How to microblog in high heels

A geek girl's guide to social media and online engagement

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

Guardian Facebook page as a network – @RiederB

Visualisation of links form posts on the Guardian Facebook page by Bernhard Rieder

I just wanted to share this awesome visualisation from Bernhard Rieder showing interactions on the Guardian’s main Facebook page. Read more about what it shows here and click on the image to zoom in to see the nodes.

He writes:

One can see a a core of regulars in the middle of the graph, but the main engagement comes from a large majority of users that have only interacted with a single posts. These users drag the big subjects out to the margins in this specific spatialization. Engagement, here, comes from a fleeting audience rather than a more stable group or community.

As someone who runs the main Guardian page and takes a keen interest in the ‘engagement’ and ‘reach’ figures for each post as well as running various stats reports, it’s nice to get this bigger picture overview of how our page works as a network. Nice stuff!

Written by hrwaldram

October 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Posted in community, data

Tagged with , , ,

Autumn update: #cmLDN changes and Community Clinics

After a rather long summer break, and with the lovey Elana Zak off to dazzle the world of social media in the States, the cmLDN steering group met this Autumn to discuss going forward with our regular meetup group.

One of the things which we found difficult in our first year was organisation – as busy communities people it wasn’t always easy to find time to arrange venues, speakers and plan meetups around a theme. So with our new steering group recruit Rich Moynihan, we took time to think about what we wanted from a meetup group for community managers in London.

This took me back to days organising the Cardiff bloggers meetups with Ed Walker – which usually attracted about 40 bloggers each month from Cardiff and beyond to chat, drink, share notes and experiences and enrich the blogging community online with face to face gatherings. Part of the reason this worked, I think, was because most of the ‘talks’ were from the bloggers themselves – sharing experiences on a topic in an informal and friendly way. There were many other reasons this group was popular but I think this was one of them.

CmLDN meetup. Photo: Marika Kochiashvili via Twitter

Much like the bloggers in Cardiff, community managers and editors in London tend to work pretty remotely and detached from others parts of the company – often dealing alone with various problems and issues which arise in their communities. So coming together to share ideas, problems and tactics is really important and will develop and increase the quality community management in London and beyond.

So the meetups are being reconfigured to be for community managers about community management – with informal meetings in homes and pubs and the focus on sharing experiences and ideas in an informal, off the record format. Some of the most interesting discussions we had at the meetups in the last year where when a number from the group started to pitch in and a debate began.

We’re moving our organising platform to Facebook (the group is here) and off – so hopefully we can have more conversation, link sharing and interaction between meetups – we’ll announce dates and venues on the events page of this group. If you’re a community manager in London, or work with online communities in some way please do request to join the group and get involved! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

October 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Lost in Denmark #3: #Dona conference and visiting offices in Copenhagen, Denmark

Last year I visited the Danish School of Journalism in Arhus to join a conference on hyperlocal journalism.

I was lucky enough to this year join the Danish online news association (Dona) for their regular meetup and speak alongside Kurt Westh Nielsen on ‘engaging with users for news organisations’.

Kurt has been speaking to a number of news publishers across the globe from the New York Times and meeting Rob Malda from slashdot to Le Monde to get an idea of the best practise for engaging with users.

He said speaking to Jay Rosen was inspiring, who fully believes that the user knows more than you do, and argues that journalists still need to overcome the fear that their ideas will be stolen if they work in an open way.

From speaking to many subjects, Kurt came up with a list of future competences for journalists (please be aware these are based on my notes):

  1. Engage in a dialogue with users
  2. Don’t be lazy – try out new platforms
  3. Digital journalism rewards specialist knowledge
  4. Refer each other (colleagues) to new digital platforms
  5. Communications between users – interact
  6. Share and request ideas from users

Kurt had also put together an (in progress) diagram for how different social media networks are performing against each other based on a metric system he created for measuring social success (which scored networks for things like togetherness – a presence of other users) – you can see a hazy picture of the diagram here.

He also had devised this handy checklist for journalists on good and bad uses of social media – some of this may be basic, but it’s worth remembering:


  • Write new versions for separate channels
  • Cross reference your other personal identities
  • Experiment!
  • Use social media to learn
  • Refer to other colleagues and good sources


  • Multiple channel streams
  • Not one personal identity doing it/or a general identity
  • Bombard users with content spam
  • Appeal to people’s common sense, don’t implement social media rules

Meeting and other news organisations

While visiting Copenhagen I also met up with Marie Bering from the third biggest national newspaper in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten (JP), and Katrine N. Jensen, news editor and Lars DamgaardNielsen, social media editor, from the online outlet for the Danish version of the BBC – 

Interestingly in Denmark – Facebook use far outweighs Twitter – with more than half of the Danish population (5.5m) using Facebook rather than just 70,000 on Twitter – although many believe Twitter will grow to be used as a mass social network in Denmark soon too.

