Social Media: Verification Junkie

Use:  Verify the veracity of information posted on social media sites.

Verification Junkie is not a technology but a new “directory of tools for verifying, fact checking and assessing the validity of social media and user generated content.”

Much like this blog (aggregating useful tools and technology for revenue and audience growth), Verification Junkie’s author Josh Stearns will attempt to “profile and link to useful, interesting and emerging tools and apps that citizens, journalists or newsrooms can use in their day-to-day work. The emphasis here is on the useful, concrete tools people are building to help assess the validity and accuracy of social media content – text, video and photos.”

Among the tools currently featured on the site are MediaBugs, Veri.ly, SwiftRiver and Storyful.

More:

Nieman Journalism Lab: Verification Junkie is a new compendium of online tools for fact-checking

Groundswell: Introducing Verification Junkie

Content Development: Zeega

Use:  Create multimedia mash-ups to tell stories for users or advertisers in new, engaging ways

Zeega allows users to tell stories with a variety of multimedia elements, some curated by Zeega and some supplied by the users themselves.  Users drag various media onto slides, insert text, choose music to play behind the images and share the final product (essentially a slide show) through Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.  Zeega curates media from SoundCloub, Tumblr, Flickr and Giphy (and provides appropriate attribution).

You can view samples Zeegas here.

Publishers can use Zeega tools to tell interesting stories in new, compelling ways.  They can also use the tool to create new, engaging advertising units (in the form of slideshows).

More:

Mashable: Zeega Offers a New Way to Tell Stories With Interactive Media

GigaOM: Amping up the GIF: Zeega wants to re-invent interactive media on mobile

i-Docs: The Zeega revolution: remake the Internet!

 

 

Social Media: OpenFuego

Use:  Curate Twitter conversations on topics of interest to your users or advertisers

OpenFuego is the new open-source version of Fuego, a tool created by the Nieman Journalism Lab to automatically monitor Twitter feeds and curate conversations based on designated topics.

Here is how the tool author, Andrew Phelps, describes the process: “You create a database and follow the instructions in the config file….Choose a group of authorities — the Twitter users who will seed the universe you want to track. ….After you identify these 10 authorities, OpenFuego does the rest. The app follows them on Twitter, as well as all of the people they follow, up to a total of 5,000 sources. When one of those sources shares a link, the link is scored according to the source’s influence. Influence is determined by the number of authorities who follow that source.”

The tool provides the back-end curation.  Publishers will have to create their own tool to display the content on the Web page.

Publishers can use the tool to supplement or provide background information on designated topics.  That information can be solely a tool for journalists or can be packaged online for users.  The tool could also be used to find “friendly” references to particular brands that can be added to the toolkit of advertiser services.

More:

Nieman Journalism Lab: Introducing OpenFuego, your very own heat-seeking Twitter bot

 

 

Video: ifussss

Use:  Get access to user-provided breaking-news video

ifussss, which stands for “if you see something, share something,” is a platform for accessing user-generated breaking new video.  The app, which will be available for iOS and Android on September 9, allows users to record and share 30-second clips (metadata will be added automatically).  The platform will filter and clear the rights to each video.

Publishers can monitor and search content on ifussss and download clips for a “small fee”, part of which will go to the original videographer.

Other crowdsourced video platforms include Newsflare and Demotix.

More:

Mediabistro: ifussss: New Video Sharing App and Newsroom for Journos

Journalism.co.uk: New user-generated video app to launch

Content Development: POP App

Use:  Easily create rough iPhone app prototypes

POP App allows publishers to sketch out app prototypes on paper (or online), upload photos of the sketches and then animate the action to see a rough version of the app in action.   After sketching and uploading photos of a storyboard, users can create “link spots” within the app to simulate the user interface.  Transition effects include basic, next, back, rise and dismiss.   You can then share the prototype with others to try out on their iOS device or Web browser (Android versions are in the works).

More:

The Next Web: Here are our 5 favorite companies from 500 Startups’ sixth batch demo day

CultofMac: Ingenious Pop App Lets You Design Apps On Paper [Review]

 

 

 

 

Analytics: Google Analytics

Use:  Test different versions of a page to see which one drives more action or engagement.

Google Analytics has updated its content experiments feature which allows media companies to easily test five different versions of a landing page to see which better meets desired metrics (e.g.  visit duration, start a subscription, make a purchase, etc.)  According to Google, content experiments allows you to:

  • Compare how different web pages perform using a random sample of your visitors
  • Define what percentage of your visitors are included in the experiment
  • Choose which objective you’d like to test
  • Get updates by email about how your experiment is doing

You can also use Google’s Experiments API to test versions of apps and Web pages.

