Archive for April, 2012

April 19, 2012

Guess what…Social media is NOT replacing traditional journalism [Infographic]

Far too often I see stories, comments, and infographics (see below) about how social media is taking over journalism. This simply isn’t the case. Social media can’t replace journalism – they are just too different. Those who view social media as a threat to journalism are missing the great opportunities it presents.

Social media can help with almost every function in the business of news. I’ve seen it used to: source stories, line up interviews, provide personal photos, drive readership, interact with on-air personalities, do quick viewer polls, connect with customers, and the list goes on.

When you really think about it, journalism ISN’T words on newsprint, voices on airwaves, or pictures on the nightly news. That’s just a description of the traditional distribution model. Journalism is really about telling stories. Accurate, fair, balanced, and interesting stories. It doesn’t matter that I read my news on my smartphone, and my neighbour still buys broadsheet newspapers everyday. The important thing is that we both are still consuming news stories produced by trained professionals.

“Boohoo” stories from the newspaper industry really bug me because they don’t tell the whole story about declining circulations. Who cares if some paper in Seattle is no longer offering a print edition of their paper after more than 140 years of publication? People weren’t buying it in the first place because it was a bunch of ink printed on dead trees. They were buying it for the stories. And this “historic” paper in Seattle is still alive and well online. As long as traditional news outlets are willing to adapt how they deliver stories to the public, and their revenue streams, they will be set up for success. I don’t see this as a decline in “traditional journalism” whatsoever.

Perhaps the social media vs. traditional journalism sentiment comes from the way we talk about how social media relates to journalism. Nobody likes to have the relevance of their job called into question, so I can see how the term “citizen journalism” may have upset a few people in the industry. Perhaps we shouldn’t be calling it “citizen journalism”; instead, call it “citizen reporting” – a bit more accurate.

But citizen reporting has it’s place, and journalists really can’t compete with it: in fact, they shouldn’t even try. Let Twitter  tell me that Dick Clark has passed away – I read the rest of the story on a traditional news website. Facebook can tell me the “who, what, when, where”, details of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but I look to traditional media to give me a bit more insight on the “why and how” because their journalists have the time, training, and access to newsmakers to be able to write a more fulsome story.

There is no doubt that journalists and news organizations need to continue to adapt, like every other industry. The ones who can’t (or won’t) will be forgotten, but the ones that embrace social media are using it to give them an edge in the business of news gathering and distribution. And to be quite honest, I am certain that I read more newspaper stories in 2012 than ever before because the internet gives me greater access.

The infographic below was released this week by schools.com containing stats on “How social media is replacing journalism.” Take a look, and let me know what you think.

April 12, 2012

How your Facebook account can help you land a job [Infographic]

Earlier this year plenty of coverage was given to the new trend of employers  asking job candidates for Facebook passwords as part of the interview process. Obviously, this raised questions about the legality of the request, rights of internet users, and job recruiting ethics.

While I am firmly against sharing social media usernames and passwords with anybody (including employers), I completely support granting hiring managers the same level of access to your accounts as your “ordinary” friends and followers – because if you have something to hide, you shouldn’t post it to your social media accounts, right? This access gives you the opportunity, among other things, to demonstrate to employers how you may be a good fit for their company, something that is often difficult to communicate in your resume.

Curating your social media profiles to be “employer friendly” isn’t just for people with “personal brands” or those looking for a job in the near future – it’s something that we all should be thinking about. But it’s more than just avoiding posting pictures of you partying or doing irresponsible things (Duff Man!). It’s more important to include, highlight, and promote all the good (personal and professional) things that you have to offer. Last year I wrote a post about keeping your social media profiles employer safe. It contains the basics of online reputation management, such as:

  • Never post anything that you would feel uncomfortable discussing in the lunchroom at work
  • Promote the good
  • Don’t brag about, or admit to, anything even close to a crime
  • Monitor your information
  • Remove postings by others that may get you in trouble
  • Etc.

The infographic below tells a story of recruiters using social media to find out good things about potential hires. They actually want to FIND and HIRE applicants, rather than disqualify them due to a questionable photo/comment. In 2012, companies are expected to use social media to recruit for 80% of their openings. This data contradicts the traditional narrative of “social media will get you fired” or “using facebook will make getting a job more difficult.”


Courtesy of: Online Degrees

April 4, 2012

The Social Media Clubhouse: MLB’s new social media policy in action

The 2012 Major League Baseball (MLB) season is just under way, and a growing number of the ballpark faithful are connecting with their home team like never before. Whether you root for the Brew Crew, the Buccos, the BoSox, or the Bronx Bombers, all of the 30 MLB teams are now curating content in their own “Social Media Clubhouses”.

MLB’s open approach to social media is guided by their recently released social media policy. Distributed to all of the leagues players about 2 weeks before the 2012 season kicked off, it contains a memo explaining the intent of the policy, then the policy itself. The memo encourages players to use social media to “help bring fans closer to the game and have them engaged with baseball, your club and you in a meaningful way”. Then the policy itself contains a list of prohibited conduct. It’s pretty basic stuff for any employer to expect from their employees, such as don’t harass people, don’t make insensitive jokes, don’t share sexually explicit content, don’t make discriminatory or derogatory statements, etc. The policy is simple, short, and straightforward – well done MLB!

The pace of a baseball game lends itself nicely to social media use and to Twitter in particular. I can watch a pitch, send a tweet, read a few others, be ready for the next pitch and not miss a thing. Watching the game while following a variety of MLB-related hashtags and accounts is a great option. You can converse with other fans, get some behind-the-scenes looks at your team, and view great pics from people who are actually at the ballpark.

But the Social Media Clubhouse is more than just Twitter. In essence, it’s a social media dashboard where you can:

  • Read the latest blog posts
  • Participate in various discussion forums
  • Check out fan photos
  • Download a browser toolbar
  • Subscribe to their newsletter
  • Follow their Google+ stream
  • Like their Facebook page
  • View and follow their Twitter feed
  • And my favourite – A list of all player accounts active on Twitter so you can tweet with the players directly. It’s a new level of access to the players that was impossible before – and they actually respond.

As a life-long Toronto Blue Jays fan, I started noticing social media creeping into the MLB experience a few years ago when the Blue Jays began experimenting with Tweeting Tuesdays. During this promotion, fans would ask questions of the announcers, respond to trivia questions, and win prizes. At that point the club was planning on having only about 6 Tweeting Tuesdays, but by the end of 2011 it was every week.

Fast forward to today and all of the teams are running a Social Media Clubhouse – and it looks something like this:

If you are a social media enthusiast and a baseball fan, these clubhouses are a must. Now all you have to do is find your favourite team and follow the game!

AL East

AL Central

AL West

 

NL East

NL Central

NL West

 

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