The Media Oxpecker: How to Activate the Facebook Timeline for Your Company Page

Every Friday we round up industry news you may have missed while you were busy winning the week.



  • Facebook brand pages now have the ability to use the timeline format which displays the large cover photo. If you’re a Facebook admin for your paper, you can activate the timeline format here.

    Now for the really important question: What will you use for a cover photo?! (FYI: the dimensions are 853px width x 315px height.) Here are some creative uses of the cover photo space.


  • With Gannett set to launch paywalls across its news websites, we’re once again discussing the merits, and demerits, of paywalls. The Nieman Journalism Lab asks, “Can an army of paywalls big and small buoy Gannett?”

    Gannett is pushing a total digital transformation, not just a paid content strategy. There will be dozens of tablet and phone apps, which, aside from color schemes and branding, will likely look and work similar across the 80 properties. Again, Gannett’s size is a boon for small and mid-sized papers, as the company can bring them to market faster than the individual papers could have alone. As tablet usage continues to grow, apps or other digital access can incentivize digital subscriptions.

    There is some evidence that paywalls for small and mid-sized newspapers can succeed, or at least shore up circulation and not be a drag on revenues.

    Responding to Warren Buffet’s assertion that newspapers’ problem is that they’ve been “giving away their product at the same time they are selling it,” GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram says that depends on how you define a newspaper’s “product”:

    But that assumes the “product” is the news, and that this is what newspapers are charging for — and I don’t think that’s really the case any more. For content companies of all kinds, the product is (and in many ways, always has been) the relationship that you can build with readers around your content. And the monetization of that now comes in many different forms.

  • Hyperlocal news sites are staying away from election endorsements, notices Robert Niles.

  • The AP’s lawsuit against news aggregator Meltwater illustrates the risks for hyperlocal publishers, says Street Fight’s Brian Dengler:

    The AP lawsuit is a reminder of the fine line between linking to content and copying a significant portion of someone else’s content. Copyright law protects original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright law doesn’t protect raw facts; however, it protects the way an author expresses such facts. The copyright owner has exclusive right to reproduce, display and distribute the work. A hyperlocal publisher should not take for granted these rights simply because content appears on another site.

  • Why page load time is so important: “People will visit a web site less often if it is slower than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds.”

  • If you haven’t been following the spat between TechCrunch’s MG Seigler and the Wall Street Journal over whether he was properly credited for “breaking” the story about Apple’s acquisition of app platform Chomp, then consider yourself lucky.

    Kevin Drum says it’s an example of journalism’s unhealthy obsession with creditmongering:

    Spare me. If you report out a big story that no one else was working on, then credit is due when others follow up your trail. But guess what? If you report a simple fact and happen to get it two hours before the rest of the world, no one cares. Journalists continue to be unhealthily obsessed by whether they reported a piece of news 15 minutes before every other news outlet in the world, but no one else is. And that’s doubly true when it’s a minor piece of commodity news.

    Felix Salmon says the issue isn’t about crediting, but rather providing a link as a service to the reader:

    Commodity news is a commodity: facts are in the public domain, and don’t belong to anybody. If you’re mentioning a fact which you sourced in a certain place, then it’s a great idea to link to that place. And if you’re matching a story which some other news organization got first, it’s friendly and polite to mention that fact in your piece, while linking to their story. But it’s always your reader who should be top of mind — and the fact is that readers almost never care who got the scoop.


  • How Google’s latest search changes affect local businesses.

  • Twitter is expanding its mobile ad options.

  • Facebook’s mobile ad plan is basically Twitter’s mobile ad plan, says Peter Kafka:

    Facebook’s big idea, as it laid out in marketing documents that leaked last week, is that marketers should create “content” that will double as an ad. And it will let them distribute that content/ad in between the rest of the stuff in users’ “newsfeed” — both on PCs and on phones.

  • Tablet ads have twice the interaction rate of phones.

  • A Proctor & Gamble study found that ads with orange backgrounds get a better response on Facebook.

  • Patch’s new office in Manhattan has “a fitness room equipped with treadmill desks that allow employees to exercise while they work and a working Irish-themed pub with shuffleboard.”

  • The Interactive Advertising Bureau introduced five new mobile display ad formats this week: The filmstrip, slider, adhesion banner, full page, and push.

  • A new Pew study found that people are starting to cull their friend lists on social media sites and are tightening their privacy controls.

  • And finally, how would the story of the Three Little Pigs be told in today’s media environment? From the The Guardian‘s open journalism ad: