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: 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

Content Aggregation: CrowdyNews

Use:  Increase engagement by aggregating relevant social media conversations

CrowdyNews is social media aggregation tool that uses proprietary technology to comb specified sites/accounts/news feeds and pulls in relevant conversations and content.  A widget scrolls the aggregated content on the home page and users can select “full screen” to display all of the content.

The Chicago Tribune uses the technology to power their news.chicago.com platform, which includes news, sports and entertainment categories.  Digital First Media is using the technology on their newspaper sites (and calling it SocialWire) to enhance local content.   The New Haven Register, for example, uses CrowdyNews to aggregate content from various Twitter accounts, RSS feeds and video from several media outlets.

More:

Update 8/23/2013: NetNewsCheck: Gatehouse Adds Social with CrowdyNews

Journalism.co.uk: Digital First Media gathers social content with CrowdyNews

Social Media: Short Videos

Facebook is taking on Twitter/Vine with a video version of Instagram.  The app will allow users to create a 15-second video (compared to 6 seconds for Vine) and will support 13 custom filters.  Users will also be able to edit video frames and add a photo at he beginning.

Meanwhile, according to CNET, Vine may be reworking their app to add new features.  Based on videos posted by Vine’s founders, the new features may include a new design, curation capabilities, private messaging and, perhaps, the ability to build Vines from previous footage. (All based on CNET’s interpretation of the videos).

More:

Update 8/8/13: ReadWrite: Instagram Now Lets Users—and Marketers—Post Canned Video

Update: 7/16/13: MediaPost: Honda Does Personalized Vines For Summer

Update 7/11/13: AdWeek: Instagram Debuts Video Embeds, Could Alter Publishing Habits

Update 7/04/13: All Things D: In Wake of Vid-stagram, Vine’s Latest Update Could Spur Growth

Mashable: How to Create an Instagram Video in 7 Simple Steps, 6 Reasons Instagram Video Beats Vine

Forbes: Facebook’s Video On Instagram To Challenge Twitter’s Vine

CNET: Vine videos provide clues to new design, features

TechCrunch: Vine Goes On The Offensive, Teases New Features Ahead Of Instagram Video Launch

Poynter: Instagram gives news orgs tips on using its video feature

Social Media: New Facebook Tags

Use:  Increase exposure and traffic to publisher’s or author’s Facebook page

Facebook has introduced two new Open Graph tags to help publishers and authors “generate better previews of their content when shared on Facebook” and, ideally, increase followers.

The new “publisher tag” will allow publishers to link an article directly to their Facebook page and insert a “Like” button when the article appears in users’ News Feed (if the user hasn’t already “liked” the publisher). The “author tag” will link an article to the author’s Facebook page and insert a “Follow” button when the article appears in the News Feed.

More:

TechCrunch: Facebook Now Allows Publishers To Highlight Their Pages And Authors’ Profiles In Shared Links

 

Content Development: Socl Network Tools

Use:  Easily create content to increase user engagement or advertiser value

Socl is a social network from Microsoft’s Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs that offers a variety of tools that media companies can use to create compelling new content to share.  Tools include:

Collage, which allows users to drag and drop a collection of images and automatically create a stylish page that can be posted on social networks.  One obvious use is to gather a collection of photos from today’s newspaper, broadcast or Web site and use the page to promote the site.   You could also use the tool to gather a variety of images from an advertiser’s inventory to help them promote daily specials.

Video Party, provides a platform to tell a story with a series of video clips.  On the site, you create a title for your “party” (for example, “Turkey Rebellion”) and the service searches for relevant videos which are displayed in queue.  You click on the videos in the order you want to create a playlist which can be shared with friends.  You can modify the search to find additional relevant videos, as well.

Other tools include Blink, a “Vine-link” application for Windows’ OS that allow users to layer photos and video to create a short, shareable clip, and Picotale, a tool to create clever memes by typing in a headline and having the service search for interesting, matching images.

More:

YouTube: Socl Create Experiences

GeekWire: Microsoft updates ‘Socl’ network with new photo and video creation tools

PCWorld: Microsoft’s Socl network steps up its game with animated GIFs, meme generator

 

 

Engagement: Askem

Use: Involve community in news process by getting feedback and interaction; increase engagement with advertising content

Askem is a new app that media companies can use to better engage their audience.  With the app, media companies create an image, ask a question and imbed up to five different answers.   After sharing the image on Facebook or Twitter, users can click on their preferred answer and Askem will tabulate responses.  Users registered with Askem can also comment on the question.

Here’s an example of how a news organization might use the app to get opinions about NSA whistleblower Edwin Snowden.   The sports department, as another example, could upload an image of a potential draft choice and get users’ opinions on whether not he/she would be a good fit for the team.  Or, the ad department could create an image for Macy’s showing three different dresses and ask which one women prefer most.

More examples of “Askems” are here.

More:

Mashable: Askem Gets You the Answers You Need, Fast

The Next Web: Meet three startups that participated in Microsoft’s Azure-focused Israeli accelerator

 

 

 

 

Content Development: Vizify

Use:  Increased engagement by making users feel more connected to staff; branding tool for advertisers

Vizify is a free tool that creates slide show biographies based on your social media activity.  The easy-to-use tool assembles tweets, LinkedIn profile data, Facebook activity and Foursquare activity to automatically create a video slide show.  You can also add “Vizcards” (sort of a personal infographic), quotes, factoids and photos. The presentation can be easily edited before making live.  Mine — created in about 90 seconds — is here.

A new feature creates an actual video based on your Twitter activity, including tweets, photos and video.  Mine was too boring to show here.

Media companies could use the tool to help better connect users to personalities (reporters, broadcasters, etc.) or as part of a backgrounder for people in the news (provided they have created a Vizify video).  Because the data assembled is all from publicly available sources, perhaps Vizify someday will allow media to build videos of third-parties.   I can also envision using the tool as an added branding vehicle for advertisers.

More:

The Next Web: Vizify joins forces with Twitter, now you can create an instant ‘movie trailer’ bio in no time at all

TechCrunch: Visual Identity Platform Vizify Launches Out Of Beta, Now Lets You Share Graphics Via Social Media Cards

GeekWire: Show your quirky side: Vizify unveils new bite-sized infographics just about you

Analytics: Twitter

Use: Gauge performance of tweets to identify topics, content, etc. that get more traction with users

Twitter has opened up tweet analytics to all users.   Publishers can check how many times a tweet has been “faved”, retweeted or replied to and how many times a link in a tweet has been clicked.  The data as far back as 90 days can be viewed online or downloaded to an Excel or CSV file.  You can also chart, by date, mentions, follows and unfollows for your account.

In addition to Timeline activity, you can also get data on Followers (although when I tried to access that,  I received a message that said “there is not enough data to display analytics at this time. Try again later.”)

There are third-party programs that will provide Twitter analytics but this is a straightforward way to track your tweet activity.

To access the analytics, go to ads.twitter.com and log-in with your regular Twitter ID and password.  Then select “Analytics” at the top of the page.

More:

The Next Web: Twitter opens up its analytics platform, lets everyone review the performance of their tweets for free

TechCrunch: Twitter Opens Up Tweet Performance Analytics To All, For Free

Christopher Penn: Official Twitter Analytics: Most Hidden Ever