How Social Media Helps Journalists Break News

social media viewpointsSocial media is transforming the way journalists break news.  Consider Robert Hernandez. He was searching for video on YouTube of the Bahrain protests.

He used filters to find videos from Bahrain and then sorted to find the most recent uploads. The top result had just been uploaded and had yet to be viewed. He watched it.

The shaky video was taken by someone in a crowd holding a cell phone. It shows a protester who gets shot and killed.

Record. Upload. View.

Without a news crew standing nearby, this death may have gone unnoticed and unrecorded, but through the power of a cell phone, the Internet and YouTube, this tragic event was captured forever.

bahrain

People "on the ground" capture the news with cell phones and broadcast via YouTube.

The Evolution of News

Robert Hernandez, assistant professor at USC Annenberg and co-founder of the popular #wjchat (the Twitter chat for web journalists), knows as well as anyone: the way news is gathered and consumed continues to evolve.

The Pew Research Center’s 2011 Annual Report on American Journalism reports some stunning trends:

  • In 2010 every news platform saw audience stall or decline… except the web.
  • For the first time ever, more people got their news from the web than newspapers… the gap for TV is closing, too.
  • Newspaper newsrooms are 30% smaller than in 2000.
  • Nearly half of all Americans now get some form of local news on a mobile device. In other countries where mobile penetration is deeper, the number is probably greater.

On top of that, news stories around the world are breaking first on platforms like Twitter (think the US Airways Hudson plane crash) and news programs feature videos that have already gone viral on YouTube. (“Hey, in case you’re not one of the 6 million people who already watched this entertaining wedding entrance dance on YouTube, here it is on our news program!”)

hudson

Twitter was first on the scene for the Hudson plane crash.

The web has changed everything (again). Anyone with a blog can be a reporter, anyone with a cell phone can be a videographer, and anyone on Facebook, Twitter or a thousand other platforms can be a news editor, or at least a curator.

Yet, amidst this turmoil, many journalists are adapting, leveraging new media tools to gather, distribute and reinvent the news cycle, all without losing their journalistic integrity.

How Journalists Gather and Report the News Has Changed

Even excluding the dramatic nature of Hernandez’s video find, journalists are using social media to discover new stories and uncover sources.

When Anne McNamara, reporter for WGME in Portland, Maine, was reporting on local illegal dumping, she turned to her social media contacts for help and they provided sources and contacts for the story.

illegal dumping

Journalists use social media to find contacts to help confirm and flesh out news stories.

McNamara also finds that while phone calls often go unreturned, when she contacts someone on Facebook, they get back to her within 20 minutes… critical for impending deadlines.

McNamara also reports that Twitter and Facebook often help “localize” international stories. Using these popular social media platforms, she was able to find local people with ties to Japan who were waiting to hear from loved ones after the earthquake and tsunami hit. She only needed to post it to the Channel 13 Facebook page to elicit responses.

Amanda Lamb, reporter for WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, says that visitors and viewers contribute to the news reporting for her station:

Absolutely, our viewers/website visitors often send up pictures and video from various newsworthy events way before we get a crew on the scene. We also routinely now use these photographs and video in major stories that impact a large part of our coverage area—for example, a snowstorm. We will post these on our website, WRAL.com, and often use them on the air.

Hernandez suggests using Twitter for getting sources right away, and even tapping Foursquare as a way of finding eyewitnesses. If you find a source on Twitter, he says, they’re more likely to talk with you. But “just because they’re tweeting it doesn’t mean it’s real,” he warns.

Reporters who are on the wrong side of this “social divide” may find themselves unable to reach the sources who help make compelling news stories.

Kara Matuszewski, web producer for CBSBoston.com, reports that social media is “where we go; it’s what we turn to.” When reporting a story, she often turns to memorial pages, like the type found on Facebook and MySpace. It’s an effective way of getting information on both the victims and the (alleged) perpetrators.

