COM0015 – Blog #1 – Tools and Sources

Every day at 12:05pm I receive an email. I hear the ding, look at the time and instantly know that I’ve received my daily Google Alerts email. I have this set up on my work email so I can receive the latest news around words that I have flagged related to my job and employer. Words include the name of the organization, certain tourist attractions, different townships as well as the name of our CEO and Board members. This helps me keep an eye on what is being reported about our organization and to alert the Executive team of any red flag.

To keep up to date on the latest trends, I subscribe to Mashable through Snapchat. It’s the easiest way for me to get the latest tech news. If you aren’t familiar with Snapchat, the Snapchat Discover feature gives organizations full access to publicly visible snaps. They are updated daily and provide live breaking updates. For this reason, Snapchat is my main source of news.

What exactly is Snapchat Discover?! G2 explains it well: “Snapchat Discover is all about keeping you up-to-date on current events, pop culture, and more. Long gone are the days of Snapchat being used just to connect you and your friends. Now you can get the lowdown on breaking news, big events, and celeb gossip all at your fingertips. On the Discover screen you can watch your friends’ Snapchat Stories, Publisher Stories, Shows, and Our Stories.”

When I first started using Snapchat in 2013, the only “stories” users could see were posted by friends or celebrities. Snapchat Discover started in an effort to reach a wider audience and encourage people to sign up. Snapchat users are typically between the ages of 18 and 24, with the next largest demographic being 13-17. Although I am not part of this demographic, it is still a very attractive and centralized place for me to get all my news.

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Users can subscribe to their favorite stories to ensure that they are seen first. I can honestly say that I rarely use Snapchat for its intended use of sending real time photos to friends, I spend most of my time on the app catching up on the latest. In one location I can get news from Vice, Now This News, CNN, The Washington Post, NBC, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail (to satisfy my gossip sweet tooth, of course). Each “story” can have anywhere from 10-20 screens. Each screen includes a headline, brief description and as the above video mentions, a full article that can be found by swiping up.

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My second source of news is Buzzfeed. I subscribe to them on multiple platforms and get a lot of my information there. Their extensive cross-platform network includes things like articles, lists, quizzes and videos (which I LOVE) but I also spend a lot time on Buzzfeed News. Although they may not always be viewed as credible, they do provide the latest in “world-class reporting and investigative journalism”. As of March 24th 2019, 60% of millennials are reached by Buzzfeed and 70% of Buzzfeeds total site traffic comes from mobile devices. Social Blade reports that so far this month, Buzzfeed News has had over 1.45M views and in April of 2017, the website had an impressive 8.58M views.

I use these tools and sources because they became integrated into social media platforms that I have been using daily for years. It was not something I was looking or asked for but appeared over time. It is definitely out of convenience because all the sites I would need to visit individually are all in one location.

References:

Reints, Renae (July 17, 2018) A New Snapchat Initiative Will Help Journalist Find and Verify Breaking News:  http://fortune.com/2018/07/17/snapchat-news-partnership/

Wahl, Jordan (October 10 2018) What is Snapchat Discover: Fresh Content at your Fingertips: https://learn.g2.com/snapchat-discover

Kunova, Marcela (July 13, 2018) How The Telegraph is reaching teenagers with news stories on Snapchat Discover : https://www.journalism.co.uk/news/how-the-telegraph-is-reaching-teenagers-with-news-stories-on-snapchat-discover/s2/a724198/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/about

Smith, Craig (May, 11, 2019) 38 Amazing Buzzfeed Statistics and Facts (2019): https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/buzzfeed-statistics/

Social Blade, Buzzfeed News: https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/buzzfeed

 

 

COMM0015 Blog Post 1: Tools and Sources

Understanding the latest trends is critical in the world of social media. You need to keep up the ins and outs of technology and social media.

You need the tools and sources for you to become a thought leader in social media (or at least appear it).

Fortunately, there is great tools and websites to keep your knowledge on tap within our ever changing world.

Regarding tools, my favorite social media monitoring tool is Google Trends. This offers me a lot of information on what is hot, or what impact a topic has in today’s social media world.

 

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Image Credit Via Wikipedia via Conversationprism. Some Rights Reserved.

 

Google Trends allows you to check on how a topic trends over a period. You can check to see how well a topic did back in 2011. This allows for better planning and why I like Google Trends.

The other social media monitoring tool I enjoy using is Bit.ly. What Bit.ly does is shorten website links to make it manageable for Twitter. However, Bit.ly also tracks clicks on your links. Useful for understanding who is clicking towards your work.

While tools are great, you need great places of information to compliment tracking tools. Again, in this digital social media age there are many.

My first favorite is Mashable. I love Mashable. I call this site the “CNN for millennials.” It offers excellent coverage of news, technology, and science, through the lens of millennials. Excellent coverage on social media, as well as technology trends is why I prefer this site over the real CNN.

Gizmodo also is another site which keeps me up to date on all the latest tech and social media trends. It has daily updates on what is coming in new products including tablets, cleantech, and other products. This is good for understanding here future trends will lie in social media.

A wildcard source I often go to is Author Thomas Friedman, who is perhaps one of the best writers on Globalization on technology trends. His books including The Lexus and the Olive Tree, The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded all have been New York Times Best Sellers. His way of synthesizing complex political, social and technological issues all into a simple to understand books on trends is why I often go to for the source of information on where we were, where we are now, and what the future holds.