Photo by English106/Flickr.
Well, if you’re reading this, you’re probably among the 6 percent of total Internet users who using Tumblr. That number comes from a Pew Internet and American Life project report that’s titled “A demographic portrait of users of various social media services - 2012.” The report popped up on Tumblr during the Tumblr-Yahoo! hullabaloo this morning, and it includes some useful info.
The percentage of Internet users who use Twitter? 16 percent.
Pinterest: 15 percent.
Instagram: 13 percent.
Facebook: 67 percent.
Read the report here, and follow Pew Internet on Tumblr.
Relax, people. It’s just business.
Watching Kanye West perform his new single “New Slaves” on SNL has pinged the Central Valley music reporter in me. Here’s West:
I’m thinking Yeezy and I have been doing the same thing lately: listening to a lot of Death Grips, the Sacramento art-rap-punk group that was SPIN magazine’s Artist of the Year last year. Watch the Death Grips video for “Guillotine”:
Death Grips - Guillotine (It Goes Yah) from Death Grips on Vimeo.
Listen to more Death Grips on Soundcloud.
A compelling photo is vital to attracting readers to your story online. Photo by Steve Rhodes/Flickr.
Here are the most important lessons I’ve learned through research and experience since I first became an “online journalist” seven years ago:
1. Treat online as its own unique medium with its own unique best practices. You wouldn’t read a newspaper story verbatim on a television or radio station. You wouldn’t re-print a television or radio script line-for-line in a newspaper. So why would you expect to be successful by cutting-and-pasting television and radio scripts and print stories online? The Internet has its own unique strengths, weaknesses and best practices for engaging audiences. It’s the only medium for rich interactive content and instant two-way communication with your audience. Create a strategy focused on these qualities and you’re more likely to live up to your potential online.
2. Listen and respond to your community during the news gathering process. Your community doesn’t need you. They already have what seems like an infinite number of sources for news they find interesting. You’re just another voice in that cacophony. If you want to be relevant, you need to pay attention to what your audience is talking about online and be part of their conversations. Hang out where they hang out, ask them what they’re interested in and learn how to recognize patterns in their news consumption. Does your community have a huge subreddit where users are regularly upvoting items about housing? Try providing more housing coverage. Are there no comments on your competitor’s education blog? Spend less time reporting on education.
3. Create quality to generate quantity on social. Contests and other gimmicks can be great for a one-time spike in your Facebook followers. But how are you going to keep growing your numbers after you’ve given out your prizes? You need to regularly provide your social audience with a product they’re interested in.
4. Make headlines and photos a priority. Your community wades through a flood of information whenever it logs onto Facebook or Twitter. Links with great headlines and photos rise above the rest of the fodder and attract clicks. To write a great headline, start by thinking about how you might pitch your story to a reader if you only had 30 seconds to talk with him or her in an elevator. How would you succinctly and clearly sell the benefits of clicking on your work? Can you guarantee the reader that he or she will gain something through your story? Use your answers to write a one-line compelling promise to the reader that explains the benefits of checking out your work. Refine that promise using Matt Thompson’s “10 questions to help you write better headlines.” It’s important to note here that you should not give away your entire story in a headline, as many newspapers often do. “8 People Killed in Gang Shooting Downtown” pretty much tells the reader everything he or she needs to know without requiring a click. When you’re done writing your headline, ask yourself: would I click on this if it came across my personal Facebook feed? If the answer is no, your headline might need more editing.