News organizations embrace social data in 2012 election coverage

News organizations are crunching social media data in creative new ways as they fire up new websites and apps for 2012 election coverage.

The latest to debut is The Washington Post’s @MentionMachine, a web app launched Tuesday that monitors Twitter and news media for political candidate mentions, “revealing trends and spikes that show where the conversation is and why.”

Individual profiles in the @MentionMachine show the recent trend in candidate mentions.

The @MentionMachine is also integrated in a toolbar at the bottom of any campaign story. For future updates the Post says it is considering “many ideas — ranging from integrating sentiment analysis, sourcing from more social media streams, creating public widgets to pulling paid search data.”

That first idea, sentiment analysis, is going to be important. Read more


NBC Philadelphia station reports the news on Foursquare

Lost Remote
The local NBC station in Philadelphia has started reporting news on location-based social network Foursquare. Initially, NBC 10 will pick one lead story a day and have a reporter check in on Foursquare from relevant locations and leave text and photo news updates. Later, this will extend to multiple stories and individual Foursquare accounts for each reporter. “Local news is truly driven by location and the act of checking-in further connects our audience to the news we deliver each day,” Chris Blackman, the station’s vice president of news, told Lost Remote. || Earlier: Wall Street Journal launches Foursquare partnership Read more

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Cincinnati Enquirer uses bacon to fight Foursquare for local audience with Porkappolis

The Cincinnati Enquirer plans to beat Foursquare at its own game.

The paper is rolling out a location-based services (LBS) app, Porkappolis, that will understand the city in a way national competitors like Foursquare, Gowalla or Yelp can’t, according to’s Brian Butts.

The basic functionality of Porkappolis is similar to Foursquare's check-in service.

The app, named in honor of the city’s former “Pig City” fame as a hog packing center, will offer the usual LBS features: check-ins at local businesses and other landmarks, digital badges and leaderboards for loyal users, plus a secret ingredient: bacon.

“Bacon” is the local factor that helps differentiate the homegrown Cincinnati effort from its national competitors. In Porkappolis “Bacon” is literally a tab within the app that provides relevant geo-targeted information to the user. Read more


Foursquare to compete for local users with content help from

Aiming to fight off “check-in” fatigue, Foursquare has signed a deal to provide local news and reviews to users of its location-based service.

Todd Wasserman reports the new partnership with launched Monday:

“Someone who checks in while in Manhattan will get access to reviews of local restaurants and news about nearby book signings, along with other information, says Suzie Austin, senior vice president of content and marketing for ‘It’s going to appear in local checkins,’ Austin says of content. ‘There will be reviews, recommendations, previews of concerts coming and it will tell you the best place to get a seat.’ “

In November, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley told Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land that checking in to become the “mayor” of a location would not be enough to keep users interested. Read more


Cincinnati Enquirer launches Foursquare-like iPhone app

Social Media Explorer
The Cincinnati Enquirer on Wednesday released a Foursquare-like iPhone app that lets users check in, earn badges, win prizes and get “inside information” on local deals around town.

Called Porkappolis, the project is a white label version of the Double Dutch geo-location and social media app. Double Dutch has created similar apps for Arizona State University and Cisco Systems, among others.

Jason Falls calls the effort an interesting move into location-based services (LBS) by a local Gannett newspaper:

“It shows a traditional media outlet again thinking beyond the boundaries of the print edition and even of their website. The opportunities to monetize a locally-relevant LBS are profound. It’s a chance for local advertisers to serve relevant messages to a hip and trendy audience in an emerging platform, but one that is custom to their community.”

Also of interest is the Enquirer’s overall mobile strategy. Read more


National Post’s social media strategy reflects audience needs

Social Times

Canada’s National Post takes an organic approach to its social media efforts, starting small and responding to audience needs as the initiatives grow, reports Lauren Dugan.

Dugan interviewed Chris Boutet, a senior producer for digital media at the Post, who said the staffers’ interest in social media has given rise to the paper’s use of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare:

“A group of us was using Foursquare last spring — checking in was fun, and we got into creating venues and playing around with it. A co-worker of mine even created my ‘soul’ as a check-in … and he’s they mayor of it today.

One day just sitting at the cafe patio talking about Foursquare, we began discussing how we could apply it to the product we create at the Post.

Read more