Facebook vs Twitter as journalistic tool?

Since I wrote the posting below partly about the brand new Facebook page “Journalists on facebook” and finished that part with the sentence: “I’m pretty sure that many journalist now will take the oppertunity to use this possiblity, to get more out of their daily work.” There’s been a lot of buzz regarding Facebook vs Twitter as a journalistic tool.

Justin Osofsky, Director of Media Partnerships at Facebook, says that the page has been created: “to serve as an ongoing resource for the growing number of reporters using Facebook to find sources, interact with readers, and advance stories. And that “the Page will provide journalists with best practices for integrating the latest Facebook products with their work and connecting with the Facebook audience of more than 500 million people.

I believe he’s spot on, but… I do respect the critics. Among other I got an e-mail from Daniel at Newsy.com who recommended me to see the video about the topic Facebook vs Twitter as a journalist tool.

The news anchor Jim Flink at Newsy, says:
“So, could Facebook challenge Twitter in the battle for reporters’ hearts? One blogger says – probably not:
“Twitter allows you to order the account you follow into lists so you can have all the information about one subject on the same feed while Facebook imposes on you the feed of every journalists you will follow, no matter the subject they are working on or they are specialized in.”

Gigom’s Mathew Ingram suggests the company might have to alter its image a bit to make this work.
“…many users still likely think of Facebook as a place to socialize rather than be informed — a place to play games … not necessarily a place where journalists are active. Those things may not be mutually exclusive, but it’s going to take some work to make them feel like they belong together.”

I do agree. But my point of view is that both services has some left to prove to be kick ass tools for journalists, and their audience in particular.

I would say that the biggest headache right now for both this services, within this matter, is that most people has only one newsstream (or wall) for all their interests, topics, networks, etc (discussion in groups excluded). And most of the people is as a matter of fact interested in several topics and member of many communities. Do you really want the latest news from the revolution in Egypt on the same wall as where my cousins birthday party shows up? I don’t. And these lists feature is too… time-consuming. The same applies for Twitter. Ranking system, like Facebook Edgerank, might make the updates more relevant, but doesn’t solve this problem.

Personally, I love my Google RSS Reader with an extensive but careful selection of sources (social networks included)  in combination with Flipboard.

B t w – what happened to the service “LinkedIn for Journalists”? What I can see is pretty much no more… Or it ended up as a tiny group.  And LinkedIn Today…? Well – we won’t start our days with that kind of news aggregator, do we?

To be continued.

Svara på 10 frågor innan du börjar lyssna på sociala webben

År 2010 står för dörren. Och surret på webben ökar i takt med att internetanvändare blir allt fler och allt socialare. Tiden är minst sagt mogen för alla som jobbar med PR- och marknadskommunikation att i någon mening lyssna på vad som sägs.

MyNewsdesk lanserade nyligen ett verktyg för analys av våra kunders närvaro på webben. Detta som ett komplement till den statistik som visar hur många och vilka journalister som bevakar, prenumererar, läser deras information som släpps via MyNewsdesk.

Men inget av detta ger ännu så länge en fullständig bild av vad företagens marknad snackar om i den sociala delen av webben. Här finns en uppsjö olika verktyg som specialiserat sig på denna realtidskommunikation. Tids nog kommer MyNewsdesk med något som även tillgodoser dessa behov. Men tills dess kan ni själv börja med att kolla in denna lista av verktyg och liknande som spetsat in sig på sistnämnda. Listan är ingalunda komplett och inte helt up to date, men en bra start hur som helst.

Innan dess gör man dock klokt i att ställa sig några frågor kring användning av dessa verktyg. Jag snappade upp de här 10 nyckelfrågorna på en av aktörernas bloggar. Check it!

1.    What kind of sites do you want to monitor? Are blogs more important or are the comments from Facebook what you are trying to listen to? Many tools are better at certain things, like blogs, forums, or Twitter.
2.    What are you trying to monitor? Are you monitoring your brand or are you monitoring a keyword or phrase like “social media monitor”? Some tools will have special features if you are targeting a brand. Other tools are more focused on keyword monitoring.
3.    How much money do you want to spend? There are some solid free tools as well as some extensive and expensive tools. How much you want to spend is probably related to the type of features you want as well. Sometimes, the free or cheap tools can help you get started and figure out what you really want to do.
4.    What do you expect to get out of monitoring? As many social media people will tell you, you need to know what you are expecting. You can not start monitoring for your brand and expect additional sales to roll in. If you monitor, you need to have a plan of action. In some cases, you may just want to become more engaged with your customers. In other cases, you may be pushing discounts or promotions through social media that you want to track the success of.
5.    Do you want basic social media analytics? Social media is quite a wide breadth of sites. There are basic metrics like how many times a specific keyword was mentioned, or maybe how many times a blog post was shared. These metrics can also be segmented by the type of site, i.e. social news or social network, as well as the sites themselves.
6.    Do you want to hook into your web analytics? Tracking metrics for social media is only one piece of the puzzle. Even if you tweeted about a discount in your store, and it was retweeted several times, how can you tell that it had any effect? You can make a correlation to your basic web analytics metrics. You could include a campaign code in the URL that you post for a direct correlation to traffic, or you can make a loose correlation by looking at referral sources.
7.    Do you want basic or advanced analysis features? Do you want some standard reports or the ability to slice and dice the data in any manner that you see fit? Some of the more advanced tools give you the ability to analyze data in something similar to a Microsoft Excel pivot table. You may also be able to export data to Excel or some other format.
8.    Are you doing this work as an agency for other companies or do you have multiple people looking at the data? Some tools expect you to be an individual monitoring something. Other tools are built by marketing agencies for marketing agencies, where you can have a “workspace” for each client. There are options in between as well, where you can monitor up to a specific number of keywords or just allow multiple people access one account. Some tools also have white label or branded services, where you can go to the site and you see your own company’s logo and other branding elements. Typically, the branded services are separate costs in addition to the monitoring fees.
9.    Do you want to be able to see mentions and reply to them in one application? Most social media monitoring tools are purely “listen only”. This makes sense given that they are monitoring tools. However, you may be ready to respond quickly to mentions on Twitter or Facebook. To do this, you typically need to use a different application to write your tweets. Some tools are now including some basic writing capabilities.
10.    Do you want to create social media campaigns and then look and listen to the results in one application? There is another group of tools that probably fall into the marketing category that allow you to create social media campaigns, send data to the various social media sites and monitor these sites all in one. These tools are much more advanced than simple monitoring, and you can expect to pay more for them. However, some larger brands would really be able to take advantage of such capabilities.