More:

Knight Digital Media Center: Experiment with web content for better engagement: new Google tool

Search Engine Watch: Google Analytics Finally Gives Developers Content Experiments API

Online-Behavior: Google Analytics Content Experiments – A Guide To Creating A/B Tests

Data Mining: Google Survey

Use:  Create low-cost surveys for editorial content or to gain additional consumer insights

Google Survey allows publishers to create low-cost surveys on any topic they want.  Questions will be presented to users when they try to access certain premium content (from those publishers who are hosting Google Consumer Surveys on their paid content products).   Google  reports more than 200 publishers have implemented GCS.

Publishers present one question at a time and can segment the audience by gender, age, geography, urbanicity and income.  Unfortunately, the smallest geographic area is at the state level.  The question can be in a variety of formats, including single answer, multiple answers, side-by-side images, ratings and open-ended.  Publishers than choose number of responses per question (200, 500 or 1,000) and  frequency (once, biweekly, monthly).  Google charges $.10 per response for general population surveys and $.50 per response for segmented surveys.

According to Google, “Google Consumer Surveys takes a new approach to survey sampling, data collection and post-stratification weighting. This produces a close approximation to a random sample of the US Internet population and results that are as accurate as probability based panels.” A Google whitepaper on Google survey methodology and accuracy available here.

GCS may not replace more intensive consumer surveys for your publication, but could provide a low-cost approach to gaining specific insights more rapidly.

More:

TechCrunch: Google Surveys Can Make Anyone A Professional Pollster

Nieman Journalism Labs: The newsonomics of value exchange and Google Surveys

Forbes: Q&A With Paul McDonald: Co-Creator Of Google Consumer Surveys

 

Content Development: Scoopshot

Use:  Engage the community to provide photos for stories or events; increase engagement for advertisers with customers and prospects

Scoopshot is a “crowdsourced” photography platform that connects photographers (amateur and professional) with media companies.   Publishers can create a “task” on Scoopshot and ask Scoopshot users to submit photos related to that task.  For example, if a newspaper wanted photographs from a July 4th parade, they can create that task on Scoopshot and hope that local photographers respond (publishers can identify how many potential Scoopshot photographers reside in a particular location).

All photos cost $5 (of which the photographer gets half) and can be bought by anyone (not just the task creator).  Publishers can create tasks for free but pay extra for things like mobile app alerts, including a logo or a task banner and extending the timeframe for the task.

Publishers benefit by getting access to photos of events they may not be able to cover (but our valued by the community) and creating deeper relationships with community members.  They could also use the service to increase engagement for advertisers, for example asking Scoopshot members to submit photographs of dresses they covet from Macy’s or their meals from Olive Garden that could be included in advertiser ads.

More:

Update 7/30/13: Journalism.co.uk: New user-generated video app to launch

Update 7/25/13:  Journalism.co.uk: Journalist launches PicFair as image licence marketplace

Update 7/22/13: VentureBeat: CrowdMedia sells everyone’s newsworthy Twitter pics — and could just change journalism forever

The Next Web: Scoopshot scoops $1.2m from top-selling stock photographer, and opens its crowdsourced image site to all

Gigaom: Taking stock: EyeEm and Scoopshot attack stock photo industry from different angles

Poynter: New Guardian, Scoopshot efforts bring elements of automation to photo verification

Content Development: Locu

Use:  Provide extensive information about local businesses to users; add to digital marketing services products for local advertisers.

Locu provides a platform and central database for merchants to provide updated menus and service lists.  The database contains more than 1 million listings which were created originally by Locu staff.  Local merchants can claim those pages and provide their own updates.  Locu also can distribute the content directly to a merchants site or Facebook page or to partner sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Foursquare.

Publishers need not cede local merchant listings and reviews to Yelp and other social directories.  With the Locu API, they can tap into the huge database of merchant info to build their own directory and then upsell enhancements to merchants.  Even though Locu provides the capability for merchants themselves to update once, distribute to many; local media companies can use the power of their traditional products to offer even more value to those merchants.

More:

Update 7/19/13: All Things D: Apple Acquires Local Data Outfit Locationary

All Things D: How Locu Became Every Local Business’s Personal Publisher

TechCrunch: Yelp Partners With Locu, Allowing Businesses To Post Menus, Daily Specials & Photos To Yelp In Real Time

StreetFight: A Year After Big Scores by SinglePlatform and Yext, Locu Makes a Quiet Push