Social media are for business

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Social Media Club

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I just remembered when during the Social Media Club meeting one journalist was saying not to believe the internet would be there in a couple of years time this myst have been naivity or was he just closing his eyes as a change was imminent? Media are business nowadays and nobody can hide from that fact. The numbers are convincing enough – and business is about numbers. Media are business – so about numbers.

The romantism of working in media will be diffent in the near future. We don’t work on a typewriter for a long time and the print is not made with lead shapes anymore. It’s getting to be about people and people only. The distance that existed traditionally between the journalist and the audience is to disappear, we will work in the centre of the society, surrounded by people who are our sources and the audience at the same time. Get used to it. It’s the only way.

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‘Duty-content’ king?

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Crowd 65

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During the workshop of Social Media Club Utrecht, Netherlands, on 29th June 2011 the theme was Social Media and journalism. Elvira van Noort emphasised that during her internship in 2005, various journalists did not believe in internet at all and that the editorial desks of the internet and print departments were separated. Nowadays, the line between journalist work and the citizen or community is getting thin. However, a task of the journalists is to verify and check the content the community provides and thus adding reliability. Turned around, the community can make the journalists work for them by sending messages the journalists should act upon. Aart Lensink of LVB Networks was worried about the ‘duty-content’ – the stream of comparable content that was produced by organisations that want to have content for the sake of it. A blurb of words, optimised to be found in Google but by its un-originality the result was opposite. But do the ‘official’ media loose their position? It is clear that suppliers, the business, seem to get closer to the professionals compared to the professional media which are disappearing. The latter can be caused by the business model of controlled circulation and advertising which declined. When at the same time the suppliers and professionals have the means to share their experience themselves, the parallel movements make that the information structure changes. Forever.

Are Journalists Using Social Media?

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154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons

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Jackie Lampugnano askes herself how journalists are using social media. With Matt Lindner she had a conversation on his opinion about this issue. And it is basically so simple. Journalists are looking for story ideas and soacial media are a heartbeat of what is being said around and it is easy to make selection or search. Also they are engaging, being there, and giving an answer to what other people are looking for rather than pushing their own opinions.

Social media also are very good for the research: you already can read yourself into subjects or even ask questions that may rise. Twitter is a good example but the groups of LinkedIn also turn out to be a good source. And there are various more specialised groups around.

In the end, it’s about relationships. These are getting you further ahead in life. This is valuable for journalists, but for all people who want to be involved in social media. The social part of this term seems to bee looked over quite often. And that’s what makes the conversation useful.

Facebook as a journalist tool

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New York Times

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It was weird to see a job ad for a journalist advocate working for Facebook, to promote the use of Facebook under journalists. Did reporters not discover the networking site yet? For years, the social media site is known for its benefits. In 2009, Mashable already wrote about the opportunities to find leads for an article, to find sources to get information and a two-way communication tool to reach an audience. Nothing new… also not because one year earlier, already was described how a journalist found a way to make scoops using Facebook as a platform of preference.

In the time of Web 3.0, where many journalists still seem to prefere their notepad and pencil over the computer and the internet for professional use, Facebook (among others) is a good platform to integrate and create groups and interaction. Hanging out on Facebook must lead to stories, is a quote that can be found in several places.

So why would Facebook need a journalist to be a journalist advocate? Why don’t reporters find Facebook? It has in a way the agility of Twitter in the perspective of speed – and at the same time, the functionality of LinkedIn with groups for special knowledge. And it is quite easy to connect with people. I just wonder why this should be brought under the attention of the professionals. I’m curious how you as a journalist think of Facebook. I like it for several purposes. Hanging out, hearing about new professional developments, to name one example. How do you think of this?

How journalists get sources using Twitter

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New York Times

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Lisah Petterson (@journalistlisah), an anchorperson on the Swedish TV4 channel gives in her blogpost on My Newsdesk a good tip for journalists looking for sources. The hastag #jourtip added to the request is used by Swedish journalists looking for sources, spokespersons or suggestions. The article is also mentioning her Twitter account increased interaction with her tv audience. The more active she is, the more she gets out of her efforts. Her advice is that journalists should use social media more as an integral part of their resources.

Another way is to use Twitter for referrals. When I can’t really find a direct contact (in Twitter or LinkedIn), through a couple of referrals I normally get where I want to come. It’s good to know your resources – and use them!

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