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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 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.

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.

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

Posted on : 28-11-2009 | 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 : 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?

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

Posted on : 23-11-2009 | 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.

What journalists need to know about online advertising

Posted on : 28-10-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Journalism school, Online Journalism

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By VADIM LAVRUSIK and SHANE SNOW

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Ken Lerer, co-founder of The Huffington Post, is teaching sessions to Columbia University Journalism Students on media entrepreneurship, often bringing in experts in the industry on various topics. Yesterday’s topic was on what journalists need to know about advertising online, and the guest was Jim Spanfeller, former CEO of Forbes.com. Also, if you’re interested, here is a post and live blog recap of last year’s talk on the same subject.

The discussion was enlightening, but we want to highlight three main points that were made by both Spanfeller and Lerer during the session:

Read reactions to the Reconstruction of American Journalism Report

Posted on : 19-10-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Higher Education, Journalism school

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(Silly disclaimer, but one that demonstrates a lesson learned: This post had some 20 retweets, but the cache was cleared because of me changing from Lavrusik.com to VadimLavrusik.com and back to Lavrusik.com – Apologies if your RT is now undocumented on this blog.)

Today the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism released a report by Leonard Downie, Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post, and Michael Schudson, a journalism school professor, that aim to propose new steps to take on the challenge of supporting public affairs reporting. Below is a compilation of links to stories of reactions on the report. With quotes from each for you to get an idea of what some of the media folks out there are saying. Feel free to post others in the comments that you agreed with or found helpful. I am going to keep updating this as much as I can with new reactions. ….

Virality, SEO and its place in online journalism

Posted on : 14-10-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism

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Ken Lerer, chairman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, came for a second session on media entrepreneurship at Columbia Journalism School yesterday. This time he brought with him Jonah Peretti, also co-founder of HuffPo and BuzzFeed. This session focused on SEO and how content becomes viral.

One of the most interesting tidbits that Peretti and Lerer revealed was how they use real-time analytics to determine the performance of stories, and today Nieman Lab’s Zach Seward has more on how HuffPo uses A/B headlines to see how each performs. This allows the editors to react to performance of a story and edit a headline to make it more effective for its readers and the search engines too.

Peretti wouldn’t say what the secret is with virality and it’s difficult to gauge how readers will respond. But SEO is a combination of a well written headline (this includes multiple factors and is a post on its own), well tagged for search engines, writing with SEO in mind, and easily shareable for readers (social tools, etc.).

Ben Parr on the importance of social media in today’s world

Posted on : 05-10-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Social Media

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Here is a live chat that I participated in today at the Columbia Journalism School. We had Mashable’s Co-Editor Ben Parr come speak about the importance of social media in today’s world. A good thing to read through on his thoughts.

One thing that stuck out to me was that Parr thinks that we may be making money through “Facebook credits” in the future and that will be a form of social currency. He didn’t elaborate, but certainly a fascinating concept. Read more about his ideas below: