Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Huffington PostIt’s great to see the Huffington Post pushing the boundaries of social media integration to better serve readers, especially since it endorses a point of view I’ve long held and promoted.

The site’s social media editor, Rob Fishman, has blogged about letting readers follow topics, reporters and bloggers both on the site and across other platforms with the aim of not missing stories that often slip through the cracks.

Back in the day, I suggested the BBC should automate the aggregation of correspondent reports in “shrines” to their output (and egos) across all platforms and all media types.

I’d always enjoyed Matt Frei’s perspective on life in the US, but trying to keep abreast of his video pieces, his audio packages, his features for the web and his musings for From Our Own Correspondent was a job of work.

The best correspondents are brands within the brand, something newspapers have long understood with their star columnists, and I always thought they deserved better packaging and promotion.  Before I left there was a project in the pipeline which was tackling this and I  hope it bears fruit this summer.

There’s more to this than just doing a better job of showcasing correspondent material though, tracking stories, people, companies and individuals’ interests is the next big step in filtering the news that’s relevant to you.

News aggregators are becoming two-a-penny but I’m excited by the newest kid on the block, the Zite iPad mag that claims to get smarter as you use it.

I haven’t had lots of hands-on time but I’ve already found much to like and it holds out bags of promise.

Like Flipboard you can kickstart it with content from your social graph, in my case Twitter, and then access a Top Stories page with a more detailed section index down the right-hand side. For me this included Social media, Technology, iPhone, Journalism and Mobile.

It’s at story level where things start to get really interesting. Now the right-hand side becomes a personalisation column topped by a question: Did you enjoy reading this? And Yes/No buttons for the answer.  (The nomenclature may need adjusting; I don’t enjoy reading about the Holocaust but I do find it useful/valuable/insightful etc).

Below that there are options to get more articles from the site which originated the story, or more stories about elements within the text. In a feature on the future of social AR gaming for instance the metatags offered were Social Gaming, World of Warcraft, Virtual Reality and Dante’s Inferno.

For some this may be a descent into one of the circles of hell, ranking and rating is a chore but over time it’ll save time if you get a better, more relevant service.

The magic in the mix will be the delivery of stuff you didn’t know you were interested in – that you didn’t specifically ask for – which is a bit more difficult.

The brains behind Zite are researchers at British Columbia university’s computational intelligence lab and they’ve stitched together stats and semantics to try to crack that.

I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far and I’m already thinking this will supplant my use of paper.li and Flipboard.

It’s also likely to appeal to advertisers who are no longer entranced by overblown CPM metrics that drive the worst kind of click-whoring subject matter.

Now it’s about reaching the right eyeballs, not just any eyeballs, and a magazine that refreshes every half an hour and provides a tailored cut of content for every user will surely become a powerful new player.

reuters hqCommunity management of conversations around stories has taken a new turn at Reuters where they’re offering points to people whose comments are civil, thoughtful and add to the sum total.

On some stories, the “conversation” had been little more than partisans slinging invective at each other under the cloak of anonymity, said Global Editor for Consumer Media Richard Baum.

Reuters had agonized over how to achieve more rewarding discussions before coming up with the points system in which people whose comments were approved gained a point, those who were off topic or transgressed rules lost a point.

High scoring commentators are classed as expert users and get extra – as yet unspecified – privileges. Interestingly, statistics for reader contributions are visible to all – creating a sort of reputational league table.