2017 Eclipse

An astonishing event! I worked during the event but got to help our brilliant photographer out while he took photos during the entire event which became our beautiful front page today:

Half-baked idea

Every day at work, I often have to post stories that don’t have art with them despite my best efforts to get our staff to shoot a quick iPhone pic when they’re out covering something.

Sooooo I end up, at the end of each work day, with a desktop full of the most random photos that, taken out of context, might be fun to post without comment. So I’m going to start doing that here 🙂

Tuesday, May 23, 2017:



Facebook Pages timeline changes suck

I’m not a change resistor. I don’t usually have issues when websites monkey around with their layouts or functionality. I may not like it right away, but normally I can just get used to it and move on with my life.

I’ve tried to do that with Facebook’s new look on their business pages. But it ain’t happening.

I HATE THEM. The timeline is now cluttered with things that *I* don’t need to see as the admin of the page. Things popup on a mouse hover that requires a click to make disappear but in the meantime it covers over the post area. I can’t just see comments under a post now, I have to click to open them up to see them… I just have had it with it today. I manage a LOT of Facebook pages for my paper and several local businesses, and in the midst of this, try to inculcate all aspects of customer focus. These changes aren’t helpful AT ALL.

Here is the first thing that bothers me:


I don’t need to see this directly under the posting area. Put it in the sidebar. These numbers are nice, but not really vital info that needs to be in my face right away.

This next thing is my most hated issue. The ridiculous ‘Promote’ button that is right in the way of my mouse pointer as I scroll and makes this REALLY STUPID popup that I NEVER USE.  And it doesn’t go away if you move the mouse away. Nope. You have to click outside the popup to remove it. It’s such a distraction when all I need to do is make a post.


Here’s a new thing I’ve noticed just in the pas few days (at least, on my pages. Might have just been rolled out to me or something) is this grouping of recent posts. No no no no no! And the first one is event the most recent post! In order for me to see all of my recent posts, I have to click that barely noticeable ‘See All’ text, wait for the page to reload, and then go on about my business. Who the eff designed this crap??? This is unhelpful to the admin, especially on pages where there are multiple admins trying to avoid duplicate postings.


And finally, why the hell are photo and video boxes in the middle of the timeline? These need to go back on the sidebar. For Pete’s sake, this is utterly stupid. I have to scroll past this bollocks to look at and moderate older posts. Ridiculous!


But tell us how you really feel, Steph! 🙂

Look, I have been trying to get used to these changes for days now and it’s just not working. I don’t want to be this ^^^ whiny person. But none of these changes make sense to me. They make my job a little more annoying.  If Facebook won’t improve these areas, at least give us the ability to layout the page template that admins see the way that works best for us. I know that’s asking for the moon from Facebook, but come on FB designers. Don’t just think about the end user. Think about us middlemen pushing out the content for them too.

So much newsroom progress, still working on it

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about the progress of my newsroom with social media. Too long, really. When I started this blog, social media was in its infancy and getting reporters on board with it was like pulling teeth. Nine years and two corporate owners later, social media is now a company-wide priority focus for our digital strategy. It’s a good thing we’ve had exposure to it for so long because we’re in an excellent position to do some great work.

I’ve been promoted to something called an ‘Audience Development Editor’ and my primary focus is to find ways to grow our digital audience. An ‘Audience Development Coordinator’ has been added to the staff (which is basically just someone replacing me in my old job) who handles the day-to-day social posting.

I still work with the reporters to get them to post how I want them to – sometimes it’s still like pulling teeth to get them to come on board with what I need them to do. We have 5 news reporters and 3 sports reporters. Four of the news reporters have worked here longer than I have (I’m in my 12th year here) and entrenchment is one of my battles. One reporter is a fresh-faced, just-out-of-college who’s been steeped in social media for a long time and understands its importance. She’s excited about it. She enthusiastically sends me ideas for using tools like Storify and Spotify playlists and Timelines and sometimes I just want to weep at her excitement for these things I love.

A lot of times I feel like the entrenched reporters don’t take what I love to do seriously because they just don’t get it. They’ll tweet – because they have to thanks to orders from on high – but they’re not good at it. They don’t take any time to learn how it could benefit them.

So that’s frustrating for us.

Some of the things we’ve implemented to try and impress upon them the importance of all this social stuff:

  • Installed Chartbeat on two monitors in our small newsroom so everyone can see how our website is doing in realtime as well as see latest tweets/FB posts. – Successful.
  • Bought 2 iPads for the newsroom to use when covering meetings or other events. – They are not used enough.
  • Working on getting dual monitors for all of the reporters so that they can run Tweetdeck  during their shifts – So far 2 reporters and the city manager have the monitors. Only one uses it for Tweetdeck. The others just like the extra screen real estate.
  • My audience guy and I attend every morning reporter meeting and talk to the staff about our successes in gaining traffic (popular FB posts etc.) as well as share a social media tip every morning.
  • Facebook boosts for news stories. We had mostly been using our FB boost budget to promote revenue stuff like contests, but we had a corporate visitor the other day who said it would be beneficial to up the budget as much as we can, and start doing one-day-ish boosts of news stories that are doing well on social. So I’ve been doing that for the last week. Definite improvement.

I’m sure there’s more but I need to wind this post up. The tl;dr version of this post is we’ve come a long way but we still have a ways to go.