Journalists and the Social Web 2


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How journalists can use social bookmarking and other social networks to monitor their beat. Journalists and the semantic web. This is part two of my keynote presentation to the 'Journalists and Social Web' seminar held in Oslo on Oct 25th, 2008. This seminar was organised by, and Norwegian journalist Kristine Low.

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Journalists and the Social Web 2

  1. 1. Web 2.0 and 3.0, Social networks and Journalists Using social bookmarking and other social networks to monitor your beat <ul><li>bookmarking sites do much more than act as an alternative store for your ‘favourites’ </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>use them to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>monitor trends; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>track breaking news; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>monitor new web content; and, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>get leads. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. delicious is much more than a web-based ‘bookmarks’ folder. You can organise and search your bookmarks by ‘tag’ You can subscribe to specific tags to monitor Get notice of pages bookmarked by others in your network Search and monitor pages bookmarked by other users Get notice of interesting links sent by other users
  4. 4. By keeping track of what other people are bookmarking in a ‘network’. Once you’ve configured this, you can sit back and let the links come to you. allows you to ‘check what other people are bookmarking’
  5. 5. <ul><li>search for a tag such as ‘FOAF’ </li></ul><ul><li>find an important page </li></ul><ul><li>click on the ‘people button which shows how many people have bookmarked this page. </li></ul>Creating a network is easy and is not like the ‘friend’ facility on social networks
  6. 6. <ul><li>here, you can see who has saved this link </li></ul><ul><li>you can explore their ‘public links’ </li></ul><ul><li>and add them to your ‘network’ </li></ul>
  7. 7. You can then look at all of the bookmarks being saved by everyone in your ‘network’. You effectively create a network of expertise to monitor your specific areas of interest Searchable by tag
  8. 8. The ‘subscriptions’ tool allows you to monitor all bookmarks posted to delicious with a specific tag. These are my current subscriptions. You can also create tag ‘bundles’ to monitor posts with a combination of tags
  9. 9. What about other web 2.0 tools for monitoring and tracking news? Problem is: One study has found that 13% of internet references in scholarly articles become inactive after only 27 months .
  10. 10. offers similar tools and also saved pages You can save links Network through subscriptions to other users Organise your links by topic and tag
  11. 11. But, you can also: Join and network with ‘groups’ Receive automatic recommendations And, importantly, save entire web pages........
  12. 12. Here is my archive on privacy issues. I can access any of these via links to the source page or.... I can access the actual page saved to Furl’s server. Here is my saved version of the top bookmark.....
  13. 13. This is an exact copy of the original page. Delicious saves links. Use Furl when you need to be sure that you won’t lose the page you want to save. Note the URL: locates the cached version of this page - not just a link to the source.
  14. 14. ‘ Recommendations is another Furl feature. Based on your own archive of saved pages, Furl makes recommendations from pages saved by other users. It also recommends Groups you can join.
  15. 15. Twitter The microblogging phenomenon...... A great social and professional networking tool. But how can journalists tap this resource?
  16. 16. Twitter is: A multi-device short messaging service: (Your messages must be shorter than 140 characters) A news headline service: A networking tool:
  17. 17. A way to feed blogs to new audiences: A way to track breaking news: A way to keep track of messages in time and space:
  18. 18. Twitter is - what you make it. But there are enormously helpful tools that journalists can use for research..... Keep track of experts and commentators on your beat by ‘following’ key people or key blogs: The blog Mashable has more followers than BBC news.
  19. 19. Track breaking news Technology News. When iGoogle was revamped a few days ago, it was easy to track comments and reaction via a simple keyword search. Track what trusted contacts are saying about developments as they happen
  20. 20. Posts on Andy Murray’s success at the Madrid Masters on Sunday... ....within seconds of the win Instant reaction to events, sports tournaments, news....
  21. 21. Get reports from the scene of news stories .... as they break ‘ Twitter breaks the news cycle down to seconds, allowing instantaneous distribution of breaking news as it breaks - faster even than blogs or television.’ Read Write Web. 2008 Early heads up on Traffic chaos: And other events such as floods, fires and storms.
  22. 22. Citizen journalism tweets from the scene of major incidents: Such as the Californian wild fires in 2007 The St Louis earthquake in 2008 (St. Louis Bloggers Guild) The UK earthquake in February 2008. Major fires.
  23. 23. Hashtags have evolved as a way of tagging words so that people can follow twitters on specific subjects. You can search for them in and follow them in RSS.
  24. 24. Use specific search terms to find interesting and current developments: Here I was looking at tweets that mention FOAF.. Twitter can be a good source of breaking news but is also a good tool for broader research:
  25. 25. Twitter mashups Use plugins and other tools to get more out of Twitter. For example, the Fresh Logic Studios ‘Twitter Atlas’ Geocodes tweets as they happen on an interactive global map giving information on events, fuel prices, traffic and wifi etc. and locates the tweets and mashes these with other feeds such as Flikr
  26. 26. Pinpoint tweets and twitter users.
  27. 27. You can also find Plugins and other tools that will: Help you find other people who post on the same subjects: Twitpic allows you to post pictures with your post: For more mashups see:
  28. 28. RSS Feeds RSS allows anyone with a web presence to publish a feed of changing site content. It is an ideal way for site owners to distribute news.
  29. 29. As journalists, we can exploit RSS feeds so that the information we want comes to us without having to visit dozens of sites newsgathering. Dozens of guides to RSS exist. What I would like to cover here are tools that make using RSS easier and more effective.
  30. 30. What is “ information overload ”? I agree with Clare Shirky: “If you have the same problem for a long time - maybe it isn’t a problem, maybe it’s a fact.” “ Information overload is just filter failure”. Use RSS effectively. Monitor your feeds, filter them. Fine tune the results. Revise your strategy. Accept that your filters need maintenance.
  31. 31. Your RSS Reader should do a lot more than just collect feeds. Choose your reader carefully - it will save you countless hours in the long term Let’s look at one in some detail.....
  32. 32. Newsfire for Macs is a good RSS Reader with some excellent features for journalists. These are just a few of the dozes of feeds that I use
  33. 33. Newsfire will group feeds I can subscribe to Twitter feeds.. And read whole posts without leaving the reader
  34. 34. But, most importantly, you can set up smart feeds to filter your subscriptions.. Which lets you set rules for which posts are included
  35. 35. Yahoo Pipes Yahoo Pipes is the most powerful way to build a single feed made up of dozens of other feeds and data. The site does have good instructions but it does take time to master. “ combine many feeds into one, then sort, filter and translate it. geocode your favourite feeds and browse the items on an interactive map power widgets/badges on your website grab the output of any Pipe as RSS”
  36. 36. This pipe was created to track a brand mentioned in social media sites.
  37. 37. This pipe was created to turn YouTube tags into an RSS feed.
  38. 38. Use Pipes when you need to monitor various sources of news from a variety of diverse sources. But you’ll need time to configure this option correctly.
  39. 39. Questions?