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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 : 12-01-2010 | 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.

Research: Social media publications may have advantage over traditional news sites

Posted on : 06-10-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Higher Education, Social Media

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faceboookdailyUniversity of Minnesota researcher Christine Greenhow and her team released their findings based on analytics of interaction with The Minnesota Daily Facebook Application today. For those new to the project, it was a Knight Foundation funded application built by NewsCloud in collaboration with The Minnesota Daily, a college paper I was editor of last year. This wasn’t the only application built by NewsCloud, but one that focused on a niche geographic area and topic: news and issues surrounding the University of Minnesota community.

Some of the key findings are echoed in a recent post by Steve Rubel who wrote a post about the next great media company won’t have a website, but will likely be an application or some form of publication directly on a social site. The key things that stand out to me is that the Facebook application was not only able to attract “influentials” to engage and participate but that “as a vehicle to express opinions, stay informed, and connect with a local community, social media publications like The Daily may have an advantage over traditional news sites.” The best part is that this source code for the apps is open.

If you’re interested in the research, check out the full summary of the findings here (PDF). The data backing these findings up will be released later. Or here is an excerpt below:

Key Findings

1. Correlations between visits to social network sites and visits to news Web sites, as well as other online behaviors, suggest the potential of integrating applications like The Daily into young people’s online social networking routines.

2. As a vehicle to express opinions, stay informed, and connect with a local community, social media publications like The Daily may have an advantage over traditional news sites.

3. Interest in The Daily application’s focal topic — University of Minnesota community issues — increased. Daily users mostly used the application for what it was intended, namely, to engage them in campus-related issues.

4. The Daily application attracted a base of users who were already active in the community. The profile for these users and the high rate of viral invites, suggest that social media publications such as The Daily might not only attract “influentials,” but that these highly connected individuals will also invite their friends.

5. Examination of digital literacy practices reveals Daily users engaged in scanning stories rather than reading in full. Users participated in a range of non-school online reading and writing activities via social network sites, suggesting the potential for future applications.

Advanced Facebook for Journalists

Posted on : 18-09-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Journalism school

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Sree Sreenivasan, my dean of student affairs and professor of digital media at the Columbia School of Journalism,  organized some great guests for a webcast today on how journalists can use Facebook. In fact, the Journalism School is teaching how to use Facebook as a tool for journalists, among other social media. The panel included:

Below is the webcast via Blogtalkradio. And also here is a short post from Ben Parr briefly mentioning what the conversation was about (why journalists should use Facebook, the new features, etc.):

How to: Create an online presence to develop your brand

Posted on : 08-09-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Social Media

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An excerpt from a post I wrote for Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding Blog, it is a good follow-up to a post I wrote for Poynter on using a blog to build your brand:

As an online journalist and news junkie, there are multiple platforms that I use in gathering news and digesting the plethora of information out there. Whether it is to keep up on my areas of interests (tech, social media, business models in journalism) or areas of news that I simply enjoy being informed about (local news, politics, Middle East, etc), there are plenty of options to find this news and keep track of it.

3346820651_55e14ff847But what journalists and other professionals often don’t think about is that these tools help build your online presence, which results in further shaping and developing your brand. And of course, there are various social sites and platforms that can help you achieve this (Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, Delicious, Digg, FriendFeed, Publish2). Most of these are interlinked, allowing you to share and bounce around the different platforms, but of course there is a method to the madness.

Though I am not going to dive into the very details of each of these platforms and the best practices, the idea is to give you a crash course of how these influence your brand and online presence.

Read the full post here.

What news sites can learn from marketing campaigns: Previews and social media buzz

Posted on : 07-09-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Social Media

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Last week I tweeted about winning a Samsung digital camera. I entered into a contest to win a dual LCD Samsung ST550 by tweeting a reply to @tapandtake, a Twitter account started to market the camera and generate buzz by giving 25 free cameras away. I did some digging on the campaign and looking it over and couldn’t find how they chose the winners, but it seems random.

The campaign appears to have started on July 31, 2009 (at least that is when the Facebook Fan Page was launched). Since that time the Facebook Fan page has 2,100 fans and a Twitter account with 2,100 followers. This is a great example of how previewing something before it hits the stores, or the stands could help generate buzz and excitement about a product. To me, that’s pretty impressive. Sure, the marketing campaign is giving away free cameras and so it will attract a lot of followers and fans just based on that, but the fan page is very active. The page is updated regularly and gets lots of comments and reactions from its fans. The Twitter account is the same, getting a lot of retweets and replies as well.

Tap and Take Campaign

The news could learn a thing or two from this. At my college paper, we would post previews of stories to the Web before posting the full thing. What’s interesting is that according to the analytics, the stories with preview posts would generate more views than those without.

