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Facebook + Journalism 101Facebook + Journalism 101 Academia could be more social. So recently, I setup a Facebook Group for "Social Journalism Educators" to be able to connect and share resources around how they are teaching...

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My Next Chapter: Facebook JournalismMy Next Chapter: Facebook Journalism This was originally posted on my Facebook Page. Also, read CNN's coverage of my new role. ------ I am honored to announce that I will be joining Facebook as Journalist...

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Is Sharing More Valuable for Publishers on Facebook or Twitter? [STATS] Is Sharing More Valuable for Publishers on Facebook... This is an excerpt of analysis I recently wrote on Mashable about how our Twitter users interact with our content vs. those on Facebook. The result: Facebook's click-per-share...

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Facebook & Its Growing Role in Social JournalismFacebook & Its Growing Role in Social Journalism This is an excerpt from a post I recently reported for Mashable.com. Read the full piece here. A Facebook-only news organization? It was only a matter of time. The...

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New to Twitter? Here Are 12 Tips From the CommunityNew to Twitter? Here Are 12 Tips From the Community For someone just starting out on Twitter, the social information network can be intimidating. It has its own language, limitations, and features that are very unique to the...

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Vadim Lavrusik Rss

#HurricaneSandy told through Instagram Photos

Posted on : 10-29-2012 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Instagram, Online Journalism, Social Media, Tools

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This is embedded stream of #hurricanesandy using a tool called Snapwidget, which easily enables you to embed a stream of photos from Instagram onto your website:


Subscribe for Journalists

Posted on : 09-14-2011 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Online Journalism

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Subscribe is a simple way to broaden your conversation on Facebook with your community of readers and viewers, while reserving personal updates for people you know well. Your audience can keep up with your content without having to add you as a friend. They can simply subscribe. You can have an unlimited number of subscribers, and easily update them on-the-go from your mobile phone.
You can also subscribe to sources or other journalists to get their updates in your News Feed to keep up with the latest news. Also, with each individual you can customize what kind of updates you get from them in your News Feed.

You can enable readers to subscribe to you by going to the Subscriptions tab on the left-hand side of your profile, or by going to facebook.com/about/subscriptions. Simply click Allow Subscribers to enable your readers and viewers to subscribe to your public updates. Download the PDF guide below:
Subscribe for Journalists

Also, feel free to subscribe to me at: https://www.facebook.com/vadim

Facebook + Journalism 101

Posted on : 07-27-2011 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Higher Education, Journalism school, Online Journalism

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Academia could be more social. So recently, I setup a Facebook Group for “Social Journalism Educators” to be able to connect and share resources around how they are teaching social media as part of their journalism curricula. As an adjunct professor teaching social media skills for journalists at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, I wanted to learn from other professors who were teaching similar courses or integrating it into their classes on the best skills to teach students and how best to achieve that in a classroom setting. It’s been a great resource already with close to 200 members, perhaps telling of how many journalism educators are trying to understand how to best teach social as part of the core skills.

I’ve also been working on building resources over the last few months for journalists as part of my job at Facebook as Journalist Program Manager. Much of this has been published and produced on the Facebook + Journalists Page, which I’d encourage you to check out (especially the tabs). As an educator, I’ve been thinking about how some of these resources might fit into a journalism curricula, and how they might be best taught in a classroom setting. So I’ve put together a document titled “Facebook + Journalism 101″ that professors can use to integrate into journalism curricula. It’s a starting point, and highlights some of the skills I’ve taught students in how to use Facebook as a reporting tool (even before I worked at Facebook).

I’ve included some key aspects of Facebook that can be used by journalists in their reporting, as well as examples of assignments that can help familiarize students with Facebook as a reporting tool.

Facebook + Journalism 101

My Next Chapter: Facebook Journalism

Posted on : 04-14-2011 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Social Media

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This was originally posted on my Facebook Page. Also, read CNN’s coverage of my new role.

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I am honored to announce that I will be joining Facebook as Journalist Program Manager to lead the charge of growing and improving social journalism on the platform.

I am going to miss my brilliant colleagues at Mashable. In the next few weeks, I will transition out of my role as Community Manager & Social Media Strategist, where I led the growing community team and managed the strategy behind Mashable’s distributed social presence on and off site. From launching the first ever Social Media Day to working on the social integration of Follow, a new social product from Mashable, it’s been an extraordinary experience. Most of all, I’ve loved covering the social journalism space and will continue to do so in my new role, helping journalism utilize the social web to improve their reporting.

As Journalist Program Manager, I will be leading the charge to build programs that help journalists utilize Facebook in their reporting while advocating on their behalf to improve social journalism on the platform. This includes the likes of the recently launched Journalists on Facebook Page and Facebook Journalism Meetups program, as well as resources for journalism educators, but also taking insightful feedback to product on how Facebook can be improved for journalism. I will be based in Facebook’s NYC office.

