Nightly News." Apparently, Brokaw doesn't get Twitter and isn't interested in trying it out. "As for Twitter? He doesn't believe it's taken form yet journalistically. 'I don't get Twitter,' Brokaw said. 'I know that it's very popular and that it's a quick way of getting a text blast out, so to speak, but an awful lot of it seems to be ... just stuff that fills … [Read more...]

The Washington Post: A Barrier to Communication?

We're in an extraordinary moment in journalism. "Who needs newspapers when you have Twitter?" many are saying. Others predict that all media as we know it today will become social and that journalists will become storytellers reporting in "interactive" ways. Granted "interactive" reporting hasn't caught on yet, but most people today do expect interaction on social networks. That’s the “social” part of social media. Apparently, the Washington Post, however, … [Read more...]

Newspapers & News Sites ‘Like’ New Tweet Button

Newspapers and news sites played an important role in Tuesday's launch of Twitter's new new “Tweet” button. More than 30 large websites secretly changed their designs overnight to begin using the new button on its launch day. Among those sporting the “Tweet” button Tuesday morning were: Arizona Republic/azcentral.com CBS Interactive CNN.com Detroit Free Press HuffingtonPost.com SFGate.com Sky News The Cincinnati Enquirer The Des Moines … [Read more...]

Living Stories WordPress Plugin & Theme Released

Google released a Living Stories plugin and theme for WordPress yesterday enabling anyone who publishes through WordPress to organize coverage of an ongoing event on a single dynamic page. Living Stories is an experimental format for displaying news coverage that Google created in partnership with the New York Times and Washington Post. Google software engineer Eric Zhang wrote about the process of developing the plugin on the Google News Blog. "Our next step … [Read more...]