Social media-related reads

Every morning I go through the list of Mashable and Read Write Web articles that appear in my inbox. I read about one-fourth of the links, and here are a few of my favorite over the last few weeks:

Source: Catchfire Media

  • 10 Historical Events Affected by Social Media (Mashable): This is a slideshow showing photos and tweets from events, such as the Japanese earthquake in March and the Haiti earthquake in January. It poses the question, what would other major events have looked like, such as Katrina and Sept. 11, 2001, if social media had existed as it does today.
  • Facebook Timeline Designs (Mashable): Also a slideshow, this article is all about inspiration. While we experimented and discussed early on the implementation of Facebook’s Timeline on users’ profiles, these 10 images really take the timeline to the next level.
  • Here’s How People Look at Your Facebook Profile (Mashable): Do you ever wonder what people take away when they glance at your Facebook profile? Is it your cute profile picture, the number of friends you have, your latest status update? This article discusses a study that captured where participants’ eyes lingered and the order in which the page was scanned. Sounds like an old study done for advertising firms on what catches people’s eyes, but it is interesting and worth a look.
  • Drug Cartel Murders Another Blogger (Read Write Web): It’s a scary time to be a blogger or a journalist in Mexico and in areas of the Middle East. Following attacks on free speech is an important part in protecting democracy and our ideals. I’m glad these stories are being followed and written about by sites with large audiences.
  • High School Student Punished for Joking Tweet about Gov. Brownback (Forbes.com): Speaking of free speech, this 18-year-old high school senior was disciplined by her school after sending out a tweet critical of the governor during a visit to the Kansas state Capitol. What ensued was Twitter stardom for the teen and some really bad press for the governor and his staff.

Enjoy reading and please share any of your favorite social media stories!

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Jackson dies, internet wins

The results are in on our Michael Jackson poll with the majority of our readers learning about the pop star’s death online.

Forthy-three percent of voters learned the news through an internet news source such as TMZ, People.com or Yahoo! This is followed by 29 percent who heard the news through other outlets (including television and instant messenger). Finally, Facebook and Twitter were tied at 14 percent.

Other than voters who chose television, pretty much everyone heard the news online. Not one person in our poll read it in the newspaper or heard it on the radio.

If Jackson had died in the middle of the night, would the results be different? What about in other countries? We did receive a tweet from a chap in Melbourne, Australia who, because of the time difference, woke up to hear about  MJ’s death on the morning news.

Since the Gloved One’s passing took place in the middle of the American work day, when the majority of American workers were sitting in front of a computer,  it seems only natural that most Americans would hear about it online. This is particularly true given the immediacy of the internet, and the ease of texting, e-mailing and sharing links.

So what does that say about newspapers? How can they keep up and stay relevant when the internet always beats them to the punch? If newspapers don’t adapt to this reality and find new, more in depth ways to present information, they will sadly continue down the path to extinction they are already on.