Facebook’s role in journalism has grown tremendously, perhaps showcased during the recent unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, and the growth is only going to continue as new products on the platform are introduced and users become even more accustomed to engaging with content and its producers. While some have proclaimed and lamented the death of journalism, I’ve been more fascinated with how it’s evolving, especially the emergence of social journalism. And though the platform or format may change, storytelling is thriving. After all, journalism isn’t dying. It’s being reborn.

I’m excited to work with journalists to enhance how Facebook is utilized for reporting and storytelling, and share the quality journalism taking place on the platform. Our first Facebook Journalism meetup will be on April 27th at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

I look forward to working with you and would love to get your feedback and ideas. How are you utilizing Facebook in your reporting and storytelling? How can we help?

Is Sharing More Valuable for Publishers on Facebook or Twitter? [STATS]

Posted on : 03-25-2011 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Social Media, Twitter

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This is an excerpt of analysis I recently wrote on Mashable about how our Twitter users interact with our content vs. those on Facebook. The result: Facebook’s click-per-share ratio is better.

In the age of micropublishing, how many people are actually reading what you tweet or share on Facebook? And more importantly, how does the click-per-share ratio compare between the two very different social platforms that are utilized by millions of users every day for consuming and sharing content?

These are questions that keep social media strategists awake at night (or maybe just me). So at Mashable, we decided to take a look at our own data and see how user behavior compares between Facebook and Twitter, the two social media sites that generate the most referral traffic to Mashable.com.

After pulling three months worth of our social data and calculating the click-per-share (CPS), it appears that users on Twitter are more likely to share an article rather than read it, whereas users on Facebook click on more articles than they share. According to our social data, Twitter received roughly 0.38 clicks per tweet, whereas Facebook received 3.31 clicks per engagement (the number of times people posted a Mashable link to Facebook through an action on a social plugin or through a Wall post). This would mean that a Facebook action gets roughly 8.7x more clicks than a tweet.

Read the full article at Mashable.com

Facebook & Its Growing Role in Social Journalism

Posted on : 03-04-2011 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Social Media

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This is an excerpt from a post I recently reported for Mashable.com. Read the full piece here.

A Facebook-only news organization? It was only a matter of time.

The Rockville Central, a community news site in the Washington, D.C., area, will move all its operations and news coverage to its Facebook Page starting on March 1. This risky move by the site’s editor, Cindy Cotte Griffiths, highlights Facebook’s growing role as a platform for journalists to use for social storytelling and reporting.

When it comes to journalists using social media, Twitter has been the go-to platform for real-time reporting and reaching out to sources, largely because it’s a public platform and most of its content is accessible. But with Facebook continuing to scale and in some ways becoming more public, it offers journalists an arsenal of content types beyond 140 characters and an alternative destination to connect with new sources of information.

New to Twitter? Here Are 12 Tips From the Community

Posted on : 02-01-2011 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Social Media, Twitter

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For someone just starting out on Twitter, the social information network can be intimidating. It has its own language, limitations, and features that are very unique to the platform.

On Saturday, just before the start of my Social Media Skill for Journalists class began, I tweeted asking my followers what advice they would give to new Twitter users. After getting some great responses, I’ve highlighted some of the best answers below.

Journalism Schools Should Stop Producing Content That Lives on Islands

Posted on : 01-21-2011 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Higher Education, Journalism school, Online Journalism

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The days of journalism school content living on islands that are not a part of their community should come to end. One of the ways this can be accomplished is by having journalism schools partner with campus business schools in which students from both schools work collaboratively on maintaining a living, breathing monetized news website or mobile product.

This will be my recommendation as part of the collaborative Carnival of Journalism topic, “The changing role of Universities for the information needs of a community,” and an upcoming round-table organized by David Cohn at Missouri.

In general, I think David hit it on the head when he said that at many schools, the journalism that students produce is “museum work.” It is work that is produced in a vacuum, only to be read and seen by the professors, students and sources.

In the last 5 years, journalism schools have taken a step in showcasing student work on their websites, and in some cases, like my experience at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, producing entire websites or in-depth web projects. Students are progressively able to learn to produce for the web and the web, learning multimedia and social media skills. At Columbia, almost every class had a dedicated website that either covered a neighborhood or specific topic. The problem is few people actually visited these websites because of a lack of outreach or as soon as they gained momentum they were killed off at the end of class.


Why Working With Business Schools Makes Sense


The idea behind “vacuum” journalism environments is that it creates a safe environment for students to learn, make mistakes, screw up and improve their craft. This perhaps reduces student fear and provides them with the skills they need before they jump into a “real” journalism organization, where brand is at stake.

That makes sense, but what about students that have gained fundamental skills and would like to improve their craft in the environment and pressures that working in a news organization provides? The economic pressures felt by journalists in newsrooms across the country? The pressure that forces journalists to become entrepreneurial and innovative in their solutions to journalism’s current challenges? This is why partnering with business schools makes sense.

