Posts Tagged ‘Yahoo News’

Without Power, What’s a Social Media Junkie to Do?

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Ruth Mesfun*

Twitter Scrabble Over Halloween weekend, the Northeast faced an unprecedented snow and ice storm, atypical for this time of year, leaving over 2.5 million people from Maryland to Maine without electricity. Many people in New Jersey (BurrellesLuce is headquartered in Livingston) have only just now had the power turned back on, while hundreds of thousands are still in the dark. In fact, some towns in NJ have postponed trick – or – treating until Friday (today).

With millions of people scrambling to the nearest café for WiFi, what’s a social media junkie to do? Of course, the day after the storm my sister texted “Shouldve gotten 4G,” which at that moment I was tempted to double my monthly cell phone budget just for some Yahoo!News.

I also resisted the urge to hibernate under my blankets until the power went on. Instead, I came up with these five ways to get my social media fix:

1. Play Twitter Scrabble. My sister, the writer, would loathe this but I believe Twitter scrabble is the best invention for twitterholics. Instead of using actual correct words, players write it in “tweet speak.” Also, the blank tokens can be used for symbols, such as the “@” or “#” sign.

2. Write a blog post, or seven. I use every social media device to write anything other than the blog post I am supposed to work on. Well, without any electricity, I have no other choice but to actually write. Plus, think about how impressive it would be when you have all your work done AHEAD of time. Afraid to use up all the power in your laptop? That’s why we have paper and pencil. 

3. Clean up your room, computer, hard drive, car, anything! Yes, you know what I am talking about. Most people use social media as an excuse NOT to clean. Well, no excuse now! Plus, if you are feeling really compelled, you can probably take a few pictures to post on your Facebook, Tumblr, or Flickr account once the power is back on … this way your friends can see exactly what you’ve been up to while away.

4. Play “Keep it Short.” Now if you have listened to the Breakfast Club from Power 105.1, you know what I am talking about. To play “Keep it Short” you need at least 3 people. One person will say an acronym and the first player who says the correct phrase scores a point. Whoever has the most points is the winner. #winning

5. Build your network. I know that this might seem like a head turner, since you cannot connect to any networking sites. But, go to your town and get to know the local business owners (in real life) and give them your card or tell them what you blog about. Who knows, you might get a free cupcake, if you are sweet enough, never mind the chance to build relationships. You can then turn these into hyperlocal connections online.

Now, these are my top five to stay connected to social media and the community when the power is out, what are yours? Please share your comments here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.


Bio: Before joining the BurrellesLuce team in 2011, as social media specialist, Ruth worked as a marketing assistant in a kitchen design firm and, later interned with Turner Public Relations. She holds a BA in Economics with a minor degree in International Relations from Rowan University. In addition to economics, education, and finance – Ruth is passionate about understanding the business implications of social media, including how it can be used to increase ROI, find and maintain a career, and create a business. Connect with her on Twitter: @RuthMesfun LinkedIn: Ruth Mesfun Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Google Alerts and AP Coverage in a Post-Licensing Agreement Environment

Friday, February 26th, 2010

by Stephen Lawrence*


In the wake of my last post, search engine giant Google and the Associated Press (AP) reached an agreement allowing Google to return to hosting AP content.  Did the floodgates then open to overwhelm my inbox with those “author:  Samantha Critchell” Google News Alerts which I had previously set? 

Not exactly. 

During the full calendar week of February 14th – 20th, I received 18 separate alerts containing a total of 27 links. This was a slight improvement over the reporting of 16 alerts and 20 links for the previous period of January 19th – February 2nd. When broken down by source the pattern remains the same:

  • ABC News led with 14 links linking back to AP material hosted on their parent site.
  • Newspaper sites accounted for 10 more.
  • While the remaining three were either foreign or with no hard-copy editions.

The print to web ratio for the prior period, as I found, was evenly matched this week. 

  • Five of the ten Google alerted newspaper articles had a corresponding print presence. 
  • The remaining articles were web exclusives.

One might have expected to see a greater surge of articles since this most recent “experiment” coincided with New York Fashion Week and Ms. Critchell is the AP’s fashion maven.  Her subjects ranged from Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, and Luca Luca to Naomi Campbell’s Fashion benefit for Haitian relief.  (During the previous period, topics ranged from the Golden Globes to Vera Wang’s designs at previous Winter Olympics.)

A similar Yahoo! News search supplies only six newspaper stories along with a smattering of local TV sites, a couple of which overlapped with the Google Alerts coverage.

To date, our BurrellesLuce readers have located over 80 articles published during that week attributed to Samantha Critchell (this includes the five mentioned earlier). And, these are only the ones relating purely to Fashion Week coverage.  There are an additional 100+ older articles which saw print in newspapers.

While there may well be a number of underlying factors at work here – ranging from other individual licensing agreements to spidering blocks – the raw totals are telling.

This week, we find an 8:1 disparity in Fashion Week coverage, or an 18:1 disparity in subject coverage for this print to web experiment. 

For my purposes, this was but a simple experiment. But would you be willing to subject your client to such uncertainties knowing these possible results?

*Bio: A native of Mesa, Arizona, I graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in Near Eastern Studies. I began my career with BurrellesLuce in 1997 as a reader. As with most readers, I developed a special relationship with my assigned papers – those small town dailies and weeklies of the same flavor that my family had been employed in for two generations. Currently, I hold the position of quality assurance specialist, troubleshooting daily production issues. Outside interests include woodworking, and keeping my wife and dog happy. Twitter: BurrellesLuce; Facebook: BurrellesLuce