Image by Nimages DR via Flickr
The power of retweeting has been seen by almost everyone on Twitter, but an example of mine was with the story about police seizing a member of the public’s mobile phone and deleting content. I first Tweeted the link at 5.45pm on December 26 (Boxing Day, a public holiday).
From my calculations in less than three hours nine people including me distributed that story to a network of 7600 people. Of course they didn’t all see the link, or click on it if they did see it, but as Gina Chen said, it shows the potential for news distribution via social networking.
Admittedly I also gained an advantage by being part of mainstream media, but earlier tweets propagating the original story from Ben Grubb were also distributed as widely, or wider, than my later tweets.
Originally from my auto-posting daily Delicious links, I have cut this back to just the link I have added comment to. This is in preparation for a blog redesign, where I no longer want posts titled “links for YYYY-MM-DD”. A live stream of Delicious links will also always be available in a sidebar widget and/or stand-alone page.
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.
USING SOCIAL NETWORKING IN BUSINESS REPORTING
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.
USING SOCIAL NETWORKING TOOLS TO IMPROVE THE REPORTING OF A BEAT REPORTER
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.
LESSON ONE: SLOW & DIFFICULT WORK, NO BREAKTHROUGHS TO REPORT
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.
LESSON TWO: THERE IS NO FORMULA
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.
LESSON THREE: ECONOMIC REALITY LIMITS TIME TO DEVOTE TO SOMETHING NEW
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.
LESSON FOUR: IT’S NOT ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY
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.
LESSON FIVE: THE TEN PER CENT RULE
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.
THE CHALLENGE: GIVING YOUR AUDIENCE SOMETHING TO DO
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.
THE POTENTIAL: MOBILIZING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ON A SINGLE STORY
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.
Image by Bill on Capitol Hill via Flickr
“we MUST understand and then embrace the notion that print is no longer our primary focus.
..reporters chained to desks working with large desktop computers..so last century..Transition them to laptops..get them out of the newsroom and into the community”
How important is comprehensible data presentation to new journalism?
“visualisation is a way to turn usually a lot of numbers into images, so you can look at all the data that you have at the same time and try to see patterns – or interesting trends…”
Originally from my auto-posting daily Delicious links, I have cut this back to just a few links I have added comment to and that I think particularly useful. I have also retitled the post. This is in preparation for a blog redesign, where I no longer want posts titled “links for YYYY-MM-DD”. A live stream of Delicious links will also always be available in a sidebar widget and/or stand-alone page.