Online Journalism

Facebook moves into China

April 8th, 2011 · Comments Off on Facebook moves into China

Hear ye! Hear ye! The revolution is coming! The revolution is coming!

Well, wait. Maybe not a COMPLETE revolution. 

As of an April 8, 2011 article, rumor has it that the social media revolution that has been spreading like wildfire in the Western world seems to be coming to China.

With the CEO of Baidu Robin Li tweeting on how he has already signed a deal with Facebook, it looks like the wait is finally over.

However, with China’s history of censorship, I really don’t expect that Facebook will be the same as it is here.

Even China realizes that Facebook can be a liberating tool for those being oppressed and silenced. However, it is hard for me to believe that it will allow Facebook to roam free as it does in most parts of the world.

Since China has had a history of subjugating the press, it is almost expected that it would control this form of media too, even if it is online.

And unfortunately, all we can really expect is a watered down version of the Facebook we have known and grown to love.

Next up....China!

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

Twitter vs. Facebook in building news brands

April 8th, 2011 · Comments Off on Twitter vs. Facebook in building news brands

In her article “Channeling the news brand on Twitter and Facebook,” Mandy Jenkins discusses how newsrooms can most effectively use such social media outlets. One of the most important things to remember, according to Jenkins, is that Twitter and Facebook are not equal, and therefore require individual attention.

Jenkins offers the following advice to help guide newsrooms on Twitter use:

  1. Quality content over quantity of content: seek the most immediate, informative information that will set up a dialogue for your followers to ask questions
  2. Use good judgment: use information that will promote your brand. In Jenkins’ words, “some stories that come across your desk may not be ideal for the brand’s Twitter account.” You want to tweet stories that are as useful as possible
  3. Pay attention to time: tweet during high traffic hours of the day, mainly “in the morning, over lunchtime and in the late evening.” Think “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” If a story breaks late at night and no one is awake to read it, does it really matter or make an impact?
  4. I tweeted it once, I’ll tweet it again. Tweeting an important story more than once is absolutely fine. Just reword your tweet and you’re golden, it makes the story sound new and will attract additional readers.
  5. Not all headlines are created equal. Some headlines transition to Twitter more easily than others. Sometimes you have to change the phrasing to make the most impact with a given tweet.
  6. Perfection by selection: Retweet information only if it is relevant, trustworthy, and important. Nobody likes the friend who retweets everything he or she sees.
  7. Be true to your newsroom. Don’t lose sight of your intended audience and the purpose for your Twitter account.

These tips provide journalists with sound advice about tweeting, but “what about Facebook?“, you may ask. Lucky for you, Mandy Jenkins also offers advice as to it’s use as well:

  1. Conversation starter: update your Facebook page with information that you would share with friends. If the link or update will allow for friendly conversation, than feel free to post it to Facebook.
  2. The time is right: update your Facebook during times of heaviest traffic. Employers are not fond of staffers being on the website during office hours, so it is wise to update Facebook when they are home and free to use the site at their leisure.
  3. Use discretion with cross-posting: hashtags were made for Twitter, long updates were made for Facebook. Remember: “Facebook users shouldn’t be seeing Twitter names and hashtags – and Twitter readers shouldn’t be seeing tweets that are too long coming from a Facebook stream.”

With the advice of such an influential social media superstar, you will be ready to use social media to your newsrooms advantage! Just remember Jenkins‘ guidelines and pointers and you will be golden.

Follow Jenkins on Twitter.

Tags: Comm361 · Facebook · Student Blog Posts

How social media would have affected 9/11/2001

April 8th, 2011 · Comments Off on How social media would have affected 9/11/2001

LA Weekly blogger Alexia Tsotsis examines how social media would have influenced reactions to the September 11th attacks in the article “What would 9-11 be like in the age of Social Media.”

She explains that, “our real-time communication platforms would provide crucial information on survivors and those looking for loved ones, as Craigslist did after Hurricane Katrina.”

By using social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, people would have quicker access to a multitude of information relating to the crisis. According to Tsotsis, social media outlets would have allowed for:

  1. Multimedia from those inside the World Trade Centers. If the attacks had taken place during 2010, office workers would have been able to tweet about what was going on and post pictures of the impending disaster. Even more importantly, they would be able to post video that would capture the true horror of 9/11. Had they had iPhones and other sorts of technology, we would have been able to more clearly understand the reactions of those inside the building, rather than just imagining it through the reactions of spectators.
  2. Videos from passengers on the planes. If we had the level of cellular device use that we have today, we would have hundreds of videos of passengers on the jets that crashed in to the twin towers. We would be exposed to a plethora of videos of passenger reactions and maybe even videos of the terrorists as they hijacked the planes.
  3. More myths, and quicker mythbusting.” With the use of Twitter or Facebook anyone and everyone would be able to post their opinions or their encounters during 9/11. We would have more exposure to conspiracy theories and exposure to people claiming that the Bush administration knew about the attacks all along. We would also, however, have access to people arguing that the 9/11 attacks were not an inside job and that Bush and his advisor’s had absolutely no knowledge of these attacks.
  4. More opinions. After Bush declared war on Iraq, Americans would have been faced with a flood of tweets that both supported and opposed the war. On the extreme, conservative side, some might say, “lets show those Jihad terrorists what America’s made of.” On the more peace-loving side, however, tweets might say, “peace in the Middle East not death showers and bombs.”

There is no denying that the American reaction to 9/11 would have been entirely different if Twitter and Facebook had been around. We would have access to an unprecedented amount of information from an unbelievably huge amount of people. Along with just being exposed to more personal encounters, and being able to find information more quickly, we would also be exposed to international opinions of the attacks. It is very apparent that if we were able to decipher the sound from the noise in the world of social media, we would have had a much better, unbiased understanding of the devastating attacks on that infamous September day.

Follow Alexia Tsotsis on Twitter.

Follow LA Weekly on Twitter.

Tags: Comm361 · social media · Student Blog Posts