AJR News Wrap: Tweetable Typos and Sad BuzzFeed Quizzes
AJR editors and contributors share digital media news this week that will make you smarter, better-looking and better paid. Or maybe just smarter.
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May 30, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: Links to selected media news from the past week.


* Are you a wordsmith who’s a closet lousy speller? In honor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week, here is a quiz to either make you feel really good or really bad about yourself. (usatoday.com)

* The Independent Journal Review, which uses Upworthy-like headlines to cover “conservative interests,” (Watch As A Group of Soldiers Does Something Truly American For Our Fallen Heroes At Arlington) saw 12.9 million unique visitors in January; it is currently ranked as a more highly visited site than The New York Times. (Digiday.com)

* Longtime newspaperwoman Geneva Overholser says her own experience doesn’t exactly jibe with what she’s been reading about the new leader of The New York Times, Dean Baquet, and that might be comforting to some. (genevaoverholser.com)

* Speaking of Baquet, a top editor at the Times sent a staff memo this week saying the daily 10 a.m. meeting would not be as Page One-centric as it has been in the past. Apparently responding to the innovation report, Baquet said the meeting would instead be a “more lively discussion about how to create a robust, comprehensive digital report for the day.”  (Niemanlab.org)


PostEverything Does Well, Everything. The Washington Post website is launching a new section called PostEverything, which will draw upon freelance contributors to give expert opinions on a variety of topics, writes PostEverything editor Adam B. Kushner. “A newsroom is a finite space,” said Kushner. “The conversation about ideas isn’t confined exclusively to The Post, or even to the Beltway. Never trust a monopolistic claim of intelligence.” Already on the site, which launched May 28, are articles ranging from a possible robot takeover of American jobs to Obama’s foreign policy memes.

Cooking with Code:  Do you have to Google that slow-cooker Beef Stroganoff recipe every time you want to use it? The New York Times says it has a solution, using its massive archive of recipes from some of the world’s greatest cooks and food writers, according to fastcodedesign.com. The beta version of this recipe-search-and-collection site gets a positive review and just might replace your tattered file that never got properly organized anyway. It’s also an example of addressing what the Times was talking about in its innovation report bemoaning a lack of easy access to choice archival material.

The Animated Selfie: A new app called Selphee allows you to take a photo, then a short video. The photo serves as sort of an introduction to the video, with easy options for sharing on bigger social media outlets, such as Instagram, reports TechCrunch. Here’s an example of a creepy eye “Selphee.”


The Semicolon; semiconscious? The Washington Post reports that the use of the semicolon in English literature has declined significantly over time, ranging from one every three sentences in Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility to just one every 55 sentences in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. This chart, by Tyler Vigen, shows the semicolon’s steady descent.

Tweetable Typos: Perhaps the irony was just too rich. A typo on the front page of the Thursday New York Times — the same day as the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals— was covered by The Huffington Post, Romenesko, Poynter and Mashable, with headlines and tweets blaring across the Internet, proclaiming that the typo (“Reponse” instead of “Response”) was both glaring and embarrassing. But some warnings accompanied the snark, from those who were quick to point out the hazards of journalists crowing about someone else’s blooper …..


4 Social Media Tips from News OrgsFrom Nieman Journalism Lab:  1)Tweets written with “voice” and by a human net the most engagement at CNN.  2) “Producers, writers and editors” share the responsibility for posting to NBC News feeds. 3) The Wall Street Journal created a field in its back-end system for social-media friendly headlines. 4) According to the NYT: If you sent out one tweet that performed particularly well, send it out again.

Sob: Ever take a BuzzFeed quiz and felt sad by the results? This week the Comedy Central game show @midnight asked its followers on Twitter to share the results of their “#sadbuzzfeedquizzes.”  BuzzFeed also used the hashtag this week.  

This post includes contributions from Lisa Rossi, Danna Walker and Cory Blair


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