TL;DR: a selection of articles for the Guardian Media & Tech network

Thirteen articles from the last couple of years, starting with the most recent:

Facebook’s dominance in journalism could be bad news for us all
Could it be that the short-term high from socially distributed content – greater reach – inevitably gives way to symptoms of dependency: loss of control and financial damage?

From digital to print: the publishers bucking the online-only trend
The march of technological progress moves in just one direction. From analogue to digital. From standalone to connected. From print to online. That, at least, is the conventional view. The reality is far messier. And far more interesting.

How can publishers inspire trust in an era of distributed media?
Where once publishers used social media as a promotional tool to pull users back to their own websites, now social networks and messaging apps have morphed into content hosts – think Facebook Instant Articles, Snapchat Discover, Apple News, LinkedIn Pulse, Google AMP and, even, Twitter Moments.

What is Twitter’s real reach?
Regardless of the stalling active users and top line numbers, perhaps Twitter still matters. Perhaps it still has influence, albeit indirectly.

Cosmo and Lad Bible reach new audiences through social
Nobody owns the audience, Facebook will change the rules of publisher engagement to suit its needs and the benefits of using social platforms controlled by others outweigh the disadvantages.

Current affairs magazines are defying the death of print
As it is with long-form broadcast so it is with current affairs magazines at their best. By taking a longer view and by devoting more time and space to key events, current affairs magazines can help readers marshal their thoughts (shape them, even) and separate the signal from the noise.

From Bloomberg to Quartz: five attempts to tackle our attention deficit
In a world of finite time and apparent infinite choice, how are publishers encouraging readers to stick around? And how, especially, are they persuading them to stay for the longish reads? One answer is to provide visual or text-based cues to indicate how much time readers will need to invest in a particular article. Here are five innovative approaches.

 TLDR: so just how short should your online article be?
In a world of 140 character tweets and five to six inch mobile phone screens, long is bad. Right? Well, maybe.

News UK, the Guardian and Outbrain on the labelling of sponsored content
If the problem is transparency and trust, is the solution better labelling? That was one of the questions a panel on native advertising wrestled with at the Changing Media Summit last week.

BuzzFeed to NME: a publisher’s masterclass in producing online video
Too many videos play as if they have been produced for company bosses. Brevity, focus and the ability to teach viewers something new are key ingredients

What kind of blogger are you?
From the polemicist to the magpie, here are four blogging archetypes worth exploring.

i100 and Quartz prove homepages are increasingly irrelevant
Homepages are a product of journalists who came from print and thought in print terms.

From Google to Buzzfeed: seven moments that shaped digital media
Seven milestones have marked radical change in the digital media in the 20 years since newspapers began publishing online.

A social media reader ~ March 2016

Some (mostly recent) pieces on using social media that I’d recommend:

General

7 powerful social media experiments that grew our traffic | Buffer Social

How The Washington Post works with its foreign correspondents to report via social media | Nieman Lab

Is Your Social Media Content as Popular as You Think? | Content Marketing Institute

How To Get Started With Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) | Search Engine Land

Using open soure social media sources in investigative work | Verification Handbook for Investigative Reporting

Facebook

Facebook now ranks live video higher in the news feed | Buffer Social

How to see who has shared your content on Facebook | Search Engine Land

Facebook announces a WordPress plugin that lets publishers easily create Instant Articles | Nieman Lab

Instagram

Instagram May Change Your Feed, Personalizing It With an Algorithm | New York Times

How to Tell Powerful Narratives on Instagram | Nieman Storyboard

7 ways news outlets can use Instagram | Journalism.co.uk

Twitter

Twitter has changed. Get over it | The Drum

In defence of Twitter | Slack Communications

Some thoughts on #DigitalJournalism

Several weeks ago Nasser Sahool, agency leader at DAC Group in Toronto, invited me to take part in his podcast series on digital strategy.

The conversation that followed made me think again about the changing role of digital journalism over nearly two decades. Here are a selection of those thoughts – a few fully formed, most partially constructed…

On the skills journalists need in the digital age
“Some of the advice never really changes. Read widely, read well, read good journalism whether it’s the New Yorker or the Financial Times or it’s a brilliantly crafted tabloid newspaper. Learn to deliver lean and concise and effective copy… Then combine this old stuff with a bunch of new skills. So, for example, as as digital journalist you’d need to learn how to open a spreadsheet and understand the data that you are seeing … Then familiarise yourself with the newish tools of the trade – do you know how to put audio together? Do you know how to use video? Do you understand how to use social networks?”

On data journalism
“Data gets to the heart of a truth and if journalism is about getting to the truth data journalism is really important.”

On the new tools of the trade
“I’m not sure all journalists realise how easy [the tools] are to use. I run workshops on social media and what I spend a lot of time doing is getting people over that hump of fear, fear of the technology – ‘I can’t possibly use Twitter because I don’t understand how to use it.’ Well, it doesn’t take very long learn how to use it. And once you understand how to use it – once you understand the lingua franca, the code of Twitter, Facebook or any of these other tools – then you are into the world of communications. It’s then about how you apply the technology not the technology itself.”

