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Hej, lokala nyhetsutgivare: Ge folket en kalender


Hej, lokala nyhetsutgivare: Ge folket en kalender

Blairstown, Paterson, and Trenton are three very different communities in New Jersey, but when Sarah Stonbely, the research director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, surveyed residents about what they need from their local news outlets, she found they had a number of needs in common.

Paterson, one of New Jersey’s largest cities, is majority-Hispanic and also has a sizable proportion of Arab residents. (Paterson residents were surveyed in Spanish, Arabic, and Bengali as well as English.) It has a below-average median income for the state. Trenton, another large city and the New Jersey state capital, is roughly half Black. And Blairstown is a small, rural town that is more than 90% white.

But all three communities had lost most of their existing local news outlets over the years. All wanted more service journalism, in the form of information about municipal government meetings or contact information for local leaders. And all relied heavily on local Facebook groups for news, even though they also understood Facebook’s flaws.

Stonbely compiled her findings in this new report and shared them with hyperlocal news outlets that had recently launched in the communities: The Paterson Information Hub in Paterson, which is a news product of the nonprofit hub Paterson Alliance; the Trenton Journal in Trenton; and the Ridge View Echo in Blairstown. All three outlets are grantees of the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium, which we’ve covered här.

I asked Stonbely a few questions about her research.

Laura Hazard Owen: I am interested in your take on people’s impressions of the Facebook news in their communities. I feel like the way that we often hear about local Facebook groups is that they are tricking people, providing bad or biased coverage. But it sounds as if [the residents you talked to] know that these groups aren’t perfect and have mixed feelings about them.

Sarah Stonbely: I got that impression as well. I got the impression that people used [Facebook for local news] pretty grudgingly — they felt like it was kind of their best worst option, because of the drain of local news, plus people are already going there to see pictures of their friends’ kids and dog memes or whatever. I was very pleasantly surprised that they seem to recognize that it’s not ideal, it’s not necessarily “real journalism,” but they’re going to find out things there that they can’t find out anywhere else. They are sort of using it grudgingly because they don’t feel like they have a lot of other options.

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Owen: I wanted to ask you about the logistics of doing research like this and getting people to actually show up. It sounds as if that was really hard: In Blairstown, for instance, “For the two scheduled in-person focus groups, 20 and 10 people, respectively, confirmed the day before that they would attend. Of those who confirmed, two people showed up for the morning focus group and zero showed up for the second, afternoon group.” I imagine it’s a common problem doing research like this, but do you have ideas about how you, or a different organization, could address that in the future?

Stonbely: Yeah, it was super frustrating, although not totally surprising. One thing that I think would be really helpful would just be to have more time built into a grant like this — to, for example, dig up more email lists. We were trying to get alumni lists from the high school, because many people who live [in Blairstown] have lived there for 20 or more years, but the high school wouldn’t give us those lists. I would just build in more time to figure out ways to reach people.

Owen: It seems as if a theme throughout was a desire for, like, calendars of municipal meetings — giving people more information about what is actually happening in their communities, things that they can attend. It seems sort of obvious. But you found that news organizations weren’t doing very much of that.

Stonbely: Right. I think this is part of the reason it’s so useful to do [research] like this, right? One might assume that there isn’t a ton of interest in municipal meetings, because they’re kind of boring. So I was really excited to hear that people wanted to know more, to have a list. And it’s easy — it’s kind of low-hanging fruit, right? It shouldn’t be that difficult to keep an updated list of when and where and what the meetings are.

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I thought that was really exciting. If you’re a publisher and you’re just in the weeds, starting a news organization and trying to do investigations or something, it just might not occur to you that [a municipal calendar] is something that would provide value.

The research was supported by funding from the Google News Initiative, and one condition of the grant was that “after the initial information needs assessments were complete, each outlet was to make improvements to their product based on the findings.” Here are the recommendations that Stonbely gave to The Paterson Hub, Trenton Journal, and Ridge View Echo.

