Facebook news feed changes. Again. ‘Clickbait’, image posts and organic reach

August 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Social Networking

Facebook news feed

Despite appearances, plush ‘f’ is not the Facebook logo. © Dave Earley | the earley edition

Facebook has introduced more changes to the news feed that will significantly affect news distribution on the platform. Their news feed changes always do but, for what it’s worth, I think this change – announced on Tuesday and aimed at “click-baiting headlines” and “sharing links in posts” – is the most important so far for publishers.

In a nutshell, in order to reduce the effectiveness of “click-baiting headlines”, Facebook say they’re going to give more weight to time on site. Or, more correctly, they’re going to give more weight to time off site – away from Facebook. Without clearer explanation from Facebook this is somewhat of an unknown – so is less in your control than you might think. More on that below.
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Media Reading from the earley edition

November 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Media, Mobile, Social Networking, Training

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I don’t have time to write real blog posts, as evidenced by my lack of updates here at the earley edition. Consider this a curated reading list of carefully selected items, which are of great and enduring import to the changing media landscape.

Or it’s just some random links I had time to take note of.


  • Why Twitter matters for media organisations | Alan Rusbridger | Editor of The Guardian newspaper
    1. It’s an amazing form of distribution
    2. It’s where things happen first
    3. As a search engine, it rivals Google
    4. It’s a formidable aggregation tool
    5. It’s a great reporting tool
    6. It’s a fantastic form of marketing
    7. It’s a series of common conversations. Or it can be
    8. It’s more diverse
    9. It changes the tone of writing
    10. It’s a level playing field
    11. It has different news values
    12. It has a long attention span
    13. It creates communities
    14. It changes notions of authority
    15. It is an agent of change

    That’s just an excerpt of Alan Rusbridger’s full speech at the 2010 Andrew Olle Media Lecture, and it wasn’t all about Twitter. The full text, and audio, of Rusbridger’s speech, titled The Splintering of the Fourth Estate, is available from 702 ABC Sydney.

  • Blogging and commenting guidelines for journalists at The Guardian
    1. Participate in conversations about our content, and take responsibility for the conversations you start.
    2. Focus on the constructive by recognising and rewarding intelligent contributions.
    3. Don’t reward disruptive behaviour with attention, but report it when you find it.
    4. Link to sources for facts or statements you reference, and encourage others to do likewise.
    5. Declare personal interest when applicable. Be transparent about your affiliations, perspectives or previous coverage of a particular topic or individual.
    6. Be careful about blurring fact and opinion and consider carefully how your words could be (mis)interpreted or (mis)represented.
    7. Encourage readers to contribute perspective, additional knowledge and expertise. Acknowledge their additions.
    8. Exemplify our community standards in your contributions above and below the line.
  • 10 ways journalists can use Storify | Zombie Journalism
    1. Organizing reaction in social media.
    2. Giving back-story using past content.
    3. Curating topical content.
    4. Displaying a non-linear social media discussion or chat.
    5. Creating a multimedia/social media narrative.
    6. Organize your live tweets into a story
    7. Collaborate on a topic with readers.
    8. Create a timeline of events.
    9. Display audience content from across platforms.
    10. Live curate live tweets from the stream.
  • When Are Facebook Users Most Active? [STUDY]

    as in – when is your online audience most active?
    Here are some of the big takeaways:

    • The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.
    • The biggest spike occurs at 3:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.
    • Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period.
    • Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week.
  • The top 10 key lessons for hyperlocal journalism startups from ONA10
    1. Successful doesn’t mean beautiful
    2. Legal stuff isn’t rocket science
    3. There is no such thing as free content
    4. Follow the data
    5. Focus on money from day one
    6. Advertisers are buying your audience, not funding your stories
    7. Grants don’t come for free
    8. Focus on multiple revenue models
    9. Technology should be fast and cheap
    10. Stop whining and just do it

PANPA students – media interaction?

March 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Print, Social Networking

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PANPA - Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association

PANPA - Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association

I left a comment over at the PANPA students’ blog last night, asking how they determined Facebook to be a “media outlet”.

Based on a survey of six students, they listed Facebook as the media outlet most accessed.

They asked for feedback, so I provided it. Basically, the survey would be interesting if it was expanded to as many students as possible, and actually ask questions about what aspects of social networking use they consider to be news consumption, or news related.
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Future of Journalism – Brisbane

September 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Mobile, News, Online, Print, Social Networking, Videos

MEAA - Future of Journalism logoI’m not going to go into the Future of Journalism conference last Saturday in any great detail.
There is a post on the Future of Journalism’s Wired Scribe blog with a roundup of several good links to posts by people who were observers and panelists on the day. Interested people can read a roundup there.