On the impact of smartphones
“The medium impacts consumption habits. We see that most obviously with the growth of the internet-enabled smartphone … which has made the internet day and the internet week longer in terms of consumption … If lots of people are consuming our content at 7.30 in the evening via a smartphone what does it say about us as a publisher in terms of what we deliver, when we deliver it, how we resource our staff, how we push this stuff out on to our website but equally through social media.”

On the dangers of infinite online space
“Just because you’ve got infinite space doesn’t mean that your reader has got infinite time. In fact they’ve got less time than they ever had because they are reading more words from more sources than ever before. So some of those old world skills of being concise – writing short and sharp and to the point – absolutely apply still.”

Read more: Episode 18: The Role Of The Digital Strategist In Journalism – A Conversation With Jon Bernstein

Mastering Social Media: a reader ~ September 2015

Twitter

Journalists on Twitter: Stop shouting, start listening | BBC College of Journalism

Twitter for newsrooms and journalists | Twitter

The Definitive Guide To Using Twitter Cards | Forbes

Facebook

Journalists with verified Facebook profiles can now use Mentions and Live tools | Journalism.co.uk

Six Facebook changes you should know about | Slack Communications

LinkedIn

5 Ways Journalists Use LinkedIn for Research and Reporting | PR Newswire

Instagram

Instagram Journalism: The New Content Trend Shaking Up the Media World | Contently

How the BBC and Guardian are innovating on Instagram | Journalism.co.uk

19 Seriously Smart Tips To Up Your Instagram Game | Buzzfeed

WhatsApp

How the BBC is using WhatsApp to boost engagement | World News Publishing Focus

General

7 social media monitoring tools you should explore | Slack Communications

How not to tweet – further thoughts on good (and bad) social media | Slack Communications

A social media reading list | April 2015

Some useful links:

General

The Future of Search & Social | Linstock Communications

Get your website noticed in 10 steps using social, search and content | The Guardian

Facebook

Facebook, Topic Data And Ideas Generation | Content Desk

LinkedIn

What I’ve Learned From My First 20 LinkedIn Publishing Platform Posts | LinkedIn

Master The LinkedIn Company Page: 12 New Data-Backed Tips To Drive Engagement | Newscred

Periscope (and Meerkat)

Periscope up! Twitter’s live-streaming app is exciting us, but here’s how it could be better | The Guardian

Five things that make Periscope better than Meerkat | The Guardian

Snapchat

Snapchat helps Daily Mail and Vice Media get on message with youngsters | The Guardian

Twitter

10 Recent Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Changes You Should Know About | Buffer App

More sliding into DMs than ever before as Twitter adds group messaging | New Statesman

How to Find People to Follow on Twitter [Top 10 Ways] | Undercover Recruiter

What does it mean when someone favorites your Tweet? Here are 25 possible answers | Washington Post

Taking Twitter lessons from the New York Times

Don’t try too hard to please Twitter — and other lessons from The New York Times’ social media desk runs the headline as once again the team behind @NYTimes offer some insights from a year’s tweeting.

Most of the advice is well received. However – as I argue in my latest piece for the Press Gazette – the notion that we shouldn’t try too hard to please Twitter is rather undermined by the example given.

The question implied by this advice is: do print headlines work better than written-for-social-media sells? Using the New York Times’s own example, the answer is yes. But that says more about the pedestrian nature of the digital effort than some overarching rule.

A good online headline or social media sell should combine the wit (either or both meanings of the word) of a newspaper headline with a dash of digital pragmatism.

Read: What New York Times teaches us about Twitter. And what it doesn’t

Mastering Social Media 2015: a reading list

Some useful, thoughtful and practical articles on social media, social networks, blogging and writing for the web:

Twitter
Twitter introduces ‘while you were away’ feature | Twitter Blog
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams: ‘I don’t give a shit’ if Instagram has more users | Fortune
David Mitchell, Twitter and the art of 140 character story telling | Content Cloud
NPR Argues Retweets by Its Reporters Are Indeed Endorsements | The Atlantic

Facebook
Introducing Facebook at Work | Facebook
What Facebook’s search feature means for brands, publishers | Digiday
Facebook promises less hoax stories and spam posts in users’ news feeds | The Guardian

Instagram
7 ways news outlets can use Instagram | Journalism.co.uk
How the BBC and Guardian are innovating on Instagram | Journalism.co.uk

What’s App
Trust issues: Why messaging apps are driving traffic and interaction | The Media Briefing

Blogging and writing
What kind of blogger are you? | Guardian Media Network
How to make journalism work online: Five writing tips | Press Gazette

The impact of mobile
Bedtime stories: What Metro and BuzzFeed’s stats tell us about mobile readership | The Media Briefing