Category Archives: online news

Google + and How it Will Affect SEO

I recently came across an interesting article about Google+ and how it will inevitably affect SEO page-ranks on search engine Google.

The article is mainly about how this will affect business sites but it also relates to how this will affect news sites, especially those that are not ‘big’ new sites.

The article mentions that Google+, which now has over 20 million users worldwide will use its + button to determine a sites value.

“In addition to building a social networking powerhouse, Google’s aim with its “+1” button — the equivalent of Facebook’s “Like” button — is to determine the social value of websites, or, in other words, they want consumers to add personalized recommendations to Web content.”

This would be a fantastic thing for big news sites like News.com.au which contains articles from hundred’s of other news sites. People who “like” the article will drive traffic to the website. The issue I see with this is that the traffic is driven to News.com.au whilst the original story will not receive the same amount of traffic.

Story on News.com.au and Original story from the Daily Telegraph

The article also interstingly points out that the current system of tweets, recommendations and likes is based upon a system generated by strangers :

“When looking at these reviews, users trust the opinions of strangers. They assume that these reviews are honest, but there’s always a hint of lingering skepticism.”

The article then suggests that Google+ plans to go further than this, to enable end-users to see recommendations for friends:

“Now imagine the same user is searching for the same product or service, but instead of having to rely on the opinions of strangers, they see recommendations from friends, co-workers or family members. Just like in real life, the opinions of people in their “circles” influence the decisions they make. That’s the potential Google+ holds.”

Therefore if someone in your circle of influence likes a blog, news article or website there is a likely chance that you too will also want to check this out and potentially “like” it.

The difference between this and general SEO is that Google page rankings may no longer rely as much or search engine words but rather on the amount of “likes” a page recieves.

This is a new frontier for SEO that every business or news organisation will need to acknowledge and adapt to.

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Filed under google+, online news, search engine optimisation, social bookmakring

Stumbleupon and Digg – Great Bookmarking for online journalists

Social bookmarking sites Digg and Stumbleupon may be great ways for you to attract visitors to your online news site.

These sites enable you to add links to your stories or blog posts and write reviews on these stories to capture a bigger audience.

Users log into Stumbleupon and based upon their interests are automatically shown blogs and websites that will be of interest to them. I personally have found Stumbleupon an invaluable tool for driving traffic to my vintage fashion blog.

Digg on the other hand is mostly targeted for news or like news stories and has topics such as business and entertainment.

The Digg website says the following about how the wesbite works:

Welcome to Digg.com, a user-driven news Web site that brings together hundreds of thousands of people to do the work of finding, submitting, reviewing and featuring news stories drawn from every corner of the Web.

 

Similarly to Stumbleupon, users are directed to stories that may be of interest to them based on their interets. Each link uploaded needs to include tags or categories in which the story will fit.

Personally I find Stumbleupon easier to use from a bloggers perspective and I love the ability to add whatever tags you want to add. Digg on the other hand has specific tags and categories you can use with general stories falling under the ‘lifestyle’ category’.

All in all these social bookmarking sites are invaluable resources for budding online journalists who want to be acknowledged. These two websites are some of the most popular and useful social bookmarking sites but there are plenty of others out there in the online world.

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Filed under digg, online news, stumbleupon

Facebook changes may assist news-sourcing

Mark Zuckerberg smiles at his office in Palo Alto, Calif

The recent changes to Facebook have seen an intense backlash within the online community. With approximately 750 million users worldwide, the social networking giant is ready to push ahead with its changes in the hopes of providing further competition to Google’s Google Plus platform.

Although the new Facebook seems to be overcrowded and undeniably slower due to the ‘news ticker’ feature which is somewhat similar to the live feed simulated by Twitter, there are of course some benefits that have not yet been properly recognised by the online community.

The New Facebook Page- Featuring the News Ticker on the Right

Facebook Engineer Mark Tonkelowitz defended the Facebook changes on the company’s blog stating:

‘Starting today, it will be easier to keep up with the people in your life no matter how frequently or infrequently you’re on Facebook.’

‘When you pick up a newspaper after not reading it for a week, the front page quickly clues you into the most interesting stories. In the past, News Feed hasn’t worked like that.  Updates slide down in chronological order so it’s tough to zero in on what matters most.  Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff.’