It’s simple: with the fast-paced Web the stories were able to get more exposure on the site. But perhaps even more importantly, the same thing could be done with news organizations’ social media accounts. These should be used to interact with the audience, including making them feel valuable by offering them inside sneak peeks perhaps or simply the heads up that a specific story is coming out soon to build interest. This could result in a better return on pageviews. What other ideas could we take from such campaigns? Giving people an incentive to engage certainly helps.

Presentation: How journalists can use social media

Posted on : 24-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Higher Education, Social Media

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Today I gave a workshop to college journalists from around the country at the Associated Collegiate Press Summer workshops. The title of the presentation was supposed to be, “Beyond Facebook and Twitter: Using Social Media as a Journalist.” Well, below are the results of the powerpoint I made. Though the presentation was for college journalists, the same principles apply.

Many of the key points come from the a Mashable post that I wrote a month back, but expanded on some of the example quite a bit. I would love some feedback. The college journalists seemed to respond well to it.

10 ways universities are engaging alumni using social media

Posted on : 23-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Higher Education, Social Media

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Here is an excerpt from a post for Mashable.com today that looks at how universities are using social media to communicate with alumni.

Of course, helping former students stay connected is just one reason universities are turning to social media; fundraising is another, and there are many more. Below is a look at 10 ways higher education is harnessing the power of social media to engage alumni. Let us know of any other ways you have used social media to connect with graduates or your former classmates in the comments below.

1. Helping Alumni Find Jobs


Though a lot of schools offer their own database of jobs online, many universities are finding LinkedIn to be an effective tool to provide alumni with career resources. And in fact, using LinkedIn means the process is often very hands-off for the schools. In many cases universities create the group and allow the networking magic to take place, with alumni sharing job opportunities by posting information to the group and creating subgroups that are focused to specific career or regional alumni chapters.

Keidra Chaney, an emerging media specialist at DePaul University (@depaulalumni), said LinkedIn is by far the school’s biggest success with 5,500 members currently in their alumni network on the site, and about 100 new members joining weekly. Chaney said the community has active job postings for alumni on the hunt for work, and that most jobs are posted by other alumni. The most recent issue of the school’s alumni magazine actually focused on how alumni are using social media.

Read the full post here.

10 ways universities use social media to share information

Posted on : 15-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Social Media, Twitter

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Excerpt from my Mashable.com post today that looks at how various universities are using social media:

Instead of focusing their attention on promoting information to mainstream media, some university public affairs offices are using the power of social media to engage the community directly. In many cases, social media tools like Facebook Pages have given universities an opportunity to speak to audiences on their own, reaching thousands of people interested in keeping up with news at the school and connecting with others on the social network.

University of Texas at Austin use of Twitter for emergencies.

University of Texas at Austin use of Twitter for emergencies.


Universities are constantly exploring new ways to use social media to fulfill their missions of engaging and sharing knowledge with their constituents. Below are just 10 highlights of how universities are using social media for public affairs. As always, please share other examples you have used or come across in the comments below.

The list includes things like emergency communication, Facebook office hours and more. Read the full post on Mashable.

The end of news websites? At least the way we know them today

Posted on : 08-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Facebook, Online Journalism

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Excerpt from my post on Onlinejournalismblog.com:

The question is no longer just a hypothetical one. With increasing convergence between social media and traditional content, what is known as a traditional news website might not exist in the coming years.

Perhaps a revealing example is the creation of Facebook applications by a Seattle-based aggregator, NewsCloud, which received a grant from the Knight Foundation to study how young people receive their news through social networks.

With developer Jeff Reifman leading the way, NewsCloud has developed three applications (Hot Dish, Minnesota Daily and Seattle In:Site) that engage users in news content through linking to stories by providing a headline, photo and blurb. The applications also allow them to blog, post links themselves and much more – all while getting points for completing “challenges” that can be redeemed for prizes, which works as an incentive to stay engaged. Prizes include everything from t-shirts to tickets to a baseball game to a MacBook. Some of these challenges are online ones (sharing a story, commenting on content, blogging, etc.) and others are offline challenges (attend a marketing event, write a letter to the editor).

Read the full post here. It is a follow-up to a previous post on the Facebook applications.

Too much simplicity may be what’s slowing Twitter growth

Posted on : 12-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Social Media, Twitter

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Don’t get me wrong, I think that in a lot of ways Twitter works well because it is simple. In fact, I think that it likely stole a lot of users from Facebook, who were getting too overwhelmed with all the new features but wanted something simple. That was me. I liked the simplicity, but at the same time immediacy, of the microblogging service.

However, it’s always about the progress and the new. And keeping users of social media, which is used like a toy by many people (I know I have fun with it), entertained and interested. But more importantly, serving their needs, which for now has been largely done by outside third-party Twitter apps and desktop management platforms like TweetDeck, which by the way is still labeled as Beta – a bit surprising, but that’s a whole other topic.