Archives for category: Social Media

Poynter Online news editor Steve Myers pointed to a Big Money article that smartly and — despite broad strokes — for the most part correctly evaluates the potential value of Facebook’s purchase of FriendFeed.

I’m going to guess you’re intimately familiar with Facebook. FriendFeed, on the other hand, is an aggregation/interaction site that allows users to easily import RSS feeds, collect them in one place, present them anywhere, and comment and vote on posts in others’ feeds.

While Facebook has these features too, the FriendFeed interface makes it very simple to drop in all your social network accounts. And hey, who doesn’t like easy, right?

FriendFeed account import page

In the article, “Now Facebook Really Owns You,” Chadwick Matlin writes:

…[I]magine a social aggregator with the size and sway of Facebook. Users would love it because it would make their lives simpler and more streamlined. The other social media sites stand to gain as well, since Facebook would be pointing more users to content offsite. News sites will get more traffic because people will be clicking through on more links. Facebook, of course, would be the biggest victor: It would be able to get people to check in more often and stay longer. Ad rates can then go up, which helps the company’s bottom line.

He doesn’t explicitly mention one thing: user data. Facebook has a lot of information about you, your friends and your acquaintances: birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, relationships, things you like, games you play, who you pay attention to and who pays attention to you, and — if you didn’t delete your cookies before logging in — other sites you’ve visited.

This is valuable not just to Facebook, but to third-party developers and those who use FacebookConnect. It means companies can get a more accurate picture of who you are and who the people you’re connected to are, in other words, more accurate user targeting.

Businesses are interested in making sure you take a specific action. The more they know about you, your behaviors, and what influences you, the better they can tailor their message to get you to do something.

Yes, Facebook got some very sharp engineers, and yes, real-time search will probably make Facebook a bigger player amongst those who need to know what people are saying now, but for profitability, the game has always been about understanding the user through data. In my opinion, the technologies FriendFeed was built on will allow Facebook to fill in gaps.

As news organizations, watchdogs and voters prepare for the Super Bowl of politics, it seemed like a good idea to survey what will be online for Nov. 4.

Some sites will start their coverage early. Already, the massive, all-volunteer Twitter Vote Report has been logging and mapping voting problems and good experiences.

Most complaints so far have been about long wait times and registration confusion. To participate, send a tweet with the #votereport hashtag.

New to Twitter? Not on Twitter? There are other ways to send a report. Developer Nathan Freitas has come up with some additional ways to look through the data.

At 6 a.m. ET on Election Day, the Washington Post will begin tracking voter experiences and related national news on their Vote Monitor page. To participate and to send news tips, post a Twitter message to PostVoteMonitor.

In addition, WaPo has interactive maps, live discussions, blogging and articles peppered around its site and on their politics page. Be sure to have a look at the very cool TimeSpace map and timeline mashup.

The New York Times just announced a slew of goodies for election coverage. A very handy tool for those who want to jockey returns is the pop-up dashboard, which will include live election returns beginning at 6 p.m. ET, as well as electoral vote tallies from network news, CNN and the Associated Press.

The Grey Lady is also trying to create the largest online archive of polling place photographs taken by voters. Add your photo to the mix under a Creative Commons license on the Polling Places page.

Addicted to Flickr? Editors at Yahoo News will be culling election-related photos from the site and posting them on and Put the word “election” somewhere in the title, comment or tag to be part of the search.

If you’re going to be out and about, bookmark the Online NewsHour’s mobile site. In addition to updates on the election, there’s a handy list of poll closing times and electoral votes.

NPR political analyst Ken Rudin has predicted Obama will win the race, but as we know, it ain’t over till it’s over. Want to map your own hypothetical outcome? Check out the You Predict map. The NewsHour will begin its TV broadcast at 9 p.m. ET, but you can follow developing coverage online now.

The Star-News may create the longest CoverItLive transcript ever with its Election Day live blog, which begins at 6:30 a.m. ET. The Wilmington, N.C., news organization reports record early voting returns in several counties. Thousands more are expected at the polls tomorrow., the website of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will have their reporters and photographers out in force, documenting any polling problems that may occur. In addition, they’ll be streaming Qik video from separate Democratic and Republican election parties, blogging and posting staff and reader photos. The content will go live Tuesday afternoon. Keep tabs on the coverage at

On the West Coast, the popular L.A. Times blogs Top of the Ticket and L.A. Now will be posting updates throughout the day. Around 4 p.m. PT, the homepage will flip from the usual center art surrounded by story links to an electoral map that will track returns for the presidential race as well as 12 hotly contested propositions. Sometime after, the site will launch a separate section on California.

MSNBC will be revamping its homepage for elections coverage. Before then, you can embed a customizable live results widget like the one below on your site.

Photo by Hilary McHone/Flickr