Tag Archives: online news

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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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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ScribbleLive: Is this the future of news?

Modern audiences want and need up-to-date news and information now. Not in 1 hour, not in 10 minutes but RIGHT NOW.

The demand for fast news and updates in technology have enabled live-blogging applications such as ScribbleLive to become a must have journalism tool.

ScribbleLive Website: Your broadband audience demands news, social media and user-generated content in real-time. ScribbleLive makes it easy for you to post/edit content and interact with audiences up-to-the-second. Turn your breaking news into live-feeds and stay relevant with every post.

Many online news websites are now utilising this online blogging platform to send readers up-to-date information by the minute.

Wesh.com is currently as of this minute running a live blog via ScribbleLive to update Orlando (US) residents about the Hurricane currently in their midst.

Reuters has used ScribbleLive in the past to live-blog about the Japan earthquakes and the London Riots as mentioned in my previous post.

ScribbleLive is also compatible with other live-blogging platforms such as  twitter and gives user the ability to upload videos, images and voice recordings straight to the live event page. This enables readers to feel like they are actually there witnessing the even first hand which is an incredibly important tool for online news.

Here are some screenshots from the iPhone ScribbleLive app and what you can do:Overall I would say that ScribbleLive is a must have for any journalist especially those involved in online news. Although the app itself is free, it only enables you to create 1 live event, basically just to trial the product. News organisations would be better to pay for the full features and fully utilise this product to its potential.

 

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