Unraveling Social Media One Tool at a Time
1. I will use Google + Hangouts more frequently to interview reporters about stories they are covering. Google + Hangouts are an easy way to capture live video and embed it on your website for future viewing. In contrast to ScribbleLive chats, Google + Hangouts allow views to see the person they are listening too instead of just typing questions to them. The downside? The Hangouts On Air features allows the public to view the live chat, but it still does not allow them to join in to ask questions. Each person must be invited individually to join and they must be in one of your account’s Google + circles.
2. I will ask readers to share their photographs more often, and besides curating them online, I will also go “old school” by publishing one or two in the newspaper once a week. Yes, people still like to see their name in print as we discovered when we printed four Instagram photos shot at the San Francisco Giants victory parade. Speaking of Instagram it is not making my life any easier in this arena. Its recent decision to stop its integration with Twitter adds an extra step when I curate photos because I have to go to the person’s Instagram account. Still despite the recent flap over its terms of service, and the supposed exodus of users, Instagram is still a popular app. And, even if Instagram makes things difficult, there is always the Twitter photo app which recently added filters.
3. I will stick with Storify despite its design changes. Storify still provides the easiest way to curate readers’ photos and to capture social media reaction to just about any major story. I found the recent redesign a little disorienting and hard on they eyes, but its end of year stats show just how popular the site remains. And its founder Burt Herman is a smart guy who listened to his media partners when they complained about the site’s frequent time-outs. Changes he made earlier this year, have improved the speed of the site tremendously (most of the time). Now, if it was just compatible with all versions of the IE browser, which so many of our readers still use.
4. I will try to figure out why some people like Spundge.com more than Storify. So far, I am a little baffled by the attraction of these “notebooks.” Please, send me your examples and get me hooked! I need a new addiction.
5. I won’t need any persuading to continue my addiction to Storylane. I interviewed Jonathan Gheller, the CEO and founder of the Palo Alto startup for this column, and I thought then, as I do now, that he has really hit upon people’s desire to tell and share stories about themselves and their experiences. My goal for 2013 is to find more ways for my newspaper to use it.
6. I will remain humbled by projects such the amazing New York Times “Snowfall” while aspiring to find more ways to integrate video, words and interactive maps to create compelling stories.
7. I will remain grateful for a news staff that does the hard part: writing the compelling stories that I am honored to share with the social media world.
Happy New Year and thanks for reading!