You can also read through the live Future of Journalism tweets from various people on the day.

What I’m providing here is just a quick video of a question I asked of news.com.au editor David Higgins about the use of social networking tools for newsgathering.

Video after the jump…

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Jay Rosen transcript posted below

July 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, SMO, Social Networking

In case there is anyone out there who thinks they don’t have the time to listen to Jay Rosen for six minutes and eight seconds, below is a transcript of the video of Jay Rosen moderating the SABEW conference workshop, Using Social Networking in Business Reporting.

To watch the video, go to acidlabs, where you can also see a video of Jay Rosen defining citizen journalism. I would embed, but for some reason embedded video has been breaking my page recently.

Transcript of Jay Rosen’s SABEW workshop

July 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Other blogs, Social Networking


45th Annual Conference

April 27-29, Sheraton Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD


Jay Rosen, New York University and author of PressThink blog

It’s not about the technology … The whole art of doing any kind of social network reporting is in organizing people

This is one of the most important things about the internet. This is one of the things that’s changing the world most profoundly today – is the falling costs for people with the same interests, or people of like mind, to find each other, share information, pool their knowledge, collaborate, and publish.
I’m going to say it again. The falling cost for like minded people to find each other, share information, collaborate and publish back to the rest of the world, is a major factor changing government, politics, media, social life – at the same time.


We’re trying to figure out how we can use Gillmore’s insights, and the tools that we have now – like blogging, social networking tools – to actually improve the reporting that a beat reporter does on their

the potential is there to mobilize thousands of people on a single story

beat, and we’re several months into that project, and I can tell you some of what we’ve learned from it.

Our first lesson is that this is slow and difficult work, and that we don’t have any breakthroughs so far. That it’s a lot easier to understand the concept ‘My readers know more than I do’, than it is to work out a regimen in which that knowledge can actually flow in and start influencing the articles, and scoops, and series and so forth. So it’s slow and difficult work. We don’t have breakthroughs to report yet.

Secondly there is, and I know this is frustrating, no formula for doing it yet. Because we can’t easily point to somebody who uses social network reporting to complete their beat every day.

Third, one of the things we’ve learned is, in the current economic climate in most newsrooms, especially in newspapers, reporters are under a great deal of pressure. They not only have to produce on deadline, they have to produce more than they used to. And, despite their enthusiasm for this project when they signed up for it in November, the economic realities of the newsroom are such that many of them have almost no time to devote to something new.
And this is very much getting in the way because the immediate pay-offs in terms of scoops, meeting your production quotas or breaking big stories so that you can explain to your bosses why you’re putting time into your network are not really there, so this has become very frustrating for some of our people and it’s very much a sign of the times and a sign of the economic climate out there.

My fourth lesson is by far the most important lesson that I’ve learned in this work.
It’s not about the technology. It’s not about what tools you use. It’s not about which blogging software you adopt. It’s not at all about whether you should use Facebook or Twitter or some of the other technologies that are out there. The whole art of doing any kind of social network reporting is in organizing people, and how people are engaged to help journalists, rather than the tools and technologies we have for reaching those people. And it’s hard to overestimate how important this is and how easy it is to forget it.

The fifth important lesson is sometimes called, among those who study user-generated content, the ten per cent rule. The ten per cent rule is that if 100 people sign up for your network, if 100 people sign up for your citizen journalism project, about 10 of them will actually contribute anything in terms of content. Whether it’s a blog post, whether it’s comments in a thread, whether it’s tips sent in by email, about ten per cent will actively contribute. And one of those ten will become an extremely committed contributor, what is sometimes called super-contributors in online organizing.

And so the real challenge is not getting people to sign up or participate, it’s figuring out how to give them stuff they can do that actually makes its way into your report, so they can see the results of what they do. And if you can do that, people will participate.

And so if you want to know why am I here talking to you about this, it’s because the potential is there to mobilize thousands of people on a single story.

WWW.TALKINGPOINTSMEMO.COM – a model internet news site
The model of an internet news organization is this one, because it is completely involved in filtering, processing, editing this huge inflow from readers, packaging it as news stories and blog posts, sending it back out which in turn stimulates more inflow from the readers.

CIA notes declining newspaper influence

February 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Social Networking

CIA logoThe CIA may not hold the same respect they once had, but you must admit their intelligence-gathering techniques must still be superior to either yours or mine.