Recommendations given to Paterson Hub

  • The top two topics of interest for the community members we heard from were safety/crime and food (in)security, which do not readily lend themselves to events, which suggests that a different platform — perhaps an email newsletter or dedicated website — may be of more interest to those community members who want to hear about these topics.
  • However, nearly half of people showed interest in events about exercise/recreation, housing affordability/homelessness, early childhood education, mental health, and music. This list of topics lends itself well to a shared calendar. In addition, the greatest share of survey respondents (more than half) said that they attend events that ‘help me solve everyday problems in my life’ and that ‘connect me to friends and neighbors.’ You can emphasize these types of events in your calendar — focusing on utility and connection.
  • There is a long list of trusted organizations in Paterson; consider collaborating with these organizations on a calendar or news outlet (beyond just asking them to contribute content), so that trust is built in from the beginning. You may also tap people/offices on the list of most trusted sources.
  • Engage to a greater extent on Facebook, and be present on Facebook groups that are relevant in Paterson; this is where most of the traffic is and where you’ll have the greatest visibility.
  • Paterson is extremely diverse; take advantage of this diversity by offering your content in as many relevant languages as possible, but especially Spanish and Arabic.

Recommendations given to the Trenton Journal

  • Create a dedicated section for posting the dates and times of upcoming municipal meetings, similar to your events page; publicize it via your newsletter and social media.
  • Go one step further and cover municipal meetings regularly, even if it’s simply by providing a transcript.
  • Consider adding a section on your website that lists all city and state departments, the services they provide, and their contact information.
  • Consider offering different sub-pages for each ward, that can be tailored to the differing concerns and interest in each.
  • Engage to a greater extent on Facebook, and be present on Facebook groups that are relevant in Trenton, especially Trenton Orbit and Peterson’s Breaking News of Trenton.

Recommendations given to Ridge View Echo

  • Create a dedicated section for posting the dates and times of upcoming municipal meetings, similar to your events page; publicize it via your newsletter and social media.
  • Go one step further and cover municipal meetings regularly, even if it’s simply by providing a transcript.
  • Get more involved on Facebook, both on the feed and in groups.
  • Continue to cover feel-good lifestyle issues in addition to hard issues.
  • Consider adding a section that allows people to recommend service providers; maybe service providers could recommend themselves for a fee (similar to advertising but in a dedicated section)? Could list it as a Directory similar to the others that you have under Resources.

You can read the full report här.

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Facebook Rules Social Media Kingdom, But Elon Musk Has A Tweet Up His Sleeve – Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), Similarweb (NYSE:SMWB)


Facebook Rules Social Media Kingdom, But Elon Musk Has A Tweet Up His Sleeve - Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), Similarweb (NYSE:SMWB)

In a world where Facebook-parent Meta Platforms Inc. META reigns supreme with three out of the top five social media platforms in terms of monthly users, curiosity arose when Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, reacted to these stats. 

What Happened: The Twitter account World of Statistics recently released a compilation of the “most popular” social media platforms based on their monthly active users, where Facebook claimed the top spot with a staggering 2.99 billion users, closely followed by YoutubeWhatsAppInstagram och Tick tack, owned by ByteDance, rounding up the top five contenders on the list.

See Also: Mark Zuckerberg Reveals Social Media Feeds Are Now Fueled By AI-Generated Content

Interestingly, Musk’s Twitter was not even in the top 10 but at number 16 with 450 million monthly active users. 

The tech billionaire responded to these numbers saying when evaluating social media platforms based on total user hours per month, the microblogging site would emerge as a significantly higher-ranking contender. 

Later, Similarweb Ltd. SMWB, a digital intelligence company, also took to Twitter and shared a list of top-performing social media platforms in terms of traffic to their website over the last three months. 

YouTube claimed the top spot with a remarkable 32.33 billion visits, followed by Facebook with 16.87 billion. Twitter secured the third position with 6.353 billion visits, followed by Instagram at 6.185 billion. 

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Netizens were quick to notice that while in terms of monthly active users, Twitter might not rank in the top 10, the microblogging site has a much higher position when it comes to traffic. 

Why It’s Important: For the unversed, Mark Zuckerberg-led Meta plans to launch a decentralized text-based social media platform to rival Musk’s Twitter. The upcoming platform was reportedly codenamed “P92,” which now goes by the name “Barcelona.” 

