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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

Why Facebook’s Privacy Changes are Detrimental to Users

Posted on : 01-12-2010 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Social Media

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Excerpt from a Mashable post that ran today:

facebook privacy imageThough Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says that public is the new “social norm,” many members who use the social network for professional and business reasons have lost the ability to conduct certain actions privately as a result of changes made to the settings.

And despite this being a reflection and a catalyst of our social activities becoming more public through the likes of Twitter (Twitter) and other sites, not having the option to control certain aspects in some ways is detrimental to the way we use the site and has the potential to deter users from using the site freely.

Mashable.com website redesign: What do you think?

Posted on : 01-04-2010 | 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 : 12-23-2009 | 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.

The Big Hurt project from Columbia Journalism School’s Digital Media Newsroom

Posted on : 12-18-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Higher Education, Journalism school

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BighurtToday marks the end of the my first semester at the one-year M.S. digital media program at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and I wanted to share a few projects.

One of these was an in-depth look at how the recession is affecting New Yorkers. Five different digital media newsroom sections covered five topics surrounding “The Big Hurt”: housing, small business, unemployment, the arts, and people changing careers as a result of being laid off. Students partnered in teams of two to produce digital media profiles that include a print piece, flash graphic, video, a custom Google Map, and slideshow (some of these profiles may be missing one of these elements because of the structure of that section or because this is still in a “soft” launch and students are finishing elements off). The structure of the course allows for you to produce and in-depth digital profile, but also learn the skills required to create a story using digital media storytelling.

8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist

Posted on : 12-09-2009 | 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 : 12-05-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Design, Online Journalism

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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.

What major would you recommend for a highschooler pursuing a career in journalism?

Posted on : 11-28-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Journalism school

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Meet Yuliya Barsukova. She is a 17-year-old Russian high school student applying to college with a dream to be a journalist. She even has some professional experience working for the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. But right now she is trying to decide what would be the best major to prepare her for a career in journalism. She is one many that is still choosing the career despite cutbacks at many news organizations and among the record number of people applying to journalism school.

I have had a few other youngsters (I know, I myself am young too) asking me what I would recommend for a major in college to prepare them for a career in journalism. I majored in journalism. But I think that if I were to go back I would have likely picked something more on the technology side of things like computer science.

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

Posted on : 11-23-2009 | 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?

How Demand Media’s business model can be applied to niche sites

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

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Demand Media ScreenshotThis is an excerpt from article I wrote for Poynter.org.

Demand Media has advertising-driven content down to a science. Instead of creating content for the Web and hoping that it generates revenue, the company works backwards by determining how much revenue each piece will generate before anything is produced.

The company uses a series of algorithms to pick through keywords that people are searching for on the Web and aims to create content unique enough to rank highly in those search results. It also determines how much advertisers would pay to be next to that content.

This is much different than simply using analytics to shift stories around on a home page or testing which headline will draw more readers. Demand is all about the dollars.

News organizations looking to create profitable content on the Web can see that Demand Media’s model does make money — although it forgoes editorial judgment and a journalism process. Yet news organizations could apply lessons from Demand’s approach to their own companies, not for standard news operations, but for niche sites that are focused on reader demand and generating revenue.

Demand Media is focused on “service journalism,” said Adam Weinroth, the company’s vice president of strategic marketing. “This is the kind of content that is evergreen, and includes formats like guides, how-to’s and tips.”

Besides the company’s method of choosing stories, the other part of Demand’s strategy is in how it gets its content. Rather than try sell ads to support content that costs a particular amount, the company has dropped the cost of production to make sure it can be supported by what advertisers are willing to pay.

Read the full post here.

Betaworks CEO talks evolution of the Web into a social stream

Posted on : 11-11-2009 | By : shanesnow | In : Business, Search, Social Media

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By SHANE SNOW
Shane is a digital media student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and founder of the social product site, Scordit.com.

If The Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer were to invest his own money these days, he says he’d invest in either the local web or real-time distribution. That’s exactly why he’s on the board of NY-based Betaworks, the company that brought the world Bit.ly, Outside.in and TweetDeck. Betaworks describes itself as “a new kind of media company.” And CEO John Borthwick joined Lerer yesterday to talk to students at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism about media startups and the future of the web.