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A couple weeks back I was on a panel about "whether social media is good for journalism".

Clearly it is, and these innovative uses of Google+ by journalists are yet another sign of it.

Some use cases I see likely to spring up:

1. Information gathering / story sourcing - We've already seen a few stories sourced from G+. Google is breaking a lot of its company news here (eg. Larry Page posting about their earnings call), while we based a story yesterday on a G+ update about genders on Google+. Media outlets like ours need to follow Google+ closely for the next breaking story, as we do with Twitter.

2. Additional information - Like blog comments, G+ adds additional info to the story that can later be added back into the original article. Articles continue to be a conversation starter for a wider conversation -- they are the beginning, not the end, of the story.

3. Increased reach for stories - Google+ users, like Twitter users, act as editors for groups of friends. Quality stories that appeal to this distributed edit team will carry much further across the web.

4. Listening role - Publishers need to listen to their audiences through platforms like G+ to ensure their content is meeting ever-evolving audience needs. G+ provides a wealth of information about what content is useful to readers and what content is not -- publishers need a feedback loop from G+ straight to their writers.

Any additional use cases you see?
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23 comments
 
Yeah a couple of big stories have broke this weekend... - I've been in the middle of one of them... it's been a rather bizarre experience to say the least.
 
Of course. And for active journalists who are looking to break into the scene, they can report stories before anyone else if they're following the right people.
 
Dunno why, but for me, stuff on google+ is much more follow-able.
 
I've seen +Becky Worley and a few other people posting questions on Google+ in order to hear users comments and opinions in order to do a proper story on the subject.
 
Whilst Facebook lets you see articles/posts/videos etc that you wouldn't otherwise read but still come from your friends, Twitter and Google+ may acatually reduce the breadth of your reading. As far as I can tell, with Twitter your peer group becomes increasingly refined and reduced until you just get a group of people who basically think in the same way as you.
 
It seems to be easier to become involved in group discussion, and create better experiences for users and their friends.
 
Google+ is not only good for journalists, but for basically any form of business, culture, interest groups, and innovation. It's the whole world meeting everyone in a clearly circled infrastructure.
 
one of the important aspects here is also type of content that can be shared: videos, voice, graphics, etc.. - great for journalism! if you also add info accessibility dimension - mobile devices for example then we'll have more-less complete picture of the impact of social media to journalism [with your points mentioned]..
 
Agreed with +Mika Heinonen I can see the possibilities for holding focus groups where members can remain in their own homes and can feel more relaxed.
Andy T
 
I think publishers would prefer twitter to remain dominant because all traffic and subsequent discussions and comments happen on the publishing site, where as Facebook & G+ hold the topic themselves, so less content cross sell opps so less ad money. However, sites like Mashable have shown that by embracing each new thing you get a foothold and widen you're reach. So it's vital for publishers to continually embrace and interact on all forms of social them focus on where the people are
 
With g+, I have really appreciated your second point. Conversations are started. Knowledge, perspective, opinions are shared in both directions, and growth occurs for all.
 
And don't lose sight of the woods for the trees: The key business of journalists is to maintain and develop good relationships with key contacts - enter Google+ stage left.
 
I'm suspicious of this idea. This is another echo chamber waiting to happen, where stories are sourced from social media, filtered through the lens of social opinion, lent credibility through the traditional media, and returned to social outlets for even more commentary.

It used to be that journalists went to find the stories that were hidden from public view. What you're describing - sourcing stories through social channels - is one step away from Public Relations. 
Andy T
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Fair point +Scott Burton while I do like social media telling me what my mates all like are are talking about, the source needs to be relevant rather than gossip powered by it's novelty causing a short term social buzz
 
Its a shame that a some journos are basing stories off social media based rumours now though, rather than looking up the facts to see if its true. Have seen several celebs dead, accidents, holdups etc making it to the news, as well as photos from twitter going into online papers despite copyrights
 
Sorry for the tangent, I saw yesterday that social media was used to develop the defense strategy for a case that is prominently featured in the news currently, an apparently successful strategy. Any thoughts about that kind of use going forward? +Pete Cashmore
 
The public also have the opportunity to engage directly with reporters and commentators to an extent not possible before - allowing greater participation in news gathering and reporting. Of course, results may vary, depending on the reporters and the people interacting with them. But hasn't that always been the case?
 
Do you have a boiler template for articles like that? Replace "G+" by any other social media tool, and it works too... :-)
 
I don't mind journalist using social media to ADD to a story, but I don't like the lazy journalism it is producing with "unnamed sources" and people failing to get out of their chair to really research and fact check their stories.
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