Although this sounds good on the face of it many users are disgrunteled that they don’t get to choose what is the most important news to them:

Users discuss their frustration on Twitter

Facebook will also be getting music, movies and new buttons in addition to the ‘like’ button. The purpose of the changes is to increase user engagement. (As if we don’t already spend enough of our time procrastinating on Facebook!)
So what does this mean for news-sourcing? Having the top stories may assist in deciding what is important in the online world today whilst following the news ticker may be beneficial to those who want to discover what everyone is interested in right
now.
This in turn can assist with writing news stories that will generate the appropriate amount of traffic to the organisation.
Although it is only the beginning, the potential for news-sourcing is strong, regardless of how annoying some of the aspects may be on your own personal page.

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Filed under Facebook, online news

Why Evernote is the Holy Grail for Online and Mobile Journalists

Evernote may very well be the Journalism app of our time. Well at least for the moment.

The stresses and business of modern day life have been taken into account by the creators of Evernote. Every little detail can be added to Evernote without the fear of ever forgetting again.

How many times have you been somewhere and seen or heard something that would make an amazing new story but haven’t been able to remember it for the life of you later that day? Have you wanted to snap a quick photo of something for a story and then realised that the

Well Evernote changes that.

The website for Evernote implies some of the amazing features which can be seen in the image below.

Many schools and offices are now using Evernote as a means of collaboration as Evernote helps keep all files in the one place for easy access and updating.

Mashsable also mentioned Evernote in a recent post about the 5 Essential Tools for Mobile Journalists. The fact that any notes you make on Evernote via your mobile or iPad are uploaded to a remote server was seen as an important tool just incase your phone is stolen or lost.

The same goes for laptops and computers. How many times have you written something and forgot to save or the computer has crashed losing all of your work? If this sounds like a situation you have been in then Evernote is your new best friend.

My Digital Internet also did a review on the Evernote application entitled 10 reasons why you should try Evernote.

The writer said:

“I use Evernote almost every single day. Mostly for making notes and taking screen grabs for blog posts, but it does so much more than that. There’s Evernote Trunk for instance, which lets you access almost 100 add-ons you can use from within Evernote.”

Here are the writers Top 10 reasons to get Evernote:

  • It’s lightweight, fast and very easy to use
  • You can store data locally and/or synch it to a folder in the cloud
  • It automatically saves notes – there’s no need to look for the ‘save’ button
  • You store notes inside Notebooks so you can create a Notebook for each project you’re working on
  • Notes can be tagged much like a blog post
  • Evernote creates excellent screen grabs (including the images on this page)
  • It’s great for single or collaborative use
  • The basic version is free
  • You can email notes from within the application
  • You, or any member of your team, can access your account from any device that has Evernote installed on it

Free or Premium?

Below is a list that compares the free and premium versions of Evernote. For just $45/year for the entire premium package that is a bargain for anyone who writes for a living.

Overall I would rate this application 10/10 in its use for online journalism practices.

Not only is it inexpensive to buy, it is an indispensible tool for collaboration and for people on the go.

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Filed under apps, online news

Example of an excellent online story

I read news online every day as it is much easier for me to access and I prefer reading things online that are updated on a regular basis.

News.com.au although frustratingly annoying sometimes (especially when there are so many articles with spelling errors!) had a really fantastic and well written story today that I thought would be great to share on my blog as an example of good online news writing.

The original story comes from the Daily Telegraph, a reputable news source in Australia.

This story for me has everything I like to see in an online news story

  • images relevant to the story,
  • social networking images and or text,
  • links to similar stories
  • and the best part – a punchy must-read headline.

For me the headline is usually the standout. I will be captured by the short, under 25 words phrase which makes me want to read further or ignore the story and move onto the next one.

This particular stories headline said the following:

Australia’s next top controversy – size 8 model bullied for being too fat

Most women would automatically read on once reading the headline considering a size 8 is considered especially thin these days.

The story also had an image of the girl who was bullied looking very beautiful and thin to further enrage the target audience to read on.

Australia's Next Top Model contestant Alissandra Moone (from WA) was likened to "overstuffed luggage" by judge Alex Perry. Picture: Foxtel

The next bit of imagery was a tweet by famous Australian designer Alex Perry relating the comment he had made about the girl.

Nothing like throwing some wood on the fire.

The final reason for this story being an example of great online journalism is the links to other stories on the side. Normally I just ignore these but the layout and headlines encourage me to go on and read these stories.

This is the way its done people.

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Filed under online news