A social media spotlight shines

125x125_proud_recipientThe Standard-Examiner took home hardware from the first annual Utah Social Media Awards. The newspaper won the “Best Integrated Social Media Campaign” trophy in recognition of broad efforts in the exploding realm of online targeted communication.

USMA organizers said their event was the world’s first social media awards competition. An array of bloggers, marketers, businesses and traditional media entrants competed for the awards, which were presented Friday night at a dinner in South Jordan.

Integrated use of Facebook, Twitter, photo blogs, mobile alerts and other emerging platforms was cited by judges for the Standard-Examiner’s award: “The judges were wowed by the dozens of platforms used by this organization. They praised what they called “a history of engagement through social media, community support, readily accessible and shareable information.” They said this recipient is a model of engagement through social media and called out their use of Web sites, photo sharing sites, Twitter and Facebook. The judges said this recipient exemplifies great integration of social media properties which are easily accessible from one centralized location.”

A Fruit Heights woman, Janet Meiners Thaeler, was recognized by the USMA as “Best Social Media Content Guru.” The People’s Choice” honor went to the operators of the FredCast Web site dedicated to cycling ethusiasts. USMA honored the XanGo company as “Best of Show.”

At the Standard-Examiner, we’ve been immersed in the use of social media tools for the better part of the year. People in all departments, especially Online, News and Advertising, have participated in establishing the Standard and its news offerings and products on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere. Overall, it gives us new channels to deliver information to Top of Utah residents. Equally important, it helps get our whole staff closer to readers and customers, and gives local people numerous new ways to interact with us. It’s more of a one-on-one conversation; therefore, more social, and in many ways, more valuable.

Our staff is happy to get the USMA’s recognition, but the breakneck speed of social media growth permits no pause. Adrian Barber, our lead online development producer, mentioned something to me today about a new social media tool he just discovered. Here we go again.

Tomorrow, I plan to post about the keynote talk given at USMA by David Bradford, CEO of Fusion-io.

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12 Responses to A social media spotlight shines

  1. Pete Codella says:

    Congratulations, Standard-Examiner, on the recognition! It’s well deserved. We’ll look forward to even more engagement through new tools coming down the pike.

  2. Roxy Cross says:

    What a well-deserved award for the StandardNET! After living in Ogden for over a year now, I am consistently impressed with what you do there and what is reported and how. As a business you are very involved in this community and beyond and it shows in your viral efforts! Congratulations on your 2009 Utah Social Media Award!

  3. Flatlander100 says:

    Ahem.

    Facebook seems to me a recreational site primarily for people who have way too much time on their hands.

    And Twitter? To deliver news? In 140 characters, max? Other than a desperate last minute “The dam broke. Run!,” no. No no no. A thousand times, no.

    For a newspaper, which employs writers whose job it is to present news along with the context without which readers can not understand why it matters, or editorial and op-ed content which state positions on public matters and then develop arguments in support of those positions, Twitter should be anathema, and any newspaper’s editors should be plotting deep into the night, bourbon in hand in smoke filled rooms, to devise ways to drive a stake through its superficial heart..

    [PS Considering changing my logon name to "Wasatch Luddite."]

  4. Mark,
    Congratulations to you and the Standard-Examiner (OSE) and thanks for the mention. It was great meeting you. I wanted to ask you about the ways the OSE is using social media and which ways are most effective for you.

    Flatlander100 – Whenever people say there isn’t value in Twitter I say they’re following the wrong people. If people in your network talk about their mundane life, don’t follow them. There are plenty of engaging & informative people to follow. Including news organizations like the OSE.

    Twitter is a way to get local news first, firsthand from those who are there (sources). It’s a way to connect with readers. It’s ideal for sending headlines and links to the full story. It’s a preview and a networking tool. It doesn’t take the place of news, it’s a complement to it.

    Janet
    @NewspaperGrl

  5. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Flatlander, we’re in the communications business. We’re not (just) a newspaper and have not been for some years now.

