Using Social Media for Convergent Journalism: A Case Study

Over the last fortnight, The New York Times carried stories about how Apple heavily outsources manufacturing, and how Chinese workers producing its products work in substandard conditions. It’s online edition first carried this story How the U.S. Lost Out On iPhone Work on January 21.
It then decided to use the power of social media. Here’s its first Facebook post on January 22 of the online story link, which reaches its two million followers. Notice the ‘Likes’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Shares’, indicating the post travelled further to the pages of all the friends of all these hundreds of people! Even if a fraction of these clicked on the link, imagine how many readers were pulled to its website!

Same day, it also tweeted the online story link to its 4.4 million followers, followed by another tweet about people’s reaction to the story. Notice the retweets, that triggered the multiplier effect again!


The same day, it tweets a new link to a multimedia animation story graphic on its web edition (notice multipliers!)

On January 23, the story author interacts with readers. Here’s the tweet link (multipliers again).

The next day, it posts the multimedia animation on Facebook, informing story author will interact again (notice multipliers!).

On January 25, The New York Times carries the second story of the series In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad. The next day, a link goes on Facebook, also stating story author will hold live discussions!

On January 26, a Facebook post announces another live discussion. It also invites users to subscribe to the author’s personal Facebook page, creating his brand (notice the last line of the post)!


The two stories on its online edition have so far attracted more than 2500 comments. Reactions on the twitter hashtag #iEconomy, which the paper created along with the first tweet, are coming in even today!

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