It could start with a collaborative  class, in which both journalism school students and business school students maintain and manage a website or mobile-only news product focused on a local community that is constantly updated. I include mobile because I think mobile-only news products will become more prominent and an options as more readers consume their news on-the-go. The coverage would be focused on a community of need, combined with market research to show whether there is business demand.

This class would have to be offered year-round to be successful in building an audience and attracting interest from advertisers. The revenue generated would go to pay costs for the website and the students. And no, paying students for their journalism school work is not unheard of. At my undergraduate journalism school at the University of Minnesota, I was able to participate in a paid internship at the Star Tribune, the daily metro newspaper. The internship was really a class through the school, taught by a professor. So why not have students get paid for their work for a website they maintain and manage?

Economic incentive would force the websites and students to do more outreach and community engagement, something that has become almost expected of journalists today. The sites would no longer just be islands consumed by the few, but would instead grow into resources for local communities. It wouldn’t be easy, of course. It would take real sacrifice from students working together to build a sustainable destination for local journalism. But it could be possible if it is addressing a need for content in an under-covered community.

Not only would this provide adequate training for the journalism students, but it would also train the business school students on media and online economics and sales. And perhaps more importantly, if done right, it would fill a gap in news in a community that have had its news source recently face cutbacks.

The days of content produced by journalism students living on an island are gone, not only for the sake of students getting proper training but also the community continuing to be informed.

Emily Bell on Protecting Sources in a Networked Journalism Environment

Posted on : 01-13-2011 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Journalism school, Online Journalism, Social Media

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After writing a piece that looks at the broken legal system in regards to social media and subpoenas recently, I got a great response from Emily Bell, director of the Tow Digital Center at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. I’ve updated the piece to reflect her thoughts, but also wanted to share her full reaction here. She addresses the increasing challenges of protecting sources and journalistic work in a networked environment:

“I think that evidently Twitter has behaved as honorably as it can in the circumstances, but its reactions are those of the existing management in a specific set of circumstances – there is no set of standards or codes which oblige Twitter to behave as well as it did. What has to be troubling in all of these instances is how things could be different if circumstances or ownership changed. there is already so much data on those systems, and how many people really understand that they don’t own that material?

I would imagine that after Wikileaks, investigative journalists would keep most if not all of their interactions away from social media platforms, if they hadn’t already. These are not secure, and never will be, as they are governed by commercial rules and, in some cases, shareholders whose primary interest is not journalistic.

One of the more problematic areas is that of course in the future potential whistleblowers are unlikely to be versed in data security and the policies of individual networks as some journalists, and treat private systems for messaging as just that, without realising that their data might be given up quite easily.

In thinking about the future of the press, it is important to think how we can protect sources and this kind of communication in a digital and networked environment. It is important that the future free press also allows participants some kind of control over their identity and data – I guess that is the huge challenge for journalism in an age when tools wil increasingly be distributed.”

10 Predictions for the News Media in 2011

Posted on : 12-20-2010 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Social Media

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This is an excerpt from a post that I originally wrote for Mashable.com. See the full post here.

In many ways, 2010 was finally the year of mobile for news media, and especially so if you consider the iPad a mobile device. Many news organizations like The Washington Post and CNN included heavy social media integrations into their apps, opening the devices beyond news consumption.

In 2011, the focus on mobile will continue to grow with the launch of mobile- and iPad-only news products, but the greater focus for news media in 2011 will be on re-imagining its approach to the open social web. The focus will shift from searchable news to social and share-able news, as social media referrals close the gap on search traffic for more news organizations. In the coming year, news media’s focus will be affected by the personalization of news consumption and social media’s influence on journalism.


1. Leaks and Journalism: A New Kind of Media Entity


In 2010, we saw the rise of WikiLeaks through its many controversial leaks. With each leak, the organization learned and evolved its process in distributing sensitive classified information. In 2011, we’ll see several governments prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for his role in disseminating classified documents and some charges will have varying successes. But even if WikiLeaks itself gets shut down, we’re going to see the rise of “leakification” in journalism, and more importantly we’ll see a number of new media entities, not just mirror sites, that will model themselves to serve whistle blowers — WikiLeaks copycats of sorts. Toward the end of this year, we already saw Openleaks, Brusselsleaks, and Tradeleaks. There will be many more, some of which will be focused on niche topics.

Just like with other media entities, there will be a new competitive market and some will distinguish themselves and rise above the rest. So how will success be measured? The scale of the leak, the organization’s ability to distribute it and its ability or inability to partner with media organizations. Perhaps some will distinguish themselves by creating better distribution platforms through their own sites by focusing on the technology and, of course, the analysis of the leaks. The entities will still rely on partnerships with established media to distribute and analyze the information, but it may very well change the relationship whistleblowers have had with media organizations until now.

Read the full post on Mashable.