Tag Archives: Twitter

Apparently all Twitter users can now create polls

Instead of writing your typical tweet, hit the pie chart to enter your questions and answers for your poll.
Instead of writing your typical tweet, hit the pie chart to enter your questions and answers for your poll.

Want to poll your readers on Twitter? You may no longer need to have them hit favorite for one response, or retweet for another.

That’s because Twitter has rolled out a feature that lets at least some users tweet a poll on which other users can click one of the answers.

Twitter said in a blog post dated October 21 all its users can create polls in “the coming days.” More than week later, it appears everyone can do so, as I can with multiple accounts I manage.

The polls are “live for 24 hours,” “you can vote on any poll, and how you voted is not shared publicly,” according to the blog post.

When I tried the feature, Twitter let me write, in both words and emojis, both my own question and two answers.

How it looks after the poll closes.
How it looks after the poll closes.

Here is how NowThis used various social media platforms in their Bernie Sanders interview

Many on social media know that all platforms allow different forms of content. NowThis News, which publishes almost all of their content on social media, recently took that to heart.

NowThis, affiliated with NBC, published an interview with Sanders across all their social media networks, with some posts tailored very specifically to the respective platform.

Here are samples of some of the posts:

Instagram:

Twitter:

(For those wondering how they apparently uploaded a video longer that Twitter’s 30-second limit, this might help)

Vine:

Facebook:

Screenshot of NowThis' Facebook video of  Sanders.
Screenshot of NowThis’ Facebook video of Sanders.

(Link to video: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/897613636995428/)

Digiday:

NowThis crowdsourced its questions from social media and focused on topics that are important to its millennial audience, like his affordable college plan and gun control.

The interview was disseminated across five social networks (Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine and Instagram), garnering more than 15 million total views in 10 days.

Emojis in social media posts: have they become a thing in journalism?

On Wednesday, KCRW, an L.A. public radio station, used emojis in a tweet that promoted its “Morning Becomes Eclectic” show.

That same day, BuzzFeed News used one in an Instagram post about the NFL’s “Deflategate” investigation.

Emoji’s have seemingly become almost a standard in everyday communication, but it’s still fairly surprising to see them in news outlets’ social media posts even two years after USA Today, perhaps jokingly, tried their hand at it.

That tweet was later highlighted in this piece.

In it, journalism professionals dismissed emoji-use.

However, Gregory Norfleet, identified as editor of West Branch Times, shared advantages:

“I’ve never used emoji nor emoticons, but if it makes for a better headline or graphic — more reader-friendly — I would. Readers, voters, taxpayers, etc. — if it draws them in to read the story, they become MORE informed.”

Fast forward to 2015, it looks like journalism has not fully embraced them. Both Instagram and Twitter lets users (or me, at least) search for emojis, but seeing them in journalism social media posts remains unlikely despite how often they are used casually.

Journos talk using new, live video-streaming app Meerkat

Apps that let you broadcast video is nothing new.

In 2013, social media app Pheed reportedly let users live-stream video to other users. More recently, another app, called Mobli (which is said to have acquired Pheed) claimed it let users do the same.

Neither seemed to attract much attention from journalists. But the new app, Meerkat, looks like it already has since reportedly arriving on the Apple App Store just last month.

Poynter talked to a reporter that has already used the app, which boasts it “allows you to stream live video from your phone to all of your Twitter followers at once.”

In an email, tech writer Monica Guzman told Poynter, “On the surface, it looks like a really great tool for breaking news and developing news.”

Poynter also talked to TV anchor Amy Wood, who emailed the blog saying she had already used Meerkat for breaking news and that it’s easy to use for those already on Twitter.

[Update]

Other publications that have tried Meerkat shared their expressive with Digiday.

One of them, the BBC, used Meerkrat to cover the aftermath of the recent police shootings in Ferguson. Missouri.

BBC reporter Franz Strasser told Digiday, “We’re still not entirely convinced this is the best option, but we’re willing in trying out all these different platforms.”

Another was Mashable, which, at this year’s SXSW, used the app to interview people and give tours of Austin, Texas. Areas of improvement, Mashable Collective’s Jeff Petriello told Digiday, were “lighting and sound.”

How HuffPo LA, which rarely covers sports, live-tweeted an NBA game

Huffington Post L.A., Huffington Post’s section focusing on Los Angeles news, did something unusual Wednesday. The blog, which seems to seldom cover sports, live-tweeted an NBA game between the L.A. Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.

According to Huffington Post L.A.’s Twitter bio, all of the account’s tweets are by Huffington Post editor Sasha Bronner.

Some of the tweets were edgy, apparently taking a snarky jab at the telecast’s music selection, other times poking fun at Clippers player Glen “Big Baby” Davis.