Ellyn Angelotti, faculty member at the well-respected Poynter Institute, says that with social media, journalists often aren’t breaking news, but rather responding to it. But that doesn’t mean that journalists can just sit back and wait for Twitter to feed them inspiration. Rather, they need to be thinking about how social media can affect their reporting before, during and after the story goes live, Angelotti says.

Social media has also changed the way journalists and news centers distribute their news. There are few news sources around the world that don’t have a Facebook page or similar social media presence these days.

WRAL uses Twitter to tweet live from trials, even when cameras are not allowed in the courtroom.

wral

WRAL lets the public follow along on trials of interest by tweeting live from the courtroom.

How Journalists Handle the New News Cycle

The news cycle has changed, suggests Angelotti. We’ve moved from a passive news cycle—in which the journalist finds news, reports it and the audience consumes it—to interactive applications of news.

It used to be that when the story went live, that was the end. Now it’s the beginning. The audience can comment, share, add or even change information.

The era of “I write, you read, you’re welcome” is over, suggests Hernandez. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, he says, and we’re better off for it.

One of the biggest changes has come from the ability for the public to comment on news stories once they go live, using tools like Disqus or IntenseDebate. However, journalists seem to have different approaches to handling them.

Matuszewski doesn’t respond to comments on CBSBoston.com, but does respond when people reach out to her on Twitter. She also says that the site has an open policy on comments, but users can flag comments for removal.

McNamara reads and responds to comments “all the time,” but tries to focus on the constructive ones. She also says comments let her gauge what people are really interested in, and let her gain understanding of both sides’ perspectives on certain news stories.

Hernandez warns, however, that comments can also have a chilling effect on sources’ willingness to come forward and be quoted. He’s seen plenty of examples of sources getting attacked in the comment section, and says it’s the reporter’s responsibility to tell the interviewee that they may be attacked.

comments

Comments can continue the news cycle, but can also have a "chilling effect" on sources' willingness to come forward.

The Surge of Mobile in News

When Angelotti was in South Africa recently, she was struck by the low number of people who own laptops—even reporters. Cell phone use, however, was widespread. This is how news travels in Africa today.

She also suggests that mobile helps bridge the digital divide worldwide, that there is mobile adoption regardless of income.

That seems to be borne out in the Pew Research study that states not only do nearly half of all Americans get some sort of local news via a mobile device, but that as of January, 2011, 7% of Americans owned a tablet—double from only 4 months previous. And that was, of course, before the release of the iPad 2 and a slew of new tablets from other companies.

Because of this, and her role as web producer, Matuszewski eschews Flash for news, as it plays on so few mobile devices.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Effects of Social Media on Journalism

As with any disrupting technologies, social media is having both positive and negative impacts on journalists and journalism.

Lamb says the biggest positive is the ability to move information quickly among a large group of people; however, the downside is you can just as easily pass misinformation.

rip

As Mark Twain said, "reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

McNamara praises the immediacy of social media. News centers always want to report news live, and social media offers that. However, she also cautions that reporters have been fired after years of responsible reporting for a poorly constructed 140-character tweet.

Time and time again, reporters stress the importance of keeping journalistic integrity in the face of the real-time social media onslaught and the 24/7 news cycle, where journalists need to compete with average citizens for breaking news. Hernandez posits that the role of the journalist is to “check out,” not just to “spread out” information. The responsibility of the journalist on social media is higher than the average citizen’s.

He also tells journalists that not everything is on Twitter. “I tell reporters that if they’re not on Twitter, they’re lazy. And if they’re only on Twitter, they’re lazy.” Angelotti concurs. She reminds journalists who see social media as “the answer” that there are still journalistic values that they must uphold no matter the channel.

What Comes Next?

This may be a different type of story than you’re used to seeing in Social Media Examiner, so I ask you: How have your news-consumption habits changed in the past few years due to social media and mobile communications? Do you find news sources more or less trustworthy when delivered over your favorite social media platform? Has something you’ve posted online ever been picked up by your local news? And where do you see the future of journalism heading as social media evolves?

