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  • clarehiler 11:54 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: connecting, , , key phrases,   

    4 Ways to Develop Stories Via Social Media 

    Check out this article by Lynn Walsh on the RTDNA’s website on ways the develop your stories via social media:

    Getting sick of covering a story featured on a press release? It is time to develop your own unique story then and social media can help.

    The best way to break away from the every-day story is to develop your own and pitch it to your news manager. With Facebook and Twitter around it is easy. Here are some tips to use social media to develop enterprise stories for your news room.

    1. Connect with people. Whether it is on Facebook or Twitter, search for the people, groups, etc. that are influences in your community or your beat and follow them or friend them. I would even ask to join their groups and be notified of when meetings/events are. Consider creating lists on Twitter for different categories of people, that way their posts don’t get lost in the online shuffle of updates. Creating a list can also make it easier to just look at those people all at once when it is time to think of story ideas.

    2. Search for key phrases. This is best for Twitter. If you covet education search and create saved search boxes on your mobile phone for key words related to the district you cover. You would be amazed at how many high school students and parents use Twitter (and without much of a filter). People involved with a story know more about what is going on and find out about news before the larger organization does most of the time.

    3. Pay attention to comments/replies. This is crucial. Whether it is on Facebook, your website or Twitter, read comments and reach out to those who post them. New story angles can come from comments from people as well as different perspectives on the issue that could lead to a great follow-up story.

    4. Continue the conversation. If you see interesting comments or want to know more ASK! Reach out to the individual who posted the comments personally or ask your community at large about it. Do not be afraid to ask people to contact you or to generate story ideas on social media.

    5. Report/clarify social media rumors. People say a lot of things online. Some of it is true and some is not. If you see a lot of people speculating about the same thing and you have clarified that it is not true tell them that. Readers and viewers want the truth so give it to them even if it isn’t what they originally thought. Also, think of it as a great way to create content that is specific for your social media and online platforms.

    It seems to me that sometimes journalists are afraid to post story questions or reach out to people on social networks because of the possibility that their competition may find out. I would not worry about that too much but if you ate concerned reach out to people privately on social media sites by sending messages, DM’s, etc.

  • clarehiler 3:12 pm on April 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baby Boomers, connecting, , search,   

    How Baby Boomers Are Embracing Digital Media /via Jamie Carracher (Edelman Digital)

    This year, some of the nearly 80 million Baby Boomers in the United States have turned 65 and are now “officially” senior citizens. Need context? Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist and one of the fathers of the Internet, turns 68 in June. The web, often viewed as a realm for just the young, is getting older.

    The Boomer generation isn’t just big — it’s made up of people who think and act differently than previous generations. As Boomers confront “old age,” they will certainly defy what we think it means to “get old.” It will challenge us to rethink how we use the web and how we engage older people with newer technologies.

    Connecting With Friends and Loved Ones Through Social Media

    It’s no secret that senior citizens have typically been slow to use new technologies, including social media. But recent trends show older people are among the fastest-growing demographics online. Social network use among Internet users 50 years old and older has nearly doubled to 42% over the past year. In fact, in the U.S. alone there are nearly 16 million people 55 and older using Facebook.

    One of the main drivers is the ability to connect with friends and family, as well as share experiences with strangers and new friends. Hesitation to go online is often not because of lack of interest but because many technologies and social networks are not developed with older people in mind.

    With numerous social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter, the AARP provides an excellent example of how one large organization is reaching out to older people who are savvy with digital. To create conversation online, the AARP focuses on sharing relevant news, conversation starters and inspirational stories that are of interest to people in their membership. One recent post on people who have given up landlines for mobile phones sparked 138 comments.

    Embracing the Smartphone Boom

    Smartphones are finally breaking into the older adult market. Numbers vary, but as many as 15% of people aged 55 and older are using smartphones, according to data from Nielsen.

    Tablets like the iPad are an excellent example of mobile devices that are enabling older people to access and explore the web in new ways. While actual usage numbers are hard to pin down, each week news media across the country report on ways older adults, senior centers and retirement homes are using these devices. It may not be a quantitative trend, but it certainly is a cultural one.

    While overall usage of mobile devices is still small among older people, it’s important to note that mobile usage is growing, and in surprising ways. Older people are gaming on their phones. Around 13% of 55- to 64-year-olds and 5% of people 65 and older play games using a smartphone or standard cellphone, according to a recent study.

    Elie Gindi, founder of the senior-focused tech blog ElderGadget, recently told me that the people who follow him and his writers are interested and excited by gadgets and new technologies.

    “If it’s good technology, seniors embrace it the same as everyone else,” he said. “The key here is if it is truly ‘good’ and they see a real use for it, whether for entertainment or business or lifestyle. They are smart shoppers who aren’t so much interested in [the] useless ‘bells and whistles’ many products contain.”

    A Thirst for Search

    Last year, the U.S. web search market grew by 12%, with Bing alone growing 29%. Search sites are often the first stop for any Internet user, and an increase in older users will have huge ramifications for web and content developers. As one commenter wrote on AARP’s Facebook page: “Google search has answers to all questions.”

    Not surprisingly, older people in general are more inexperienced at using search. A 2010 paper from Yahoo! Research found some of the oldest users are 29% more likely than younger users to type the full URL of a website into the “Search” box.

    While generations may search for things differently, what they are searching for is surprisingly similar. Health information is the third-most common search activity for adults of all ages, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

    Boomers aren’t researching health information just for themselves. Many are caregivers, which means they are investigating ways that they can help other people (their parents, for instance) get information on questions ranging from Medicare to coping with Alzheimer’s. In fact, 16% of people aged 50 to 64 have searched online for information on long-term care for an elderly or disabled person.

    Redefining What It Means to “Get Old”

    In the movie Gran Torino, there is a powerful scene where Clint Eastwood’s character, Walt, receives a telephone “for old people” from his son and daughter-in-law with giant buttons and numbers on it. He angrily kicks them out of the house. The generation that sang along to The Who’s “My Generation” and popularized innovations like the personal computer are becoming senior citizens — but they don’t want to be called “old.”

    Organizations ranging from retailers to consumer electronics makers are being forced to rethink how they market and make products for older people. As we all look to the future, we must all start to realize that things are going to be different and we need to pay attention and listen.

    Key Takeaways

    A growing number of older adults are taking advantage of the web right now. Don’t ignore them.
    As our society and the web mature, we need to make sure we are building it to empower everyone, not just the young and tech-savvy.
    New technologies and web services will need to be intuitive and easy to use but not insulting.
    Accessibility has to be built into the planning processes for new projects from the beginning, including consideration of design, text size and physical usability.
    Once new products and services are ready for public consumption, education is key to make sure seniors don’t fall behind and become victims of a “digital divide.”

    Read the full article here: http://mashable.com/2011/04/06/baby-boomers-digital-media/

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