The Facebook Gravitational Effect

Originally posted at                       Over the next twelve months, the media industry is likely to be split between those who master the Facebook system and those who don’t. A decade or so  ago, for a print publication, going on the internet was seen as the best way to rejuvenate its audience; today, as web news audiences reach a plateau, Facebook is viewed as the most potent traffic booster.

If you are looking for the ultimate cyber black hole, point your browser toward Facebook. Beyond the 500 million users milestone, even more significant gravitational pull await the media industry. Here are facts to keep in mind.

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Advice For The One Man Band – er, Multiplatform Journalist!

One Man Band Reporter Steve Mort offers practical advice for solo reporters
One Man Band Reporter Steve Mort offers practical advice for solo reporters

One of the hottest topics at this week’s Radio-Television News Directors Association convention in Las Vegas is the move toward Multi-platform reporting. While much of the talk in Vegas is preparing journalists for this new reality, Steve Mort is talking practical advice and technique on his new blog, The One Man Band Reporter.

Mort is a journalist, producer, videographer and editor based in Orlando. Among Steve’s pearls, “Shooting a standup is an art in of itself. But shooting your own standup, ie., trying to be in front of and behind the camera at the same time, is challenging. The key is to get the basics right so it doesn’t look/sound woeful – and check the results before packing up and leaving the location.”


Many conference attendees are blogging and tweeting the sessions. Mizzou’s Jen Reeves is bullish on what Facebook offers journalists.

“Facebook is savvy with its product pages. Not only does it give you the opportunity to promote your newsroom’s brand, you can get creative, promote and track the activity on your page.  What’s even better, Facebook has written up how to do it. It’s very smart”, says Reeves in her blog, Jen Reeves – New Media Mind.


News Directors are learning about Twitter for Journalists.   Even panelists have been caught while presenting!


Turnout among News Directors is down this year, but enthusiastic students are filling the void.
Steve Safran noted,

“At the Monday morning session, “Moving Content Across Platforms,” the room was packed – standing room only – and the face of the room was, well, young. I know we often write “I hate to generalize,” but the generalization is apt. The young journalists are investing in themselves. There are far fewer media managers here.”

Hope to post links to some of the presentations, powerpoints, and videos as the week goes on.  Stay tuned!

Facebook Caves to Critics; Bad Idea?

Facebook’s re-design is getting some tweaking.
After a deluge of negative feedback and accusations the social media giant was trying to become more “twitter-like”, Facebook Product Director Christopher Cox unveiled the changes in his blog on Thursday.face

The changes already in the works include:

  • Live Updating: You won’t have to refresh the page to see what’s new.
  • Photo tags: Facebook will add photos tagged with a person’s friends to her stream.
  • Applications: Users will have the ability to cut down on the application-related content that’s showing up in streams.
  • Highlights: This section in the right-hand column will update more frequently and show more content so it’ll be more like the old News Feed.
  • Requests: Friend requests and event invites will be moved to the top of the right-hand column so they’re more prominent.
  • Friends lists: Users will be able to create a new list of friends with which to filter their streams.
  • Not everyone thinks Facebook’s decision is the right one. Continue reading “Facebook Caves to Critics; Bad Idea?”

    At A TV Screen Near You: Facebook And Twitter by Mike Bloxham

    Reposted from MEDIAPOST.COM Mike Bloxham is director of insight and research at the Center for Media Design, Ball State University. (

    How will Facebook & Twitter will manifest themselves on TV post-digital transition?
    How will Facebook & Twitter will manifest themselves on TV post-digital transition?

    A number of people outside the media industries have told me recently of the noticeable increase in the number of old friends from high school or college who have connected with them on Facebook and the like in recent times.

    These people are typically in the 40+ age group and — for the most part — are pleased to be enjoying the renewed contact with old acquaintances, even though many simultaneously express surprise at what they perceive to be a relatively sudden surge in new Friend requests.

    “Where have these people come from?” “Why are they contacting me now?” and “Are they new to Facebook?” — all these questions are typically part of the conversation.

    A smaller number of people have also said similar things about Twitter. So what’s going on here? Are more of us old folks getting actively engaged in the social networking thing? There’s no doubt that the Facebook user base is expanding rapidly — and apparently the fastest growth is occurring among those who are over 30.

    Recently released stats from (stats based solely on U.S., browser-based use of the sites) show huge levels of use for Facebook in January, with around 68.5 million unique visitors delivering almost 1.2 billion unique visits (for the first time I believe, ranking the site above Myspace by 10 million unique visitors in the month).

    In a distant third comes Twitter, with just shy of 6 million unique visitors and just over 54 million unique visits. Complete acknowledge that since its stats don’t take into account use of widgets and third-party apps to access the sites, the likes of Twitter will be somewhat under-reported in terms of total use.
    Continue reading “At A TV Screen Near You: Facebook And Twitter by Mike Bloxham”

    Social Network Profile Costs Woman College Degree

    Forget losing your job, apparently your MySpace or Facebook profile and photos can now cause you to lose your degree, reports Sarah Perez on   Perez writes: federal judge has ruled against a former student of Millersville University of Pennsylvania who was denied her college degree because of an unseemly online photo and its accompanying caption found on her social network profile.

    Continue reading “Social Network Profile Costs Woman College Degree”

    Traditional news outlets turn to social networking Web sites in an effort to build their online audiences.

    Can Facebook and Twitter save the beleaguered mainstream media?

    That is the question posed, and answered, in an American Journalism Review article by Arielle Emmett.

    Maybe not by themselves. But news organizations increasingly are turning to social networking tools in their efforts to compete in a challenging and fast-changing media landscape.

    Vivian Schiller, outgoing senior vice president and general manager of, says social media marketing is one of several essential strategies for disseminating news online – and for surviving.

    “Though the long-term viability of any individual social networking site or technology is completely unproven,” Schiller says, “readers will engage with each other and share stories. That is a given.”

    Can Facebook and Twitter save the beleaguered mainstream media?