Here is a taste of what was tweeted:

The snark was toned down with a question to “readers”:

Ultimately, the live-tweeting got some negative responses. Here is one: (Sorry, embedding the other, which had an emoji, did not work)

(I was unfortunately unable to see the game myself, so will try not to go too far when commenting.)

Huffington Post L.A. deserves credit for “trying something new,” but commenting on the music and making “Big Baby” jokes showed an apparent lack of basketball knowledge.

Cartoonists “live-draw” The Oscars for The New Yorker

The New Yorker is known not just for its journalism, but also its cartoons. And for The Oscars Sunday night, cartoonists Liza Donnelly and Bob Eckstein created drawings of the awards show as it progressed.

Here is a taste of the work on Eckstein’s Twitter:

And not only were Donnelly’s drawings posted on her Twitter, but she apparently satisfied tweeted requests on what to draw:

The “live-draw[ing]” approach is no cake walk. Leading up to the big night, Donnelly told The Poughkeepsie Journal, “I see the person on the screen, and judge if they will be on the screen for at least 30 seconds. If not, then I may have to give up on them and not even try.”

As for the cartoons that did make it to social media, it remains unclear why they were not shown on The New Yorker’s Instagram. But the work deserves credit since it is a move away from the usual stop-motion animation, which other publications use, and showcases one of The New Yorker’s traditions.

Anderson Cooper, Ta-Nehisi Coates among journos popular on Twitter

Last year brought a host of social media platforms attracting the attention of the journalism world, from Snapchat being used to cover Super Bowl commercials to publications capitalizing on Yo allowing links in messages.

Despite the emergence of publications on new platforms, Twitter remains relevant as Muck Rack, an organization that helps bring together reporters and PR people, shared the most-followed broadcast journalists for their “2014 Year-End Social Journalism Report.”

Here are the top 10 and their respective number of followers, per Muck Rack:

1. Anderson Cooper: 5,421,631
2. Adam Schefter: 3,301,558
3. Rachel Maddow: 3,057,502
4. Larry King: 2,528,585
5. Chris Hardwick: 2,463,621
6. Erin Andrews: 2,435,580
7. George Stephanopoulos: 2,017,927
8. Dr. Sanjay Gupta: 1,908,625
9. Rajdeep Sardesai: 1,801,817
10. Barkha Dutt: 1,751,511

Muck Rack also put together a list of journalists who “created their account in 2014,” and The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates far surpasses his counterparts in number of followers:

1. Ta-Nehisi Coates: 96,962
2. Orla Guerin: 9,923
3. Gideon Levy: 8,777
4. Greg McArthur: 2,098
5. Koran Addo: 2,025
6. Regina Kenney: 1,967
7. Steve Capus: 1,937
8. Dave Scwhartz: 1,925
9. Sandy Hendry: 1,818
10. Chioma Nnadi: 1,650

But while Coates may have joined Twitter in 2014, he is not exactly new to the platform. Coates was apparently on Twitter up to July 2012, when he announced he ditched his account.

Go here for more of Muck Rack’s findings.

November brought a trend of journos’ Twitter gaffes

Perhaps some reporters should return to using Twitter as a reporting tool.

Last Sunday, Awful Announcing, a blog covering sports media, announced it “severed its relationship” with Steve Lepore, one of its writers. Sports blog Deadspin reports the move came after Lepore, on Twitter, treated women inappropriately by “[asking] what sort of photos they might be willing to pose for.”

His actions mark the third recent incident involving journalists’ Twitter use.

In another Twitter blunder, student reporter Marisa Martin came under fire after tweeting an insensitive “joke” about Jameis Winston, a Florida State University football player.

The Washington Post:

Marisa Martin, a student at the University of Alabama, tweeted the following on Wednesday night: “Reported gunman on the FSU campus. Maybe he is heading for Jameis,” a reference to Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston. When criticized by other Twitter users for her comment, she defended her Tweet: “Since apparently I cant make a joke in all seriousness I hope everyone at FSU is safe & that the gunman is found. But I stand by my opinions.”

Winston, who is facing sexual assault accusations, was the victim of another tweet that was not just insensitive, but potentially libelous. San Francisco Chronicle’s Ann Killion reportedly tweeted “C’mon Boston College. Beat the rapist,” before deleting the tweet and apologizing.

But at ESPN, one writer was punished for behavior on Twitter that was less offensive. ESPN writer Keith Law, according to Slate, took to Twitter to debate baseball analyst Curt Schilling on evolution. Per Slate, ESPN suspended Law from Twitter, but claimed the punishment “had absolutely nothing to do with his opinions on the subject.”

While journalists can benefit from humanizing themselves on Twitter, it is important for them to do so professionally. The debate on evolution did just that, but the other cases show some reporters struggle to strike that balance.