Tag Archives: ADVANCED SEARCH

How to: find local sources for an election in another country using Facebook Graph

people born in france who live in Birmingham

Last week one of the students on my MA in Online Journalism was looking to find French people based in the city for a local angle on the presidential elections taking place in France. “Ah!” I thought. “That’s a job for a Facebook Graph search”. It’s the sort of situation that arises regularly in the newsroom — so here’s how to do it:

What is Facebook Graph search — and why is it useful for journalists?

Facebook Graph Search in 2013

Facebook Graph Search in 2013

Facebook Graph was launched in 2013 as a specific tool for finding people based on their interests. The ‘graph’ part refers to its ability to find people based on intersecting qualities: combinations of their likes, places of work, friends, and where they live and come from.

The tool itself was dropped in 2014, but the ability to search based on intersecting qualities remained, as part of the general Facebook search. You just have to know how to use it… Continue reading

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The most-read posts on Online Journalism Blog — and on Medium — in 2016

2016

Rounding up the best posts of the year is a good habit to get into, but one that I’ve failed to acquire. In 2014 – the ten year anniversary of this site – I rounded up the year’s best performing posts, which does give you a flavour of what was happening that year — but I forgot to repeat it for 2015.

Here, then, are some reflections on the 10 pieces which did best in 2016 (there were 100 posts across the year), plus the older posts which keep on giving, and a comparison of some pieces which did far better on Medium than on OJB. Continue reading

Too many election tweets? Some simple Tweetdeck techniques for filtering the information overload

election2016-hashtags

Tonight many journalists will have Tweetdeck or similar social media dashboards ‘tuned in’ to coverage of the US election, typically by creating columns to monitor activity on key hashtags like #Election2016. But on a big occasion like this, the volume of tweets becomes unmanageable. Here then are a few quick techniques to surface tweets that are likely to be most useful to reporters:

Picking the right hashtags: Hashtagify

Hashtagify is a tool for finding out the popularity of certain hashtags. Type a tag into the search box and you’ll get a network diagram like the one shown above — but you can also switch to ‘Table mode’ to get a list of tags that you can sort by popularity, correlation, weekly or monthly trend. Continue reading

How to find ‘feeds for leads’ as a journalist

When a journalist gets their first job, or switches role to a new area or specialism, they need to quickly work out where to find useful leads. This often involves the use of feeds, email alerts, and social networks. In this post I’m going to explain a range of search techniques for finding useful sources across a range of platforms. Continue reading

5 ways to find useful Snapchat accounts to follow as a journalist

Snapchat book cover

This post is an extract from the book Snapchat for Journalists

Finding Snapchat accounts to follow is harder than it needs to be. There are some directories, such as Snapcodes, but these rely on user submissions. The iPhone app GhostCodes also ‘curates’ lists of accounts by category, but also relies on users giving their own usernames.

You can find some articles highlighting interesting accounts to follow on Snapchat. One useful search phrase to use for finding those is this:

Here are 4 useful techniques for tracking them down.

Method 1: The advanced search

The most obvious approach is to look for some articles highlighting interesting accounts to follow on Snapchat. You can narrow this a little by using search operators like allintitle: (which restricts results to those where the words are in the page title).

One useful search phrase to use with this is: Continue reading

5 ways journalists can use Google tools – from the Digital News Roadshow

Google Digital News RoadshowGoogle organised a free workshop on 14 December 2015 in Birmingham focused on how journalists can use technology to improve and complement their stories.

In this post Carla Pedret summarises some tips Google News Lab’s Matt Cooke gave during the event. You can read more about the event using the hashtag #DNRoadShow.

1. Putting ourselves in our audience’s shoes

As journalists we sometimes use words that we think are commonly used by our audience but actually are not.

In addition, one of the biggest difficulties is how to approach a story in a fresh way or a way that is attractive for our readers. Google Trends can give us some clues. Continue reading