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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

A wordcloud of Pew’s State of the News Media 2010 Report

Posted on : 15-03-2010 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism

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I took the excerpts from Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism “State of the News Media 2010” report and inserted them into wordle to get a word cloud of the text. It’s interesting that “pay” comes up as one of the dominant words. I am guessing it will be a theme for this year.

Here are a few takes on the report for you to digest:

NYC 3.0: Kommons looks to challenge Twitter for trustworthy news in real-time

Posted on : 19-02-2010 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Higher Education, Online Journalism

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This was originally published on NYC 3.0, a project that covers in tech start-ups in New York.

Cody Brown, founder of Kommons and NYU Local.

Cody Brown thinks he may have stumbled across the “holy grail” in news publishing.

Brown, a senior at New York University and founder of NYU Local, is embarking on a new venture called Kommons. Kommons is a real-time news platform that’s intended for users in specific communities. He’s starting with NYU.

“It’s a culmination of everything I have learned in media so far,” Brown said. “Kommons is a quest for the holy grail in media.”

How it works

The Twitter/Wiki-like platform is in its very early stages and Brown is looking to shape the product through private alpha testing in the coming months.

From a demo of the product you might think that Kommons is a “lite” version of Twitter. But make no mistake, it’s functionality and purpose are quite different.

Nonprofit journalism startups’ executive pay: How much is too much?

Posted on : 22-01-2010 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Online Journalism

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Bay Area News Project’s CEO Lisa Frazier has a $400,000 salary, which reminds me of the news and criticisms about Paul Steiger getting $570,000 to run ProPublica. This begs the question: how much is too much in the pay of top execs at nonprofit journalism startups.

A lot of the defense for such high pay is that these are people who are very qualified and some earned much more at previous jobs (where they also managed larger operations). Look at the many startup models where the CEO or founders don’t get paid all that much until the model is proven sustainable financially. Why should journalism startups be any different?

Why the Tablet won’t save the print industry

Posted on : 17-01-2010 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Tools

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Update: My friend and colleague Shane Snow has a funny comic on this same topic.

Over the course of the last several weeks, I have seen several articles calling Apple’s Tablet the “savior” of print media and similar prophetic names. However, I am still somewhat skeptical that the Tablet will have a substantial difference in helping the print industry. I want to outline a few reasons why I think it could help, but also why I am quite skeptical.

Create your own newspaper (err aggregator) using NewsCred

Posted on : 14-01-2010 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Social Media

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After two years, NewsCred relaunched its website today to give users the ability to create their own customized newspaper – without the paper.

Basically, the site allows users to create their own edition by aggregating news, images, search for key terms, and videos. It’s another tool for personalized news, putting it in a easy-to-read fashion, but not different from the likes of other readers or aggregators out there. The unique aspect is that this site brings in original content into the mix. Users can write their own “editorials” or blog posts.

The customization seems to be this site’s appeal. You can create your own design style, and users can also follow other NewsCred publishers’ newspapers in true Twitter fashion. The design, however, seems to not be as customizable as some platforms, which may be a strength and weakness.

Mashable.com website redesign: What do you think?

Posted on : 04-01-2010 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Design, Social Media

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Mashable.com, the social media guide that I often write for, has released a redesign of its site today. The new design features a tweaked header with new navigation that is categorized in way that makes it easier to find specific topics. The homepage also gives more prominence to the trending story before a reader gets to see the most recent story.

A new sidebar feature highlights columnists like myself and recent stories they have written and updates in font styles make front-page posts more eye-friendly with a cleaner design. The preview of posts have been reworked, and the author image is posted below and we now can see how long ago the article was posted. It isn’t a huge redesign in layout, and I expected a bit more of a magazine-style layout, but the improvements are a nice update.

What do you think? What other changes would you make? (I will use feedback and send it along to those in charge of the redesign).

My biggest critique is that I think the “above the fold” space could still be utilized better to feature more content, though the site does a great job of featuring ways to connect with the site very prominently (something I cannot preach enough).

18 news media content and business trends for 2010

Posted on : 23-12-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Online Journalism

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This is an excerpt from the second of several posts I wrote for Mashable.com that takes a look at the news media in 2010. It looks at 10 news media content trends:

The news media is experiencing a renaissance. As we end the year, its state in 2009 can be summarized as a year of turmoil, layoffs and cutbacks in an industry desperately seeking to reinvent its business model and content. But despite the thousands of journalism jobs lost, the future has much hope and opportunity for those that are willing to adapt to a changing industry.

