Archive for May, 2009

Answering the New York Times’ Twitter question

Tuesday afternoon, someone previously unknown to the Twitter world, Jennifer Preston, jumped into the fray with this tweet: “Hi, I’m the NYT’s new social media editor. More details later. How should @nytimes be using Twitter?”

Quite an introduction not only as the new social media editor, but also to Twitter. Her question drew a swift response.

The Times, which is nearing 1 million followers of its main Twitter account as of this blog post’s publishing, is one of the last big media accounts to send out an RSS feed of stories on Twitter.

We at Old Media New Tricks offer congratulations to her on the new job, and an answer to her question:

Interact with your followers, and follow them. The Times account only follows Times employees right now and does not respond to followers. There’s a reason this is called “social” media. Yes, there are 1 million people who are following the account. That’s because of the Times‘ well-earned brand name recognition and excellence in reporting.

Want to get with the times, Times? Treat those 1 million followers to an interactive experience on Twitter. Answer their questions. Retweet their posts. If Ashton Kutcher can do it with even more followers, then the Times can do it, too.

Oh, and check out how the Colonel and the Statesman do it.

Once again, congratulations on the new gig, Jennifer. Let us know if you’d be up for a Q&A.

14 comments May 26th, 2009

New Tricks: Use ConvoTrack to track the conversation around your story

Reporters, pay attention.

ConvoTrack is a great way for reporters and editors, marketers and non-marketers alike to track the conversation around a given URL.

Here’s how it works:

1. Go to ConvoTrack, paste the URL of the story you’re trying to track.

2. Through this, you can find all of the conversation about your story in the following spaces:
- Twitter
- Blogs
- Digg
- Reddit

If you track the conversation, you’ll be able to jump in, and you’ll be able to add commenters — as well as the people who share your stories — to your Twitter/Facebook/etc. lists.

ConvoTrack is a great reporting tool.


Hat tip to Kevin Sablan over at Almighty Link for blogging about this the other day.

2 comments May 19th, 2009

New Tricks: Use to discover local Twitter trends is a great way of discovering local Twitter trends. Here’s how to use it:

1. Go to the site and click on your city. (To add a new city, suggest it on the site’s feedback form.)

2. You can either click on a specific local Twitter trend from the front page, or you can click through to the home page for your city. (Here are the pages for Chicago and Austin.)

3. Not only can you see the trends, but you can click through to the person who posted the Tweet. In the small amount of time I’ve used it, I’ve found a dozen new people to follow, all in my area, who I didn’t know before. seems to be another great weapon to add to your Twitter arsenal. (Twarsenal?)


3 comments May 19th, 2009

OMNT Links of the Week #13

A lot has happened in the social media/journalism world lately. Here’s some stuff you should read:

First, a quick history lesson by Robert Niles over at OJR. His post, “How a 1995 court case kept the newspaper industry from competing online,” is a great summary of the Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy court case. He also notes the failure to engage the audience online is not the only factor in the news industry’s decline. I like to think it’s a major one.

Want to get your story re-Tweeted? Here’s how.

Which news organizations are making money in the economic downturn? Mark Briggs from Journalism 2.0 says local publications seem to be doing just fine.

How many chores does your social media involvement add? Chris Brogan tells you here.

Speaking of Twitter, here’s an older story about Glam Media selling a sponsorship on a moderated Twitter feed.

Several months back, I posted the reasons I usually give journalists to get started on StumbleUpon. Jessica Gottlieb, a noted mommy blogger, posts this step-by-step guide to getting started.

A controversial article by Robert Picard on why he thinks journalists deserve a low salary. I can’t say I agree, but I can see his side.

And probably the best read of the week: Steve Buttry at Gazette Communications details his plan for Complete Community Connection, or C3.

2 comments May 15th, 2009

Responding to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post social media rules

We have a post in the works, but we first wanted to know. What are your thoughts on this and this?

Preliminarily, I see where they’re trying to go with the rules, but do you agree/disagree with them?

7 comments May 14th, 2009

New Tricks: Use expanded Google search as a reporting tool

If you’re a reporter or editor, you know that you have to do a bit of tweaking in your Web searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Sometimes it’s easy to find a static Web page, but finding sentiment about a topic may be tricky.

As a result, Google has announced the release of a bigger search toolkit. When you do a search, try clicking the “Show Options” link that appears right below the search box once the initial results page comes up.

If you were to do a search for “Daniel Honigman” this page will come up. (As you can see, I’m not too exciting.)

You can find my name mentioned on Web sites, in videos and in forums. For you, this is a great opportunity for you to find groups of people talking about your idea; these are potentially the same people who may be linking to your story when it’s published.

The “reviews” results are a bit tricky for search terms that aren’t reviewable, like your name — unless your supervisor posts your employee reviews publicly — but for products and services, the new Google search appears to be spot-on.

Try a few of these searches out. Please let me know if this works.

Here’s a quick explanatory video from Google:

3 comments May 13th, 2009

New tricks: Build community around breaking news

On Old Media, New Tricks, we’ve helped you grow the digital connection with your audience through niche news sites, closely moderated comment boards, Twitter and other tools out there.

But once you get your audience, what can you do with them? Here are a couple of ideas:

1. If you get a tip as a result of your social media efforts, acknowledge your audience in the stories themselves. If you say you got a tip via Twitter, link to that person’s profile. You should not relinquish any opportunity to say “thank you.”

2. Create a forum for people to answer each other’s questions about a breaking news item. For instance, if there’s a large teacher’s strike, set up a forum for teachers to not only talk with each other, but with students and parents as well.

Forums also:

- Create a place, possibly, for your reporters to interact with potential sources
- Create a place for your audience to ask your reporters questions. Sometimes, these questions and/or tips could turn into stories. Of course, you thank the audience member for the idea or question that turned into a story.
- Create a place for your audience to answer each other’s questions.
- If the conversation is good, you’ll find that you may get a few new registered users as a direct result of your forums.

3. After the story runs its cycle, it could be worth reaching out to your followers — especially if the story was local — and ask for input. Ask them:

- Did they like your coverage?
- What did your readers find most useful?
- How can you improve?

Remember, as my friend Jason Falls says, your participation will be a key component in making your social media efforts successful.

At this time, if you find you’re in the good graces of your followers, it could be a good time to ask them to register for your site, sign up for your e-newsletters, text alerts and the like. Bring them into your fold, and you may find it’s fairly easy to make a buck or two along the way. Tell them that their involvement not only helps you make a case for your continued presence on the social Web, but it in fact helps fund your future social media projects.

Why? Because you’ll find it just may.

Do you have any ideas on how to build community around breaking news? Post them as comments, and we’ll shoot them down — kidding — or we may include them in future posts. We’ll probably have a couple of more posts about this particular topic.

3 comments May 12th, 2009


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