What do you think? Have you been a social media source for a story? Are you a journalist? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Rich Brooks

Rich is president of flyte new media, podcasts at The Marketing Agents, and founded The Agents of Change conference. He helps small businesses succeed through search, social & mobile marketing. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.robertantwi.com/blog/about-robert-antwi/ Robert Antwi

    Yes Social Media indeed is such a powerful attribute to online connectivity. SEO alone will not give you as much connection in a short space of time as Social Media does. Only downside i find with social media is that the first few days shared media gets a lot of attention only for it to dwindle, unless you have something that is amazing and spreads like wild fire. Social Media is a process in itself just like SEO

  • http://www.robertantwi.com/blog/about-robert-antwi/ Robert Antwi

    Yes Social Media indeed is such a powerful attribute to online connectivity. SEO alone will not give you as much connection in a short space of time as Social Media does. Only downside i find with social media is that the first few days shared media gets a lot of attention only for it to dwindle, unless you have something that is amazing and spreads like wild fire. Social Media is a process in itself just like SEO

  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    Rich..just having the net at your finger tips can give anyone power and the ability to tell the people that something has just happen..the share button on FaceBook places a key role in this also..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    Rich..just having the net at your finger tips can give anyone power and the ability to tell the people that something has just happen..the share button on FaceBook places a key role in this also..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    That’s not unlike the difference between an aluminum pan and a cast iron one. The aluminum pan heats up faster, and cools off quick. Same w/social media; you can get traction quickly, but it will cool off just as quickly…especially on a big news day.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    That’s not unlike the difference between an aluminum pan and a cast iron one. The aluminum pan heats up faster, and cools off quick. Same w/social media; you can get traction quickly, but it will cool off just as quickly…especially on a big news day.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    That’s definitely true, and as you can see, reporters use Facebook as part of their work. However, the public nature of Twitter can help things go viral more quickly as far as breaking news goes, imho.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    That’s definitely true, and as you can see, reporters use Facebook as part of their work. However, the public nature of Twitter can help things go viral more quickly as far as breaking news goes, imho.

  • http://twitter.com/AnneAime Anne Aime

    Thank you for this great post about how journalists can use socialmedia.
    In my daily life, I use socialmedia to get an idea about what is happening and what is interesting people at the moment. Because news are often published sooner and through people I follow (specially on Twitter), I get some nice news I will not get otherwise.
    But I am very conscious that information is not checked most of the time. Some people seem to be in a hurry publishing things “on time” (that it is to say, before the other ones ?!), they do not take 30 s. before retweeting to wonder if what is said is likely or not. Fortunately, there are people who send only information coming from professionals and add valur by selecting subjects.

  • http://twitter.com/AnneAime Anne Aime

    Thank you for this great post about how journalists can use socialmedia.
    In my daily life, I use socialmedia to get an idea about what is happening and what is interesting people at the moment. Because news are often published sooner and through people I follow (specially on Twitter), I get some nice news I will not get otherwise.
    But I am very conscious that information is not checked most of the time. Some people seem to be in a hurry publishing things “on time” (that it is to say, before the other ones ?!), they do not take 30 s. before retweeting to wonder if what is said is likely or not. Fortunately, there are people who send only information coming from professionals and add valur by selecting subjects.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shel.holtz Shel Holtz

    This is an outstanding summary, Rich. One additional element to consider regarding videos uploaded by individuals: If the media ignore or opt to not cover something, but it attracts public attention and comment because of a video, the media can feel compelled to begin covering it. The best example I can think of is the video of Sen. George Allen’s “macaca” remarks. The press covered Allen’s talk but did not report on this incident. However, Allen’s statement was reported online, outside the mainstream media, and gained such momentum that the press could no longer ignore it, leading to even more widespread coverage and, ultimately, the undoing of Allen’s senatorial campaign and presidential aspirations. Not all such incidents need to have this kind of an outcome — it could be as simple as someone outside the media seeing something others missed resulting in online buzz and leading ultimately to media coverage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shel.holtz Shel Holtz