Previously, it was also reported that since Musk became the owner of Twitter, fewer users are actively engaging with his posts on the platform. The tech billionaire also reportedly fired a Twitter engineer because he wasn’t happy about the impressions on his own tweets.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Consumer Tech coverage by following this link

Läs nästa: Elon Musk’s Twitter Blue Subscriber Base Growth’ Hasn’t Even Doubled’ Month After Relaunch


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Meta, Apple rivalry enters new phase as tech giants go after headsets


Meta, Apple rivalry enters new phase as tech giants go after headsets

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., demonstrates the Meta Quest Pro during the virtual Meta Connect event in New York, US, on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg och Äpple vd Tim Cook have spent the last several years sparring over internet privacy and digital advertising. But they’ve never competed head-to-head in a real way.

That’s about to change.

With Apple officially announcing its long-awaited mixed-reality headset — the Vision Pro — on Monday, the iPhone maker and Facebook’s parent are now firmly in the same market.

Zuckerberg and Cook both see the next major era of personal computing as one that involves people putting on a headset to enter a virtual world and interacting with digital objects in 3D. Cook describes it as spatial computing, and Zuckerberg calls it the metaverse. Other technologists refer to it as mixed or augmented reality, because digital imagery can be superimposed on to the physical world.

Facebook jumped into the market nine years ago, when it acquired VR headset startup Oculus for $2 billion. In late 2021, the company changed its name to Meta, and Zuckerberg committed to spending billions of dollars a quarter developing the underlying VR and AR technologies needed to make his vision of the future a reality.

As of today, Meta owns the lion’s share of a nascent market, far outpacing rivals like Sony, HTC and Magic Leap in headset sales. Research firm CCS Insight recently rapporterad that global shipments of VR and AR headsets fell over 12% to 9.6 million in 2022 from the prior year, as consumers pulled back on discretionary spending.

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Several technology analysts told CNBC in December that Apple’s entry into the VR and AR market could give the sector the jolt it needs to start getting consumers more excited about the upsides of the technology.

As CCS Insight analyst Leo Gebbie said, “If one company has the ability to transform the VR market overnight, it’s Apple.”

But Apple hasn’t said exactly when Vision Pro will be available — only that it will be sometime early next year. More important, it’s hardly designed to be a mass-market product, at least at the beginning. The initial price is $3,499.

That gives Zuckerberg some breathing room. Meta’s Quest family of VR headsets include the $300 Quest 2 and the $500 Quest 3, which will be available in the fall. The company’s Reality Labs division, which is responsible for hardware and software development, lost $13.72 billion last year and $3.99 billion in the first quarter.

Wall Street hammered Meta in 2022, sending the stock down by almost two-thirds, partly on concerns about the excessive metaverse costs. But the shares have rebounded this year after Zuckerberg reeled in expenses in other corners of the company, including customer service, och trust and safety.

Business model spat

For Zuckerberg, turning mixed reality into a business reality has become central to the company’s future.

Unlike Apple or Google parent Alphabet, Meta doesn’t control an operating system akin to iOS or Android. Those platforms have allowed Apple and Google to dominate the smartphone market, helping them generate billions of dollars from their respective app stores and allowing them to dictate the rules that third-party developers — including Facebook — must follow.

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Apple’s 2021 privacy change to iOS so badly wounded Facebook that the company förutspått soon thereafter that it would result in a $10 billion hit to revenue in 2022. The update limited the ability for Facebook and other social media companies to track users across the web and deliver targeted advertising. Meta’s massive and fast-growing online ad business suddenly found its business shrinking.

Zuckerberg has been vocal about what he considers to be Apple’s unfair iOS and app store policies. His company said that by removing targeting capabilities, Apple was badly hurting the many small businesses that used Facebook’s ad model to reach new customers in an efficient way.

Last November, Zuckerberg sa at a conference that “Apple has sort of singled themselves out as the only company that is trying to control unilaterally what apps get on a device.” He added, “I don’t think that’s a sustainable or good place to be.”

For his part, Cook has been unsympathetic, long criticizing Facebook for being in the business of making money off users’ personal information rather than selling a product that people want to buy. In 2021, Cook linked Facebook’s business model to real-world consequences like violence or reducing public trust in Covid.

Apple CEO Tim Cook stands next to the new Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 05, 2023 in Cupertino, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

“If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform,” Cook said at a data privacy conference in Brussels. He didn’t mention Facebook by name at the time.