Much of that change is happening now. And in the coming year, news organizations will look to approach monetization and content experimentation that is focused on looking at the web in a new way. News (news) in 2010 will blur the lines between audience and creator more than ever in an era of social media. Below is a look at several trends in content distribution and presentation that we will likely see more of in 2010.


1. Living Stories


Living Stories Image

One of the difficulties of the web is being able to really track a story as it develops and creating engaging formats for long-form articles. The article page is often the only thing that a reader sees and not the story in its full context. In 2010, news organizations will design stories that are more suited to the way readers consume online content.

One early sign of this is the recent collaboration between Google (Google), The New York Times, and The Washington Post on the Living Stories project, an experiment that presents coverage of a specific story or topic in one place, making it easy to navigate the topic and see the timeline of coverage on the story. It also allows you to get a summary of the story and track the conversations taking place. This format contextualizes and personalizes the news.

Read the full post here.

This is an excerpt from the first of several posts I wrote for Mashable.com that takes a look at the news media in 2010. It looks at 8 news media business trends:

With the news industry struggling to find new revenue streams that can reshape their broken business model, 2010 will be defined by experiments in news media monetization. This will also include content that is guided more than ever by the audience and ad revenue.

This coming year we will also see the results of news organizations putting pay walls up, as well as new experimental models like accepting Web donations from readers — some of which may prove to be successful. Below are eight emerging news media business trends to look for in 2010.


1. Social Media Monetization


Statesman Twitter Ad Image

The coming year will see emerging business models, including social media monetization. And as advertisers become more comfortable with advertising in social media, news companies will look to capture those dollars.

“Twitter display ads,” said Matt Thompson, interim online community manager for the Knight Foundation. “I don’t understand why this hasn’t happened yet.”

Thompson pictures a half-page ad that is actually a TwitterTwitterTwitter widget from a retailer’s corporate account. In fact, some news organizations have already experimented with social ads. Robert Quigley, social media editor at the Austin American-Statesman, said they gave Twitter ads a try and have gotten some mixed reactions from followers, but did not lose any of them. The Huffington Post is also going to sell tweets to advertisers.

Read the full post on Mashable here.

8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist

Posted on : 09-12-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism

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Excerpt from my Mashable post today:

As the news industry looks to reconstruct its suffering business model, the journalists of today must reconstruct their skill sets for the growing world of online media. Because of cutbacks at many news organizations, the jobs available are highly competitive. News companies are seeking journalists who are jacks of all trades, yet still masters of one (or more).

2010 will likely be a time of transition as today’s journalists catch up to learn the multimedia, programming, social media, and business skills they’ll need to tell their stories online. These new skills are especially relevant to startups that are looking to hire multi-skilled and social media-savvy journalists. Below we’ve gathered some skills that are quickly becoming basic requirements for the journalist of tomorrow. These skills are presented in no particular order.

Red may just be the new black in news Web design

Posted on : 05-12-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Design, Online Journalism

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No slides are available.
If it bleeds, it leads. Maybe that’s why news sites are going with a bright, blood red?

CNN recently redesigned its website and went with a richer, brighter red for its header. It had some red before (after all it’s their brand), but now the header pops bright. Reuters released its redesign today with a rich red for its logo in the header. And even the NYC-based hyper local start-up DNAinfo.com went with a red too.

Not sure if this is a trend, and my Web designer and entrepreneur friend Shane Snow tells me that blue has always been the popular choice and red has typically been the second favorite. There are plenty of news sites out there that incorporate a blue palette like the Miami Herald. But maybe red is on the rise in news Web design? Maybe it’s the power-tie in Web design. Just something to ponder.

Cody Brown, the founder of NYU Local and Kommons, pointed out on Twitter another example of the Atlantic Wire using bright red and thinks it is becoming somewhat a trend.

Craig Kanalley, the traffic and trends editor at the Huffington Post, also posted an example on Twitter of Breaking News, which uses red. Then there’s also Skynews.com, but as Kanalley points out, they used a lot of black to offset the bright red.

Also, there is Newsweek and NiemanLab.

What are some other examples you’ve seen out there? Let me know, and i’ll include them in the gallery.

Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr…Can news orgs be everywhere?

Posted on : 23-11-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Social Media

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Newsweek tumblrThis evening there was some buzz about Newsweek’s Tumblr, after Nieman Lab tweeted about it. Its design is quite nice and it includes a lot of content that is curated outside of Newsweek. A few news orgs included their Tumblr links, including Minnpost and Nieman Lab. Both of the accounts mostly serve as feeds for tweets and posts. Sound familiar?