    This is an outstanding summary, Rich. One additional element to consider regarding videos uploaded by individuals: If the media ignore or opt to not cover something, but it attracts public attention and comment because of a video, the media can feel compelled to begin covering it. The best example I can think of is the video of Sen. George Allen’s “macaca” remarks. The press covered Allen’s talk but did not report on this incident. However, Allen’s statement was reported online, outside the mainstream media, and gained such momentum that the press could no longer ignore it, leading to even more widespread coverage and, ultimately, the undoing of Allen’s senatorial campaign and presidential aspirations. Not all such incidents need to have this kind of an outcome — it could be as simple as someone outside the media seeing something others missed resulting in online buzz and leading ultimately to media coverage.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Anne,

    You’re absolutely right. The role of the journalist is evolving, but checking sources and evaluating biases is something that every good reporter needs to continue doing.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Anne,

    You’re absolutely right. The role of the journalist is evolving, but checking sources and evaluating biases is something that every good reporter needs to continue doing.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Shel, it’s definitely the democratization of reporting. That of course is both good and bad. Good, because important news stories will rise to the top, but bad because often the lowest common denominator wins out.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Shel, it’s definitely the democratization of reporting. That of course is both good and bad. Good, because important news stories will rise to the top, but bad because often the lowest common denominator wins out.

  • http://twitter.com/monymikel Michael Levy

    Great article. How cool would it be if a reporter was able to use his or her voice and have it posted direct to their Twitter and Facebook feeds? It can be done with Shoutomatic where the reporter can use their cell phone and call in with a 30 second voice tweet and they can be the first to report what they see and hear. This will mean the journalist can keep us up to date to the second. Their voice adds authenticity, emotion and tone to their tweets and updates.

  • http://twitter.com/monymikel Michael Levy

    Great article. How cool would it be if a reporter was able to use his or her voice and have it posted direct to their Twitter and Facebook feeds? It can be done with Shoutomatic where the reporter can use their cell phone and call in with a 30 second voice tweet and they can be the first to report what they see and hear. This will mean the journalist can keep us up to date to the second. Their voice adds authenticity, emotion and tone to their tweets and updates.

  • Laura Weed

    One thing I find frustrating now is that I can turn 1,000 places to find the headlines or late breaking news, which is often all I want. But when I want ALL the details of a story as it develops, I have to hunt all over the web, then mesh conflicting reports, then try and see who corroborates who, and determine what’s happening. I think the internet will develop reliable, dependable sources for news just like print media has, and those will emerge as leaders, while the rest will be speculation and hearsay. Should be an interesting future where it takes far less to put a spin on news media than ever before.

  • Laura Weed

    One thing I find frustrating now is that I can turn 1,000 places to find the headlines or late breaking news, which is often all I want. But when I want ALL the details of a story as it develops, I have to hunt all over the web, then mesh conflicting reports, then try and see who corroborates who, and determine what’s happening. I think the internet will develop reliable, dependable sources for news just like print media has, and those will emerge as leaders, while the rest will be speculation and hearsay. Should be an interesting future where it takes far less to put a spin on news media than ever before.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Laura, I think that’s why we still need journalists and editors: to make sense of the cacophony of data that hits us every day. Of course, we still need to develop our own internal editors to determine what’s real, and what’s just truthiness.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Laura, I think that’s why we still need journalists and editors: to make sense of the cacophony of data that hits us every day. Of course, we still need to develop our own internal editors to determine what’s real, and what’s just truthiness.

  • JamesL

    Great article! Things are moving at such lightning speeds in tech, it does get hard to keep up. He who acts first sometimes comes out on top, so tracking newest uploads on youtube or watching live mobile feeds on amasnic.com can make a big difference. Twitter is definitely taking hold on its capacity as a news leader. They’ve come a long way!

