After Facebook rolled out the trending topics, I noticed one day on the Facebook App on my phone that there was a link to a topic above some posts. Did that mean there was a topic page on every thing?
Answer: apparently yes. Even if the topic is not trending, you can get to a page with everything that Facebook thinks is about that topic, whether that’s luge, Lexington, MA, or lepidotera. If there’s a Facebook page for the entity, you can find the topic page.
- Find the Facebook page
- Find the Facebook object ID for the page. This is sometimes in the URL (like https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zymology/108439432519895), but if the page has a name, change the URL from www.facebook.com to graph.facebook.com and look in the code for the ID (ie, https://www.facebook.com/ShaunWhite becomes https://graph.facebook.com/ShaunWhite). Or use this handy site.
- Plug the ID in after http://facebook.com/topic/
The topic pages pull in public updates from pages and people, apparently with automated topic extraction.
As a publisher, this is an interesting way to see what’s being shared from your site or about your publication (and may help to solve the mystery of who is sharing long tail items that suddenly start getting shared).
Great post on ‘Things’ on the web.
Hi, my name is Julie Whitaker, I’m the social media editor at WNYC. I also went to the Online News Association conference in Atlanta, and wanted to share something I heard that is still kicking around in my brain a few weeks later.
In a session on new story formats that looked at story streams, topic pages, and live blogs, Zach Seward from Quartz took the conversation a slightly different direction with his discussion on what he called “things.”
He started with three provocative assertions:
- There’s no demand for landing pages.
- There’s no demand for packages.
- There’s no demand for articles.
"I might even go as far as to say there’s no demand for news," he said as the crowd, full of journalists, laughed and somebody yelled, "Shut it down, let’s go home!"
The new news habit is no habit at all.
As you can see from this Pew study on news habits, people are increasingly not looking for news during a set period of the day—reading the paper over breakfast, checking npr.org at lunch—so much as news is coming at them from all directions throughout the day.
And separately, what you have instead of a loyalty to a specific news organization—even a specific organization’s coverage of one topic—is people getting their news from a variety of sources.
When people are looking for news just from your organization, there’s more room for packages and landing pages. But when it’s being pushed at them all day, there’s a tendency to prefer the atomization of content, the distilling of news into “things.”
What is a “thing”?
"Things are the grist of the social web. They are the stuff people pass around, saying: ‘Here, look at this thing.'”
The most literal interpretation of “things” can be seen in headlines that start “Here are…" or "Look at…" or "This is…" These articles are framed as something that can be passed around, even if the one thing being shared is just part of the broader coverage the publication is doing on a given subject.
You can see this in the list of the New York Times stories shared most frequently on Facebook in 2011. Many can’t be described as articles, they are before/after photos, a list, a statement, an opinion. The New York Times also wrote articles about the issues related to these “things,” but what was shared was the raw statement, the list, the photos.
The example Seward gave that has stuck with the most is this one.
At WNYC we’re already playing around with this idea, trying to report and frame our newsroom pieces in ways that make them easier to share. Of course it won’t work for everything, but we’re already seeing more social shares than usual for stories like These Are the Six Questions on Your NY Ballot Tuesday and This is What $1 Million in Marathon Security Looks Like.
Listen to the full audio from the ONA 2013 session “An Exploration Of New Story Formats." Seward comes in at 30:00 and shares many more examples than I did here. Check out his slides and follow him on Twitter.
You can find me on Twitter at @julesdwit.
This is what happens when you drop a ball of hot nickel into a pot of honey. In case you were wondering.
Hole #1 at the Nalcrest mini golf. Nalcrest (National Association of Letter Carriers) is a retirement community for USPS letter carriers. Located in central Florida, it is the only union retirement community in the United States. And it is fading as fast the USPS.