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KOMU-TV tries, tries again with groundbreaking interactive newscast

KOMU-TV in Columbia, Mo., is scaling back its social media-driven interactive newscast for the second time in its eight-month lifespan.

The experiment launched in its most ambitious format in September, replacing the “Oprah” show with an hour-long 4 p.m. newscast where guests and audience joined in via Google+ Hangouts, while tweets and Facebook comments flashed on the screen.

In January it shifted to a half-hour program airing at 11 a.m. with a similar social engagement focus. Now the station is retrenching as a noontime program that will sprinkle a lighter dose of social media feedback throughout a more-traditional newscast.

The central problem, Interactive Director Jen Lee Reeves told me, is that as KOMU thinks big and tries to invent a new way of building new audiences, the station’s business model still relies on traditional local advertisers who want to reach a traditional local TV audience. Read more


SXSW live blog: Vic Gundotra talks to Guy Kawasaki about Google+

Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT (4:30 ET), I will live-blog a South by Southwest Interactive talk about Google+. Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president for engineering, will talk about some of the lessons and challenges of Google’s social network.

Here’s some of Poynter’s previous coverage of Google+:

<a href=”″ mce_href=”″ >SXSW live blog: Vic Gundotra discusses Google+</a> Read more


Despite user growth, Google+ is a ‘ghost town,’ WSJ reports

Wall Street Journal | Robert Scoble (Google+)
Despite acquiring 90 million registered users, Google’s nascent social network “is a virtual ghost town compared with the site of rival Facebook,” Amir Efrati writes. Google+ users are spending about 3 minutes a month on the site, while Facebook users spend 6 to 7 hours, according to comScore data (with the notable caveat that it doesn’t account for mobile Web or app usage of either service). The Journal suggests Google’s desire to compete with Facebook has produced a Facebook-like network that isn’t different enough to peel away users. Robert Scoble writes the dissenting argument: “PEOPLE. Stop comparing Facebook to Google+. … The mainstream media is threatened by Google+.” || Related: “It seems that Google+ is used a lot by Googlers, plus a few celebrities and bloggers, but not by normal people.” (Business Insider) | Google+ “is as much a way to unify other Google services as much as it is a way to compete against Facebook.” (Marketing Pilgrim) || Earlier: The New York Times tops list of most-engaged news orgs on Google+ (Poynter) Read more


“For the first time in history thanks to Hangouts, newscasters can SEE their audience and even talk with them during a soundbite in a live newscast. When you’re spending an entire hour a day or more with a viewer during a live newscast, that’s a deeper level of engagement than you get with any non face to face tweet or Facebook interaction. When I read a story about a child who’s been murdered, I hear the Hangout sigh in my ear.”

Sarah Hill, interactive anchor at KOMU-TV in Columbia, Mo., describing how Google Hangouts has changed how she works


Social media replacing SEO as Google makes search results personal

Say goodbye to SEO.

The now-conventional strategy of harnessing links and keywords to climb higher in search results has been fading for a while. Social media emerged as an alternative referral source. Google tweaked its quality signals to reduce the impact of strategies that manipulate search results.

Google's personal search results feature pages, photos and other results shared by friends on social networks.

But this week Google sent seo hamilton as we know it into terminal decline, rolling out personal search results that are strongly shaped by each user’s online friends and social networking history.

Here’s what this means to a news website. Say you’ve just published a preview of this year’s Super Bowl ads, and of course you want people to find it when they do a related Google search:

  • In the old search model, you pack the headline with keywords like “Super Bowl ads 2012″ so everyone searching Google for that phrase sees your story.
Read more

The New York Times tops list of most-engaged news orgs on Google+

Adam Sherk
An analysis of news organizations on Google+ finds that The New York Times has the most engaged audience there, with an average of about 248 “+1s,” reshares or comments per post. Following were technology news sites Mashable and The Next Web, aided by the social network’s early adoption among technology enthusiasts. Here is the top 10 out of 45 ranked by Adam Sherk:

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Fox News to use Google+ Hangouts for GOP candidate interviews

Fox News anchor Bret Baier will use Google+ Hangouts (group video chats) to moderate live discussions with each of the Republican presidential candidates and members of the public. First up is Mitt Romney on Nov. 15, to be followed by others later. Hangouts enable up to 10 people to simultaneously videoconference, and can also be broadcast for public viewing. KOMU-TV in Columbia, Mo., has used them as part of a live interactive newscast. || Related: News organizations and businesses can now create Google+ pages, and Poynter has one || Earlier: Public streaming, recording make Google Hangouts more useful for journalists | How to set up a virtual writers’ hangout in Google+ Read more


News organizations can finally create Google+ pages

Official Google Blog | Search Engine Land
Google+ has launched brand pages for businesses, finally enabling news organizations and other businesses, institutions or products to engage with people on the social network. NBC News, Good Morning America, Fox News and The New York Times (“all the news that’s fit to +”) are among those with pages now. Google says any organization will soon be able to create a page, but it’s not clear exactly when the ability will roll out to all users. Update: Googler Dennis Troper commented at 1:40 p.m. ET that “the ability for all of you to create a Google+ Page should be enabled in minutes to hours. It’s gradually rolling out across our server farms as we speak. Stay tuned…”  

Another helpful point from Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land:

At first, whoever creates the page initially will also be the page administrator.

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Bercovici: ‘Google’s like a quiet, thoughtful roommate who follows around after you’
In a short personal essay, “Why’d You Go and Break My Heart, Google Plus?,” Jeff Bercovici expresses disappointment with the Google+ social network. Although it quickly added millions of members, the traffic and sharing activity seems to have fallen to the point where it is an “echo chamber frequented only by tech geeks and social media groupies, and even they’re losing interest. …Everyone I know is already on Google. Most of them are even on Google Plus now, too. They’re just not sharing anything.” He speculates that one reason might be the different “aesthetic”:

“Facebook is like a guy from ‘Queer Eye’ who keeps loudly telling you how fabulous your life is going to be once you start taking all his advice. Google’s more like a quiet, thoughtful roommate who follows around after you, putting away your clutter exactly where you’d look for it and imperceptibly upgrading the decor and appliances. 

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Public streaming, recording make Google Hangouts more useful for journalists

Journalists have new ways to use the group video chat Hangouts in Google+ thanks to new features announced today. A new version called “Hangouts On Air” allows a discussion to be publicly livestreamed and recorded.

Some news organizations have used workarounds to broadcast their Hangouts publicly, but now it’s a built-in feature. Journalists can use this to conduct public discussions in new ways:

  • Create a virtual town hall where reporters or outside experts discuss an issue in the news via a Hangout.
  • Reinvent the editorial board meeting by having a guest and the board join a Hangout, then publish the recorded video with the written editorial.
  • Moderate a political debate with several candidates in a Hangout.

Google announced several other new Hangout features as well, including support for Android phones with front-facing cameras (and soon the iPhone). Read more

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