  • JamesL

    Great article! Things are moving at such lightning speeds in tech, it does get hard to keep up. He who acts first sometimes comes out on top, so tracking newest uploads on youtube or watching live mobile feeds on amasnic.com can make a big difference. Twitter is definitely taking hold on its capacity as a news leader. They’ve come a long way!

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Whats really amazing is how the news is no longer being broken by journalists, but rather by folks just like you and I.

    I was having dinner with a fellow blogger 2 nights ago when his phone went off. It was some dude on Facebook braking the news of Osama’s death. About 20 minutes later, my friend receives an update/alert from Associated Press about the same thing.

    Wrap your head around that for a moment. Some dude on Facebook broke the news to us about Osama’s death. Its wasnt AP that did it.

    10 years ago, this was inconceivable.

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Whats really amazing is how the news is no longer being broken by journalists, but rather by folks just like you and I.

    I was having dinner with a fellow blogger 2 nights ago when his phone went off. It was some dude on Facebook braking the news of Osama’s death. About 20 minutes later, my friend receives an update/alert from Associated Press about the same thing.

    Wrap your head around that for a moment. Some dude on Facebook broke the news to us about Osama’s death. Its wasnt AP that did it.

    10 years ago, this was inconceivable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.freygang Andrea Freygang

    As a journalist who operates both an online newspaper, works for a print newspaper as well as freelance for magazines, public relations clients, and still builds websites and social media marketing, it’s a mixed bag out there. There’s still a generation with complete disconnect to the online world, and until that ebbs, online journalism will not truly see it’s hayday. @Laura – even print won’t give the long, wieldy stories because space is expensive in terms of printing costs. The days of really long investigative print pieces are likely over, but video investigations is on the rise. That’s why magazines like Time are still around because of the way they present information.

    The problem with the long pieces is that most people have adopted to a Twitter-sized attention span and never read, so we have to adapt to that as well.

    Some want long, info pieces, but most don’t have time and want their soundbites. It’s training really.

    Just as an example: My mom works at a major library downtown (10 floors) and was giving a group of fifth graders a tour and not a single one of them knew what a typewriter was and thought it was the neatest thing ever.

    I bet they all knew what an iPad was. My six-year-old does and even how to use it though I don’t own one. Web journalism is on the rise for sure, but there’s still room for print, for now at least.

    And the rule of checking before you share applies to everyone, not just the media. I mean, snopes.com anyone?

    Find me at http://browardnetonline.com or http://bnetgraphics.com or http://observernewspaperonline.com. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.freygang Andrea Freygang

    As a journalist who operates both an online newspaper, works for a print newspaper as well as freelance for magazines, public relations clients, and still builds websites and social media marketing, it’s a mixed bag out there. There’s still a generation with complete disconnect to the online world, and until that ebbs, online journalism will not truly see it’s hayday. @Laura – even print won’t give the long, wieldy stories because space is expensive in terms of printing costs. The days of really long investigative print pieces are likely over, but video investigations is on the rise. That’s why magazines like Time are still around because of the way they present information.

    The problem with the long pieces is that most people have adopted to a Twitter-sized attention span and never read, so we have to adapt to that as well.

    Some want long, info pieces, but most don’t have time and want their soundbites. It’s training really.

    Just as an example: My mom works at a major library downtown (10 floors) and was giving a group of fifth graders a tour and not a single one of them knew what a typewriter was and thought it was the neatest thing ever.

    I bet they all knew what an iPad was. My six-year-old does and even how to use it though I don’t own one. Web journalism is on the rise for sure, but there’s still room for print, for now at least.

    And the rule of checking before you share applies to everyone, not just the media. I mean, snopes.com anyone?

