August 20, 2009

Social networks: 8 ways to engage users with news

JD LasicaHere’s a slightly revised version of the Social Networks: Engaging Users With News webinar I gave to a few hundred virtual attendees when I flew out to the Poynter Institute in Florida in May.

The slideshow offers eight different areas of social networking that news publishers — anyone from a single individual to a full newsroom — can leverage to engage people around news events in a more robust, interactive way. Specifically:

  • Blue skies: new approaches to news
  • Google Map mashups
  • Instant social networks
  • Geocoding and citizen photography
  • The awesomeness of Twitter
  • Widgets: tapping into local conversations
  • Facebook & the news
  • Community video

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May 10, 2009

Webinar on social networks and the news

news u class

JD LasicaI‘m flying to the venerable Poynter Institute — journalism’s high church — to give an online Webinar titled, Social Networks: Engaging Users With News, part of a 10-week class for newspaper editors being put on by the Knight Digital Media Center.

Although the newspaper folks get the Webinar as part of their curriculum, it’s also open to the public, and Poynter is expecting several hundred people to sign up for $25 a pop.

I wrote a bit about this last month. Details:

What: an online presentation on how news organizations are using — and should use — social media tools to engage users and present content.
When: 2 pm ET/11 am PT Tuesday, May 12. The hourlong talk will be followed by a half hour of Q&A via chat.
Register here (first-time users need to go through a brief registration process)

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April 11, 2009

Using social media to build an audience


JD LasicaWhen I speak at conferences these days, I often say, “In a former life, I worked in the news industry.” That’s only partly true — I still cover conferences and events as a working journalist, and is a site for social media news and analysis.

But my 11 years at the Sacramento Bee is rapidly receding in the rear-view mirror. After I left the Bee 11 years ago to join Microsoft Sidewalk and then jump into a few Silicon Valley startups, I — along with likeminded folks such as Dan Gillmor and many others — prodded my newspaper colleagues to embrace blogging and the ethos of participatory media (I edited the We Media report on the subject, and Dan named his book We the Media).

In the past two years, we’ve begun to see an acceleration of this trend, not only with citizen journalists taking up inexpensive mobile devices and committing random acts of journalism by capturing photos and video, but with hundreds of millions of people joining this collective social media ecosystem, using social tools like Facebook and Twitter for personalized news streams.

Recently I’ve begun exploring that topic more deeply, and for the next 10 weeks I’ll be helping to teach an online class at the venerable Poynter Institute’s NewsU called Using Social Media to Build Audience.

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March 3, 2009

How to use social media in the newsroom


JD LasicaI‘m working with the vaunted Poynter Institute to put together an online class for senior newspaper executives on how to use social media in the newsroom.

One of our goals here at is to cut across silos to get marketing people, journalists, businesses and strategists all talking to and learning from each other about creative uses of social media. In the end, we’ll all benefit from best practices, regardless of whether they originated in a newsroom, a startup or a blogger’s home office.

For the Knight Digital Media Center program conducted through the Poynter, I’ll likely be giving a webinar and taking part in online instruction around how journalists are already using the tools of social media. So we’d love to see some specific examples of how you’re using social media (aside from blogs), or examples of how other sites are using it in a way that could be applied to news sites.

In search of examples

Here’s what we’re curious about:

• Do you use Twitter to interact with your readers? How? Do they offer story ideas, tips, interview questions?

• Any examples of how Facebook is being used by journalists?

• What about Google Maps mashups, like you see on Everyblock (and formerly
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