The CIA have said newspapers have not just become less important as a source of information, but are in freefall when compared to the growing importance of online information gathering.

From Doug Naikin, director of the CIA’s Open Source Center (OSC), formerly the Foreign Broadcast Information Service which was tasked to collect and analyse public information, comes the following.

What we’re seeing [in] actuality is a decline, a relatively rapid decline, in the impact of the printed press – traditional media.
A lot more is digital, and a lot more is online. It’s also a lot more social. Interaction is a much bigger part of media and news than it used to be.

So watch out. The CIA is trawling your Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and any other social networking media you can think of. Just don’t say the ‘B’ word.

via EJC

Email is old news to Generation C

January 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Podcasts, Social Networking

LAMP - Laboratory of Advanced Media ProductionOn the LAMP blog, a podcast with Head of Innovation at Nine MSN Jennifer Wilson is instructional for those pushing online news as a social, sharing medium.

She describes Generation C as the 12-24 age range, who think email is for their parents – it’s outdated. They almost exclusively communicate via social networking.

So what are online news sites doing to push every possible integration with social networking sites to increase coverage in this demographic – other than selling out news coverage for entertainment?

The New York Times has started text message news alerts via keywords

I’m not sure how the text message news alerts are different than the text/im/web updates that are already available through their various New York Times Twitter updates. I imagine having the in-house control of text message distribution of news opens more possibilities for monetisation of that media further down the track, rather than waiting for Twitter to start advertising.

New York Times on FacebookThe New York Times also has a Facebook page (approaching 10,000 ‘fans’) and Rob Larson, vice president of product development and management at NYTimes.com said, “We intend to use every available platform to disseminate The Times’s quality news and information.”
via The Editors Weblog

The New York Times is by no means the only media organisation experimenting with digital access and social networking for news. They’re just recognised as one of the leading ones.

In Australia, very few news organisations use Twitter. As full disclosure, before I continue, I’m a journalist at The Courier Mail newspaper, where I worked as an online multimedia producer until December last year before moving into editorial.

Twitter logoI set up Twitter accounts for all of The Courier Mail’s news sections in early October last year, making our newspaper one of the only two news outlets in Australia using Twitter (that I have found), and definitely one of the largest media contributors to Twitter by number of content categories, but not necessarily volume of content.

Our current crop of 20 Twitter user accounts are providing free SMS/IM updates on topics ranging from sports, to business, to breaking news, all with tinyurl links to the original story content. I’m now trying to find time to play around with a Facebook page for The Courier Mail, although I rarely have any spare hours at home to spend doing that.

During the process of setting up these Twitter accounts, I did a search to see if other Australian news outlets were already using Twitter.

Of News Limited mastheads, apart from The Courier Mail, none of the other existing News Ltd Twitter users have posted.
Of Fairfax mastheads, only The Age has a single feed, last updated in May 2007.
The ABC has two feeds – one of which I follow to receive local news alerts on my mobile phone.

An informal audit of a selection of Australian media and their Twitter presence

Fairfax Digital logoFairfax masthead sites

ABC News - logoABC News

News Digital Media - News Limited logoNews Limited masthead sites

I am assuming the unused Twitter accounts above belong to these publications, but it’s entirely possible someone could simply be ‘squatting’ on the Twitter user names.

A search for “news” in Twitter, yields a lot of results. Here are just a few (listed as their Twitter user name) that may be of interest – financialtimes, npr news, cbcnews, wired, ITN_NEWS, BBC, SkyNewsBusiness, indianews, SkyNews, and CNETNews.

In the UK, the BBC and Sky have a larger selection of Twitter updates that can be followed.

The 2007 federal election was approaching when I was working on the Courier Mail Twitter accounts so, having already written a story about politics and social networking, I had a look at what political parties had on Twitter.

At the time the results were:
Greens: http://twitter.com/Greens
Three updates in total, all on August 2, 2007, that are worth mentioning.

The Greens have established a twitter and are testing it.
04:11 PM August 02, 2007
Do you receive my Greens twitter?
04:26 PM August 02, 2007
Hrrrmmm, if I was 14 I’d know exactly what would happen
06:39 PM August 02, 2007

Liberal (both spoofs)
Labor: none
Democrats: none
Nationals: none

In 2008, however, the Greens seem to have got their act together with a Twitter page feeding from the Greens Blog website.

I also didn’t find this during the election last year , but https://twitter.com/kevinrudd is another spoof Twitter account.