    Find me at http://browardnetonline.com or http://bnetgraphics.com or http://observernewspaperonline.com. :)

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Shilpi Roy – Virtual Assistant

    Great post. You are right. Social Media is not a platform to deliver sales pitch. It’s not about talking about yourself. Listening to the audience to find out their needs and then responding to them to fulfill those can result in a healthy relationship in between the business and its customers. And Social Media is the right place to practice that.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Shilpi Roy – Virtual Assistant

    Great post. You are right. Social Media is not a platform to deliver sales pitch. It’s not about talking about yourself. Listening to the audience to find out their needs and then responding to them to fulfill those can result in a healthy relationship in between the business and its customers. And Social Media is the right place to practice that.

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Rich,

    Awesome post. Compelling questions.

    Not much over a year ago, I found Twitter somewhat annoying. Today, I use it as a newsfeed that I am able to customize and check on my own. Yes, sometimes the info is suspect. But in some instances I can get more details than I might with only television or print reporting.

    News of Osama bin Laden – We were able to see tweets from @ReallyVirtual — a resident of Abbottabad — tweeting as the Navy Seal operation was occurring. I was able to make a collection of those tweets and share that information with others (here for reference: http://ideagirlmedia.com/2011/05/osama-bin-laden-dead-the-effects-of-social-media/).

    Remember in elementary school when we had only 3 or 4 TV channels? Amazing now that social media is sometimes our first reality of news…

    This is an incredible check-and-balance for our various traditional media!

    ~Keri

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Rich,

    Awesome post. Compelling questions.

    Not much over a year ago, I found Twitter somewhat annoying. Today, I use it as a newsfeed that I am able to customize and check on my own. Yes, sometimes the info is suspect. But in some instances I can get more details than I might with only television or print reporting.

    News of Osama bin Laden – We were able to see tweets from @ReallyVirtual — a resident of Abbottabad — tweeting as the Navy Seal operation was occurring. I was able to make a collection of those tweets and share that information with others (here for reference: http://ideagirlmedia.com/2011/05/osama-bin-laden-dead-the-effects-of-social-media/).

    Remember in elementary school when we had only 3 or 4 TV channels? Amazing now that social media is sometimes our first reality of news…

    This is an incredible check-and-balance for our various traditional media!

    ~Keri

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  • http://treytitone.com/ Trey Titone

    We are certainly seeing a revolution in reporting with social media just in the way we are seeing a revolution with marketing and social media. People have to learn to adapt, or get left behind.

  • http://treytitone.com/ Trey Titone

    We are certainly seeing a revolution in reporting with social media just in the way we are seeing a revolution with marketing and social media. People have to learn to adapt, or get left behind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elias.shams Elias Shams

    It’s no brainer to see that social media is here to stay for good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with, it’s time for such a hot space to enter into a new category. There is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the enterprise about their online connections.

    A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies

    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr and others have been doing a decent job of providing additional marketing exposure and even in some cases, additional revenue. However, as more and more social networking sites pop up, how do you manage your brand across all these channels? Maybe more importantly, which one of these sites should you select as the one that will help you best reach your target audience? The proliferation of the social media avenues is becoming overwhelming.

    This glut of information reminds me of the early 90’s when WWW was adopted broadly by the general public. Every company rushed to have a presence, to the point it became literally impossible to find the right information on the Web. That’s when a better generation of search engines – at first the Yahoo! and then Google – entered the market and helped us find the most relevant information by just typing simple keywords in their search box. If you had asked before Google launched, if there was a need for another search engine – most would have said no, we already have those….

    Then came Web 1.0 & 2.0 – Youtube, Flickr, myspace, Facebook, Twitter and countless others have turned everyday people into content producers, influencers and experts. We basically tripled down on the information overload How do you know which channels to select for deploying your social media strategy? How do you know which one is the right channel to let your fans and followers to find you, your products, and services? Most importantly, who is Joe Smith that is recommending that person, that company, that product?

