Brett Whitmarsh

Social Media and Tech

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How do I get back “Most Recent” on the Facebook app?

If you’ve updated the Facebook app on your phone recently, you’ve no doubt noticed the force feeding of “Top Stories” over the often preferred “More Recent.”

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When you log onto Facebook you have two options for your updates: “Top Stories” or “Most Recent.” “Top Stories” are the moments that have the most activity, most comments views, likes or shares; the ones Facebook thinks you want to see (and usually from a few days ago). “Most Recent” is pretty self-explanatory — these are the stories that are the one’s most recently posted since you logged on (usually posts from within the past hour or so).

On Facebook.com (or the full website version) you can easily chose between the two on the top lefthand side.

The option to switch used to be just as easy to change on the mobile app, but has recently been updated to bury the “Most Recent” option (the answer why is anyone’s guess — though Facebook does believe it’s what the user prefers).

Not to fear though, you can get it back, but it’s a little work.

On the bottom of the Facebook phone app, look to the far right under “more.” Scroll way down to the “feeds” section and simply select “More Recent.” If you leave it on this option, every time you tap “more” on the app you’ll see the “Most Recent” feed.

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The more you use this option, Facebook will move “More Recent” to the “Favorite” section on the app as well.

*Editor’s note: The Facebook iPad app does not have this issue.

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The Flash

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Week 1 note for #SocJournLSC

There is one theme I’m stressing all semester long: social media is not replacing what journalists do; it’s a tool for us to do our jobs more efficiently. Social media is a resource for journalists to find news, deliver news, and engage with the audience. 

With that message in mind, there will be a bit of writing in this class. While I’m directly here to critique your writing, I do want to give you some advice on how to approach the writing assignments. A former LSC-TV news director (Dana Rosengard - who passed this on as both a writing rule and a journalism rule) taught us; be clear, complete, concise, powerful, passionate and pertinent. My other favorite is the K.I.S.S. rule; Keep It Simple Stupid. Be it a tweet, blog, or a script for air, these rules apply to all writing.

Your job as a journalists is to tell me a story. Take the facts and information and put them into context - that’s even more crucial on social media.   

While not required reading, these are the most important resources I’ve ever had as a writer. Consider these resources for your career, not for just college. These will be the books you always will call upon or suggest to others as you grow in your career as a journalist. You may not even need them right now, but at some point you might need them in your career. Keep this list somewhere safe for when that day comes:

“On Writing Well” - William Zinsser
“The Elements of Style” Strunk & White — should be a requirement for all journalists
AP Style Guide — 2013 version has a very handy for social media rules/laws
The Yahoo! Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World”

Finally, Mervin Block is the king of writing for Television News, ALL of his writing styles do intact apply to social media. Even typing this I feel a call to re-read this:

Writing Broadcast News Shorter, Sharper, Stronger: A Professional Handbook” - Mervin Block *Buy this one used.

I’ll also end this post on Dana’s words as well: “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” — Dana Rosengard

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It’s all about “shareable-media”

Even though I spend each work day with my nose buried in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google + and reddit – without fail when I get home each night, my girlfriend and I usually have the same social media conversation:

Her: Hey did you see that funny cat meme Jenny Lawson posted today?

Me: Yeah that was hilarious. Hey did you see The Riverhouse posted about a new menu?

Her: I did, we should check that out this weekend. The picture of that pumpkin squash they posted looked amazing. Oh, did you read that article that JetPack posted about the major changes coming to D.C.?

Me: Um… no, I must have missed that.

Next thing I know, I’m reluctantly sitting through an incredible post that I now find myself fully enjoying… and then share on every social media channel I have. This routine happens almost every night, usually while we’re making dinner.

More importantly, this conversation explains why we like, follow, pin, and subscribe to brands on all the various social media channels we have available to us, we don’t want to miss out on anything.

FOMO – The Fear of Missing Out
The above conversation also happens because my girlfriend wants to show me that she knows more interesting things than I do, which she does. Then the competitive side of me goes crazy because I think I’ve missed something. Worse yet, the network I’ve built for myself (on all my social media channels) might be missing out on this incredible nugget as well — because I’m not sharing it. I don’t want to look like I’m not in the know.

“Shareable-media”
The approach to social media, however big or small, should be focused on shareable-media. If you want people to take notice of your brand (and capitalize on the word-of-mouth nature of social media) then you need to present your content in a form that will get people to share it. Social media is about engagement, the best way to get those likes, shares, pins, or +1’s is to deliver your content in a way that drives people to want to share it.

Content is king:
How do we get them to share? None of the above situations kick in unless the content being posted is strong. Whatever you’re posting in your social media channels (or your social communities), you need to put your best content out there, whatever it is. Facebook even has a tip when you buy a sponsored post; sponsor the post on your page that did the best, not the worst. Their rational being that since it did so well with your audience before the extra bump, then the content is strong enough to deliver the best results. So nothing else matters because the content is still, and will forever be, king.

Personal space:
All that said, people still see social media as their personal space, and it’s important that brands don’t go too far. People are likely to unfollow a brand if they feel their social network is being invaded. We as users invite brands to be welcomed in our network. That invitation also comes with a responsibility to be a good guest. People want to be apart of a brand that they know and love. They want bragging rights about how well they are connected to their brand, but they also want the brand to listen and respond to their needs. When they comment on your post, it’s important to respond. Most of us don’t want to feel like we’re shouting in an empty room. We want to know that our voices are being heard, especially if we’re “liking” a brand – so always be listening and know when to respond.

(c) Brett Whitmarsh

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Time for a change

This was never going to be an easy decision, I knew that going in. Ten years (at the age of 33) is a long time to do anything. I tried so hard to not get emotional about the situation, but that ended the moment I sat down in my bosses office and tried to say the words; “I’m leaving.”

As soon as I looked him in the eye and tried to summon the words, I completley broke down. All of the emotion I had compressed for the last few months was now gushing like a flood. I was so overcome while trying to give my resignation, that when my boss finally realized I was only ‘just quitting’ that he was so relieved it wasn’t something more serious.

So yes, I’m leaving NEWS CENTER (WCSH6 and WLBZ2) after a little over ten years. There are many factors that went into this decision, but the simplest one is that it’s time.

This has been an exceptionally hard decision. I’ve always done TV, so looking at a life not doing TV is going to be odd, but I’m looking forward to the next challenge and helping others learn more about social media.

I’m not sad about leaving the job, I’m sad leaving the people. I’m still considered a “short termer” with ten years under my belt. So many of these wonderful people have been here 20 years or more. This place is home, however corny that might seem. People come to this station to stay and they welcomed me into their family with open arms. I’ve grown so much as a person because of the influence these people have had on me over the last ten years. However much I struggle to find the words, nothing will be able to sum up just how important they have all been to me.

For the rest of this week I will be pretty emotional. I’m going to have a hard time walking out of here for the last time, but the good news is that I plan on still contributing to 207.

What’s next? I’m going to work for Heinemann Publishing as their social media manager. I’m excited to take on the new challenge and look forward to getting to know a new family. I have a lot more in store for the future too. I am going to be teaching a college course starting in January on social media and journalism, and will continue my podcast about TV, “The Channel Surfers,” and I have started this website for all my other projects.

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My weekly What’s Tredning segment on 207: http://www.wcsh6.com/life/programming/local/207/article/255699/50/207—-Whats-Trending—-September-5-2013-