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LIVE: Keynote – Liz Heron, social media editor, New York Times

Submitted by on February 3, 2012 – 9:06 am | 3,976 views

In her role at the New York Times, Liz Heron taps into social networks for newsgathering, creative distribution and community engagement. She was previously the innovations editor for foreign and national security at the Washington Post and a trends producer at ABC News. In her keynote at news:rewired – media in motion she will discuss the New York Times’ social media strategy and how social platforms are being used for creative distribution and community engagement.


And that’s it. We’ll be back in the next two sessions in 20 minutes.


Questions: “Are there any emerging platforms that NYT are excited about?”

A: “Pinterest is one up and coming platform, but we’re still figuring out what the community wants there and how we can deliver something new. You’ll see us there soon.”


Several Facebook questions coming in now. Will try and keep up with all of these.

1. Why are more journalists using Twitter over Facebook Subscribe?

– It’s newer.
– it involved opening up a public profile, and privacy needs to be approached with care.
– It’s worth it though, and we’re increasingly seeing people harnessing it.

2. Are Facebook pages redundant?

– Pages felt very isolated, and Heron agrees with Facebook that they aren’t appropriate to single people.
– Subscribe is more personal, and far more effective for crowdsourcing.
– Pages are becoming a social curation hub, where Subscribe journalists can amplify their message, and boost a crowdsharing effort.

3. What about apps, eg. the Guardian?

– NYT is still deciding what to do here.
– Nothing coming soon.


Questions now. “How do we scour Twitter tweets of relevance?”

The NYT are using a tool called Mass Relevance, previously Tweet River. It allows them to filter down mass information to the tweets that count; tweets are then hand-picked from there. The NYT are not archiving tweets yet.


On to Google+ now. Heron says it was an unknown, and they didn’t want to replicate the NYT site on to Google+.

But hangouts are proving revolutionary. She’s touches briefly on tumblr and others, and wraps up by saying that we shouldn’t be afraid to experiment on the social media landscape that is changing the way we do journalism.


Heron says that Facebook is a “conversational hub.” All reporters are being encouraged to try out Facebook Subscribe, but those that are foreign correspondents are being particularly encouraged.

Facebook offers great crowdsouring opportunities, and can yield insightful comments and debates.


But enough about Twitter – what about Pinterest, Reddit, and others? How should we be approaching emerging platforms?

Ask: “What can we bring to the platform that is different?”


Campaign titles are now decided by coming up with a strong hashtag – it can help a story go viral, and crystallise traditional Times’ reporting.


NYT have been embracing Storify, to add context and complement it with opinion. They also are increasingly utilising Facebook and Google+ -they often host hour long chats and hangouts.


“In the new landscape, the question is no longer whether we do social media, the question is how. How can we make our social media experiences stand out?”

There are issues of scale, which networks to prioritise, etc.


With 400+ NYT journalists on Twitter, and over 50 now growing Facebook Subscriptions streams, the NYT is ranked the most “social” company in the US in recent rankings.


She says social media is a new landscape; one where anyone can get President Obama to address drone attacks… in a Google+ hangout.


And Liz Heron takes to the stage, who says she is going to be telling us what the NYTimes is doing with social media.


Video now rolling on MSN’s new features. Then we’ll be moving on to our keynote, from Liz Heron, of the New York Times.


Pete Clifton, executive producer at MSN, is kicking things off here. He’s talking about the recent MSN redesign, and how they are focussing on their strengths.


On Twitter, please follow the hashtag #newsrw.


Welcome to news:rewired.

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