    I hope my awesomize.me can accomplish such a mission. The site is not another social networking platform. Yet the portal to all your existing social media channels. The platform helps you, your fans, your potential clients to make an intelligent decision as to which company to connect to or follow via which social media channels and why? It’s free!

    Elias
    CEO & Founder
    http://awesomize.me

  • http://www.facebook.com/elias.shams Elias Shams

    It’s no brainer to see that social media is here to stay for good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with, it’s time for such a hot space to enter into a new category. There is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the enterprise about their online connections.

    A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies

    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr and others have been doing a decent job of providing additional marketing exposure and even in some cases, additional revenue. However, as more and more social networking sites pop up, how do you manage your brand across all these channels? Maybe more importantly, which one of these sites should you select as the one that will help you best reach your target audience? The proliferation of the social media avenues is becoming overwhelming.

    This glut of information reminds me of the early 90’s when WWW was adopted broadly by the general public. Every company rushed to have a presence, to the point it became literally impossible to find the right information on the Web. That’s when a better generation of search engines – at first the Yahoo! and then Google – entered the market and helped us find the most relevant information by just typing simple keywords in their search box. If you had asked before Google launched, if there was a need for another search engine – most would have said no, we already have those….

    Then came Web 1.0 & 2.0 – Youtube, Flickr, myspace, Facebook, Twitter and countless others have turned everyday people into content producers, influencers and experts. We basically tripled down on the information overload How do you know which channels to select for deploying your social media strategy? How do you know which one is the right channel to let your fans and followers to find you, your products, and services? Most importantly, who is Joe Smith that is recommending that person, that company, that product?

    I hope my awesomize.me can accomplish such a mission. The site is not another social networking platform. Yet the portal to all your existing social media channels. The platform helps you, your fans, your potential clients to make an intelligent decision as to which company to connect to or follow via which social media channels and why? It’s free!

    Elias
    CEO & Founder
    http://awesomize.me

  • http://www.aaroneden.com/ Aaron Eden

    Social media is the new media. I guess, people are sick of mainstream media and they need to find alternatives that bring them the news just as it is happening. This can definitely open new horizons for journalists.

  • http://www.aaroneden.com/ Aaron Eden

    Social media is the new media. I guess, people are sick of mainstream media and they need to find alternatives that bring them the news just as it is happening. This can definitely open new horizons for journalists.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Exceptional, well-researched post, @therichbrooks:disqus! Two thumbs up! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Thanks, Mari!

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    I’m not sure people are sick of mainstream media; they still are where most people get their news. Still, social media is definitely another channel in which the news is distributed, and news orgs need to work it into their news cycle.

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  • http://www.seo-first-page.com/seo-services.html SEO Services

    Awesome post,

    Social Media indeed is such a powerful attribute to online connectivity.

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Andrea,

    I just had the “typewriter” discussion w/my 8 year old the other day and had to use Google Image search to explain it!

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    I think like Wikipedia, Twitter can be your “first source” for news…just make sure it’s not your last or you may be sending condolences to Jackie Chan’s family when he’s very much alive.

  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    It’s quite a change in the landscape of journalism. It maybe a great new way to deliver news in real time, but at the same time, it does cripple the relevance of journalists, whereas nowadays, anyone can be a reporter with their social media accounts.

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  • http://twitter.com/GeorgesFallah Georges Fallah

    In my opinion social media has more positive attributes than negative sides.Most importantly it’s an interaction between viewers and a perfect substitute for newspapers and magazines.

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  • Chibi-

    I believe that SM will eventually come to an end. There are many hackers out there who know how to manipulate computers etc.

  • Abigail Morrison

    #mecpsmeida this article brought to light how social media is becoming the new newspaper and how the news brought is less accurate

  • aprillebelike

    Social Media is a fast way to get new information around and this article really helped state that. Although the information may be wrong it still comes at a fast pace. Sometimes news gets out so fast that it can be hard to keep up with. Besides that this was a really good article and actually had amazing statements. #FACTS #MECPSMEDIA









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