    Janet said it perfectly, but I’ll add a few more thoughts:

    We’re employing Twitter and Facebook tools to generate more exposure for our headlines. That drives readers to those stories our news people work so hard to research, report and produce. We also collect a lot of information via these new channels, too.

    Sure, anyone can use Facebook and Twitter to goof around. Reporters in the Front Page era could screw around with paper clips and pencils on their desks and hit on the secretaries. What’s changed?

    We’re going where the readers, and potential readers, are. That includes the longtime newspaper subscribers who understand, appreciate and devour the print edition. It also includes younger people who might never have even a chance to see our coverage unless they run across it online.

  6. Flatlander100 says:

    JT and MS:

    JT: not sure what “following” means, exactly. I don’t Twit.

    MS: OK, I’m thinking of Facebook and Twitter as destination sites, places people go to spend a lot of time, not as news aggregators [like Huffington Post, say] which exist largely as way-stations that shunt people through to source sites like the newspapers posting the stories HP aggregates. I can see how Twitter/Facebook could be used in a similar way, to shunt people to the SE’s webpage or stories.

    That said, I’m not sure what to make of your argument that the SE is “not just a newspaper,” it’s in “the communication business.” [Wasn't it always, as a newspaper, in the communication business? ] I see a long and slippery slope once newspaper people begin thinking of themselves as being primarily in another business. Very similar to the long and slippery slope universities started down when so many administrators adopted a “business management” model for their universities, and began sending faculty memos about “improving customer service.” [They're not customers, they're students. Faculty are not shopkeepers selling a product. We're teachers. Words matter, and when Universities think of students as customers to be serviced, good things do not result.]

    I understand the bind newspapers are in just now [and congratulations to the SE for being one of the few urban dailies that has growing circulation] and how important it is to increase page views to generate new sources of income. But once you start thinking of yourselves as primarily something other than newspaper people, and begin thinking of yourselves as ” in communications,” then, seems to me, you’ve begun focusing not on what you produce [news stories, features, etc] but on the means by which you transmit them. Put a little too simply, maybe, when you start focusing on method not content, good things don’t happen.

    I will grant you that my dislike for Twitter is damn near visceral. News [mostly TV news, which is, sadly, where many people get their news] is already scandalously reduced to sound bites. A big advantage of newspapers is that they do not work via sound bites. They provide context, depth, evidence, argument, conflicting POVs, etc. all at the same time and in one place. All the things so badly lacking in the electronic media. And so the 140 character limit seems a dangerous bait for newspapers to take, a risky pandering to the shrinking attention span of even the on-line reading public.

  7. Pingback: “Crazy” not to use social media « Standard Examiner Blogs

  8. Flatlander100 says:

    NYT today has a story up on this general subject. Lede: Online news sites [CNN e.g. ] are “starting to look a lot less like newspapers and a lot more like TV.” Link below.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/11/business/media/11adco.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=%22TV%20News%20Without%20The%20TV%22&st=cse

  9. Flatlander said: “JT: not sure what “following” means, exactly. I don’t Twit.”

    I guessed this when you said that twitter wasn’t good for disseminating the news, and it surprises me that a person so noted for his critical thinking would dismiss anything he hasn’t personally used/read/tried ;)

    I was a twitter doubter for a good while but it has been an absolute boon to my writing – not only to get support for my blog, but to connect with people of similar interests, read others’ writing and learn from them, and bring my attention to items that I should be writing about myself. I’ve never been as up to date on current events as I am now.

    So give it a try sometime, I think you might be surprised at just how useful it really is :)

  10. flatlander100 says:

    “it surprises me that a person so noted for his critical thinking would dismiss anything he hasn’t personally used/read/tried”

    Ouch.

  11. That wasn’t meant to be hurtful, flatlander… we pretty unanimously think very highly of you around here ;)

  12. flatlander100 says:

    CB:

    Thanks, but not necessary. The “ouch” was just a way to recognize that you landed a good one. And I knew it.

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