Posted by Joel Abrams, Senior Product Manager
I’m doing an intermediate training session today for reporters, editors, producers, and other folks at the Boston Globe and Boston.com, and wanted to share some of the key points and useful resources with those who couldn’t make it.
One tip: turn off notifications of new followers (which can be very annoying):
- Go to Account Settings (pull down your name from top navbar)
- Choose Google+ from the left
- De-select boxes next to “Adds me to a circle”
Reporters may want to check Google’s new method to get your profile picture and link next to your stories.
Building a Twitter following:
Engage! The more social you are in social media, the more impact you will have, and the more people who will know about you and follow you
A nice article by Paul Gillin: Tips for Building a Quality Twitter following
Another good article from Scott Kirsner: Ten tips for attracting a following on Twitter. His tips include:
- Put your Twitter “handle’’ everywhere.
- Share information; avoid self-promotion (don’t just tweet your own stories)
- Re-tweet other people’s messages (and respond to other people)
- Pick people or businesses to follow.
- Find people who are already talking about you (thank them for tweeting your story).
Bottom line: tell your followers what YOU think is interesting, and listen to what they say.
Twitter account security:
- Go to your Settings page https://twitter.com/settings/account and check the box ‘Always use HTTPS’
- Don’t stay logged in on your mobile device - what if you lose your phone?
- Use a secure password. One tip: try a long phrase like a favorite song lyric with a punctuation mark between each word (ie: rockin;robin;tweet;tweet;tweet)
Tweak your privacy settings:
- Default your privacy to ‘friends’
- Let ‘Everyone’ look you up by name
- Let ‘Friends of Friends’ friend you
- Let ‘Everyone’ send you a message
- Let ‘Only me’ or ‘Friends’ post on your wall
Then: Limit the Audience for Past Posts
Edit your profile and specify what you want the world to see.
We’ve just re-branded Boston.com’s venerable @BostonUpdate account as @BostonDotCom. Existing followers should be migrated over automatically through the magic of Twitter. If you don’t follow us already, here’s a handy follow button:
Why did we go with @BostonUpdate to begin with? Well, when I created the account two-and-a-half years ago, few people thought Twitter would become a major force on the web, and I wasn’t thinking too deeply about branding. People regularly asked me “will Twitter be around in a year?”
Also, a former employee of Boston.com had claimed the @BostonDotCom handle, forgotten the password — and her email account had been deactivated. The fine folks at @twittermedia helped us recently to reclaim the account.
I’ll also take this opportunity to point out that with the launch of BostonGlobe.com, the @BostonGlobe account is also much more active, and so are several new Twitter accounts for the Globe. If all that is too serious for you, then take a chance on @BostonRandom (and all our accounts are listed at boston.com/tools/twitter).
The second project using The Pulse sentiment tracking technology has been released in beta form, this time tracking the mood of New England Patriots fans.
The project, an effort between Boston.com, Mullen Communications and Pointslocal, follows the launch of The Pulse/Red Sox in late September. The Pulse/Red Sox, released just before the Yankees series, was featured on WBUR and Poynter.org.
Look for the release of The Pulse/Bruins in the near future, as well as embeddable widgets. More iterations will follow throughout the course of the season. For more information on how The Pulse works, see our post on the release of The Pulse/Red Sox.
One of the definitions of the word pulse is the underlying sentiment or opinion or an indication of it. Welcome to our latest experiment in the vast world of social information called, appropriately, The Pulse.
The Globe Lab, in partnership with Mullen Communications and Pointslocal, has developed a concept designed to gather existing social data and analyze its sentiment to determine the online world’s view of a particular topic. The pilot of this project, a site just released in beta, is focused on the mood of Red Sox nation.
The Pulse is a visual representation of a technology that analyzes social data (Tweets, Facebook status, etc.) with natural language processing to determine:
- Sentiment (negative, positive or neutral)
- Influence (user’s # of followers, as an example)
- Specific or general location where none is otherwise provided
- Other demographic information when provided
- Activity and trends
Our beta version allows a reader to view the overall sentiment of Red Sox fans, as well as the social rank of individual players and coaches. You will also find a state-by-state look at the social attitude toward the Red Sox, with functionality coming that will allow a reader to drill down to the county, city and even neighborhood level.
This is only the beginning, as we will follow shortly after this launch with a Patriots version, as well a more robust v2 of the Red Sox site with additional visualizations and filtering capabilities.
The site is built in HTML5 and optimized for mobile devices, but plans are in the works for mobile applications that provide a better user experience and opportunity to contribute. Readers will also find content provided by Boston.com, The Boston Globe as well as fan blogs aggregated from across the nation. Fans can also contribute photos through the ever-growing Instagram technology.
But that’s just part of our plan. As we add features and topics to The Pulse portfolio, it is essential the community participates and offers suggestions of how the experience can be improved. This is, after all, one of the main goals of the Boston.com Media Lab. Build it with us. It’s much more interesting that way.
So check out ThePulse/RedSox beta and let us know what you think. We’ll be asking your opinion soon enough on how to enhance the experience, what you like/don’t like, and what it needs. You can also send feedback to me directly at email@example.com.
Widgets will be appearing soon on the Boston.com pages. Until then, let’s hope the Red Sox can get the train rolling again and tip the scale back into the green territory.
Chris Rattey, @chrisrattey
Director of Product Development