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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

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.

What’s working and what’s not in local online news video content (Part 1)

Posted on : 03-08-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Video

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(Apologies for the break in blogging. I have been in the process of moving from Minnesota to NYC. Moving is not fun.This is excerpt from a blog post I wrote for the Online Journalism Blog that summarized the findings of my thesis study on 10 local news sites. Read the first of three posts in full here. Aside from this series, I will have several other posts this week that might strike your fancy.)

Though local news sites have expanded their production of content and made great strides in technological advances on their video platforms, they haven’t exactly reached the next threshold or industry standard in online video. In many cases, this “standard” is being set by media giants like CNN and user-generated social media sites like YouTube. In fact, a recent study shows that watching online video is more popular than Facebook or Twitter. The trend is continuing in that direction and the time spent watching online video has increased as well. And with YouTube now getting into the local news business with its News Near You feature that will grab news clips from sources that are 100 miles from your computer’s IP address, local news organizations should worry.

Many of the local news sites are still experimenting and beginning to define the type of video content they would like to produce. Below are lessons learned from a thesis study that examined how 10 local news sites in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA market used online video. The conclusions made here, are also gathered through interviews of editors at the respective organizations (Note: Several did not want or could not appear for publication as a result of organizational policies). The full study can be found here (beware it is about 60 pages in length). Here are the sites studied:

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.

Who said journalism is dying?

Posted on : 14-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Newspapers, Trends

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Photo credit: <a href=

Maybe I have just learned to ignore the depressing news of the thousands of layoffs at newspapers and other news organizations across the nation and begun to pay more attention to the bright spots in journalism. There are journalism jobs being created what seems like every day.

The advice I have given to myself constantly, and will offer it to anyone that loves storytelling: If you truly want to be a journalist, you will find a way. But if you are one of those reporters or editors dwelling on the “glory days” of newspapers and keep a constant eye on sites like the Newspaper Death Watch or the Journalism is Dead site from Mark Luckie and is a collection of funny quotes on why journalism is dead, then someone needs to scream in your ear and tell you that things have changed. They are going to keep changing. But I am simply more optimistic (and can afford to be – I know things change when you have a mortgage and kids to feed, etc.).  Here are a few reasons why I am optimistic:

Tips from a director: Teaching social media in journalism schools

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

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newspaperSeveral weeks ago, I wrote a post on “10 ways journalism schools are teaching social media” for Mashable.com. The post mostly focused on the what and not the how. I did include a few tips at the end from a few professors I interviewed, including those from Paul Bradshaw, the course director of the M.A. in Online Journalism program at Birmingham City University in the U.K.

Since that time, there has been a lot of buzz on the topic. Today, Poynter Online is hosting a chat titled, “What Are Practical Ways to Teach Social Media Skills in Journalism School?” Ryan Sholin, director of news innovation at Publish2 will be discussing his “Five Keys to Authenticity” and answering questions. There were some great things that Bradshaw mentioned for tips that I wasn’t able to include in the Mashable post. Here are some of his tips (sorry if some of these are repeats from the Mash post, but they will serve to provide some good context):

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.

The only to-do for journalism graduates: Innovate

Posted on : 06-07-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Online Journalism

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checklistLast week, Mark S. Luckie published a great post on 30 things that recent journalism grads should do this summer. The post included everything from starting a blog to creating a basic slideshow in flash. Though this is a great round-up of things that will improve your standing as a job candidate, I want to emphasize a key skill or ingrained mindset each journalist should have today: innovation.

In my observations, it seems that for the last few years journalists have often been playing catch-up to technologies that have ultimately helped or improved journalists work in reporting and publishing their work. Most of these have been Web technologies (using social media tools like Twitter), but advances in equipment (audio players, flip cams, etc.) have also contributed.

Using CoveritLive for live chats, tracking twitter feeds and more

Posted on : 29-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Social Media, Tools, Twitter

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I have seen it used many times before, but have never implemented it myself. I know the concept behind CoveritLive, a free and easy to use service that allows you to integrate a live chat onto your site or blog.

It also allows you to do much more, such as aggregating tweets. Greg Linch, an online intern @Dallas_News and new media brainchild for journalism, used it today to aggregate tweets from the Personal Democracy Forum 2009 in his blog. I figured I would give it a try by testing the service my self and aggregating the same feed (sorry if I stole the idea, Greg, but I needed something timely).

A look at how journalism schools are teaching social media

Posted on : 19-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Online Journalism, Social Media, Tools

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Excerpt from my post from Mashable.com today.

With news organizations beginning to create special positions to manage the use of social media tools, such as the recently appointed social editor at The New York Times, journalism schools are starting to recognize the need to integrate social media into their curricula.

That doesn’t mean having a class on Facebook or Twitter, which many college students already know inside and out, but instead means that professors are delving into how these tools can be applied to enrich the craft of reporting and producing the news and ultimately telling the story in the best possible way.

And though many professors are still experimenting and learning how these tools can be used, here are are the 10 ways journalism schools are currently teaching students to use social media. Please share in the comments others that you have found to be important and effective as well.

Read my full post on Mashable.com.

In-text ads may be the next big thing for news sites, but are they worth it?

Posted on : 10-06-2009 | By : Vadim Lavrusik | In : Business, Online Journalism, Trends

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With a slump of 5 percent in online advertising in the first quarter in comparison to last year’s numbers, news sites seem to be trying new forms on the Web to increase revenue. One of the things I have noticed is more sites incorporating in-text ads that appear as links and expand when a reader hovers over them. But does this form of advertising ruin the reader’s experience? Moreover, does it cross ethical boundaries?