I won’t go into the details of my conversations with Katrine, Marie and Lars as some of the information they shared is commercially sensitive, but the general impression from the trip – after speaking to journalists from the biggest national newspaper Politiken, as well as Peter From Jacobsen from the Danish School of Journalism’s research centre, is that some Danish media are still struggling to convince managing editors of the value of engaging with users via comments and social media. They are experimenting with different business models including the freemium idea that a certain amount of news content is free before extra niche/feature content is paid for, with Facebook commenting systems and social sign in methods to validate users on their sites.

Royal and parliament buildings in Denmark

Some projects of interest from include their following of election candidate’s activities on Facebook (not sure we could even do this in the UK!). also recently launched this great interactive for browing some of the latest data from parliament on Copenhagen and the country’s budget.

Finally here’s a huge thank you to Peter From Jacobsen for organising parts of the trip, Jon Lund from Dona, and Katrine from for chatting to me about some of the things going on in Danish media at the moment. I will follow with sincere interest!

Reverse mentoring: teaching online journalism skills

After trying to avoid making the mistake of committing to a new years resolution, I found something which I do actually want to do, a resolution of a slightly different ilk to the usual diets exercise and self gratifying lifestyle changes. I’ve decided to help my parents become more digitally literate. 

Despite their rudimentary knowledge of the internet and various bits of software, they both could do with a bit of an introduction to social media to provide them with a great way of keeping up with people. This time last year I probably would shudder at the idea of my mum being on facebook, and 5, 189 other facebookers have joined the group ‘for the love of god – don’t let parents join Facebook’. But I am now putting ‘Get Mum on Facebook’ as step one of my bid to make her less scared of technology so that she too can enjoy its benefits in life. 

Don Tapscott, author of Grown Up Digital, is all in favour of young people being less scorned by society as a bunch of stupid ADHD lazy morons who don’t know how to socialise face-to-face. He did a global survey to actually find out what the digital generation are like and whether they reflect this stereotype. He believes young people should engage in ‘reverse mentoring’ with their parents and elders (he has three mentors, two of which are his sons) to teach them how they can use the internet in ways that will help them and bring about more pleasure in life.  Listen to an interview with him here

Tapscott’s ideas are future looking and positive – fighting the common prejudice that youngsters glued to their computers are on a slippery road to doomsville. 

It may seem odd to think of young people teaching their elders skills which may help them get a better job, keep in better touch with their friends, and keep more up to date with what’s going on in the world, but this is intrinsic to the idea of a ‘digital native’. I consider myself part of the generation who understands technology and the internet easily – purely because from a young age I learnt how to play with software and surf the internet to see the many different things it could do for me. When a gadget is put in front of me, I rarely read the instruction manual and generally will be able to find my way around it very quickly. Skip one generation above me and you’ll find the response to gadgets and gismos very different – more timid and adamant on sticking to rules and instructions. Look at the generation below, and you find children who are learning technology just as they learn a language whilst they grow – and they can teach the older generation the ins and outs of the digital language as the language itself grows and develops. 

This part of the digital revolution is translated into newsrooms. The younger journalists teaching those with a wealth of experience in traditional core journalism skills but little knowledge of the opportunities for journalism online. 

Jeff Jarvis thinks some online tech-savvy journalists need to engage more with others to transfer their skills. He writes:

I’ve argued for a few years now that news organizations should be training everyone – absolutely everyone – in the simple tools and gizmos of new media, for that would show journalists the possibilities and demystify technology (I used to complain that old-media journalists acted like a priesthood but the sad truth is that new media folks became their own priesthood in newsrooms, holding onto their knowledge).

It is true that social networking and media sites like Twitter can seem a bit exclusive. You get the same top media and online journalists and bloggers talking exclusively about new technology and blogging about things only the online clique would understand. This is inevitable when a group of people who are passionate about a particular topic come together. But they, more than anyone, need to make sure they are teaching others about how to use the tools they are so passionate about. The digital divide is something that scares me for when my parents are very old. One friend even recently told me she is closer to one grandmother because they email each other – where as the other grandparent writes traditional letters. 

Putting Mum on Facebook will be step one. She had the same Nokia phone for years, and when she recently upgraded to a camera phone she was delighted to start to share picture messages with her friends. This year should be about getting more and more people digitally literate, while continuing to explore the possibilities for the future of the web.

Written by hrwaldram

January 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Posted in Online Journalism, Webworld

Tagged with