Posted in journalism, Social Media, Uncategorized

Best of NABJDigital Blog: What Journalists Can Learn From the Yahoo-Tumblr Alliance: Build It or Buy It

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from DJTF co-chair Tracie Powell, who gives her take on Yahoo!’s acquisition of tumblr. and  how this relates toother news organizations.  It originally ran on May 21.  Enjoy!

yahoo tumblrYahoo’s $1 billion purchase of the blogging site, Tumblr, is being heralded as a cool move by media watchers everywhere. It’s cool because the alliance brings in younger users to an aging Internet giant, a demographic advertisers crave, which translates into growing revenue—something legacy news media companies need.

Angel Investor and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis wrote for LinkedIn over the weekend that the then-pending deal had journalists livid. “Journalists are one of the first groups to lash out. Why? Because they have no chance of making big money in their jobs, and they have to fight for $5,000 raises while their pensions are replaced with 401ks. Also, they tend to have covered startups like Tumblr from year one and they can’t reconcile how something that didn’t exists five years ago is now worth $1 billion — and that they don’t have to balls to create something.”

I agree with Calacanis that the big-media purchase has many journalists more than a little bit jealous. But not because of our dwindling paychecks, which (for most of us) have always been rather paltry. But because journalists know – but aren’t saying out loud – that this purchase is just the latest right-left hook to our dying business model. We, along with everyone else, are waiting for the dreaded knockout punch while marveling ringside at such a gargantuan media buy.

We also know that our parent companies — be they newspaper giants, cable or broadcast stations – don’t exactly have a billion dollars laying around that executives or stockholders are willing to risk on a blogging site filled with porn, copyright infringing material and racist bullcrap—content advertisers don’t typically like.

That said, not all is bleak for journalists. The one thing we have going for ourselves is that Yahoo’s purchase shows, once again, that content is still king. We, content creators, just have a hard time  believing it. Both “Facebook and Google have demonstrated that a vast audience for free content can bring in significant advertising revenue,” reports The Wall Street Journal, a fact news executives surely take into consideration as they mount more pay walls. What the Yahoo-Tumblr purchase also represents is an opportunity for individual journalists (and some companies that can be cool enough for the younger crowd) to build their own brands while reaching a new, more coveted, audience.

For news organizations this purchase should not just be viewed as yet another opportunity to use somebody else’s platform to build a brand and distribute product. That’s alright for individual journalists, but for legacy media companies this purchase underscores the fact that they should be investing or creating their own innovative platforms that combine social networking with content to reach a critical mass of people. Sort of like The Atlantic Media Company did when it created Quartz, a mobile-first business news site, last September. Quartz exceeded its own expectations by receiving nearly a million unique visitors in its first month.

Not all of us can be like The Atlantic, which is navigating the digital age better than most of its contemporaries. But if we can’t build it, buy it. You know, like Yahoo just did.

Posted in multimedia journalist, Social Media, Uncategorized

Best of NABJDigital Blog: Four Ways Journalists Can Use Pinterest

Editor’s note: We are taking this week off to enjoy the holidays with our families.  So this week, we’ll be re-running past posts.  Today’s post is from former DJTF intern Ameena Rasheed, who offers up ideas on how journalists can incorporate Pinterest into their work.  It originally ran on Jan. 16.  Enjoy!

Pinterest   Home

A screenshot of Pinterest’s homepage.

By Ameena Rasheed, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force intern

Pinterest, a virtual pinboard where you can share and organize images and video through “pins,” has become a popular social media platform since its launch in 2010. In 2012, it was the third most-visited social networking site, as reported by CNN.

As journalists and news organizations look for various ways to interact with its readers and viewers, and users are seeking to engage with more visual social media content, Pinterest provides a platform which can potentially facilitate both sides’ interest in promoting, distributing and sharing content.

Here are four ideas that we’ve gathered from across the Web and compiled together for how journalists can start using Pinterest.

1. Use compelling photos to share hard news headlines

While Pinterest is most known for its foodie and wedding posts, CTV News has created several boards to chronicle breaking news stories with its Occupy Wall Street, Tragedy and triumph and The World We Live In boards. Al Jazeera created The faces of Egypt’s voters board to capture to feelings of Alexandria’s residents in the historic election to choose the country’s next president.

2. Give previews of what you are working on

The Houston Press, an alternative weekly publication, releases its print issues every Thursday, but gives its readers a sneak peek at its creative covers every Wednesday on its Under the Covers board. Time magazine also does the same with its TIME Covers board.

For those times where you don’t have that perfect image to sell the story, follow the lead of The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Quotes board and highlight memorable quotes from your stories. You could also get a little creative and use infographics like on Mashable’s Infographics board, or like The Salt Lake Tribune’s Bagley Cartoons board and share editorial cartoons.

3. Display photo galleries, feature stories and reviews

It’s no secret that one of Pinterest’s most popular categories is food. The Salt Lake Tribune is taking advantage of that with its SLC & Utah Restaurants & Bars board to share its restaurant and bar reviews. The Orlando Sentinel has boards dedicated to local attractions such as Walt Disney World and Florida Travel. There is also a Feature Pages–Collaborative board, which features pages from newspapers across the nation.

4. Involve your audience

Some good examples of utilizing user-generated content on Pinterest are CTV’s Canada Through Your Eyes and PBS NewsHour’s Childhood Cancer Awareness: Your Photos. The New York Times asked for submissions to its Your Holiday Dessert Pins and then featured some of the best pins on its website.

Al Jazeera has a Crowdsourced News board, where users can share newsworthy items that Al Jazeera is and isn’t covering. Al Jazeera also has a web community and daily television show, The Stream, which is powered through social media and citizen journalism, and shares content from its viewers on Pinterest, too.

Last, but not least, NABJ experimented with Pinterest boards at the 2012 convention in New Orleans, creating boards on NABJ 2012 New Orleans, NABJ2012, NABJ Fashionistas & Fashionistos and New Orleans Food.

Please share how you’re using Pinterest in your work!