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By developing the metaverse on its own terms, Meta has its best shot at sidestepping Apple’s dominance and writing its own rules. It’s a giant gamble, though, envisioning that the metaverse will tip into the mainstream.

Meanwhile, Apple knows all about making consumer products for the masses, whether it’s computers, digital music players, smartphones, tablets or watches. And Apple has its own new operating system for the Vision Pro that it’s calling visionOS. That means Meta and Apple will be competing for developers, who want to get their games and apps to the widest audience possible.

Disney provided some potentially concerning news on that front to Meta on Monday.

After previously touting the promise the metaverse, Disney recently killed its metaverse division under the leadership of Bob Iger, who returned to the company last year.

On Monday, Iger took to the stage at Apple’s WWDC event and sa his company’s streaming service would be available for the new headset. While some Disney content is available on Quest devices, Iger suggested that a whole new set of experiences are coming to Apple.

“We’re constantly in search of new ways to entertain, inform and inspire our fans by combining extraordinary creativity with groundbreaking technology to create truly remarkable experiences,” Iger said during the keynote address. “And we believe Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary platform that can make our vision a reality.”

Meta didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

WATCH: Apple’s VR rollout is a paradigm shift in how consumers do computing

Apple's VR rollout is a paradigm shift in how consumers do computing, says Deepwater's Gene Munster


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Shotgun shell wedding placeholders that are up for sale are shamed on Reddit as ‘tacky’ and ‘trash’


Fox News Flash top headlines for June 5

A Facebook Marketplace listing that’s advertising shotgun shell placeholders for weddings and similar events has set tongues wagging on social media. 

The screenshotted listing, which shows two red shotgun shells with a bride and groom place card, has caught the attention of the “Wedding Shaming” subreddit, a 535,400-member Reddit forum where anonymous users shame wedding themes, brides, grooms, guests and vendors.

“Nothing says classy like shotgun shells!” A Reddit user captioned their screenshotted post on Sunday, June 4, which has received more than 750 upvotes and a “tacky” label.


The Facebook Marketplace listing is advertising over 100 shotgun shell placeholders for $100.

“All cement filled for weight to ensure they wouldn’t blow over. Name cards not included in,” the listing explains.

One Reddit user commented on seeing the shotgun shell placeholder listing discussed in a Facebook group — and that the lister is based in New Zealand, so the price is in New Zealand dollars (NZD).

A Facebook Marketplace seller (not pictured) from New Zealand is listing shotgun shell placeholders for sale — which can be used in weddings and similar formal events. (iStock)

“It’s $100NZD, which is like $60USD,” the person wrote. “Not that it makes it any better. I was shocked it was an actual buy/sell group and people were commenting that they were cool.”

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Several Reddit users agreed that they found the seller’s asking price to be steep, since it’s a decor project that can be done relatively cheaply. 


Other members of the “wedding shaming” subreddit questioned the possible message a bride and groom might want to send with shotgun shell placeholder.

“Gives a new meaning depth to a shotgun wedding,” one Reddit user wrote.

“How romantic, giving your guests a bullet with their name on it. Literally,” another user wrote.

Said yet another Reddit user, “So trash. I’m sorry if this offends anyone but guns are horrendous things that ruin people’s lives every day.”

“Why do we get the ugly color?”

This same commenter added, “What’s wrong with having harmless flowers? When did a rose or peony ever commit an atrocity at a school?”


One Reddit user wrote that the placeholders are a “waste [of] reloadable shells” — and questioned why another color wasn’t used for the wrapping of the shotgun shells, such as pink or purple.

Wedding tablescape arranged with white linen, plates, glasses and pink floral centerpieces.

Some wedding hosts add name placeholders to tablescapes when there’s arranged seating for guests — while others skip this entirely for open seating. (iStock)

“Why do we get the ugly color?” the user asked.

Not every Reddit user in the “wedding shaming” forum is against the Facebook Marketplace seller’s shotgun placeholders.

“Is it bad that I kind of love it now?” one user wrote. “It’s tacky as hell but it’s a great joke,” the person added. 


“I actually like this for upcycling, and it is one less bullet in the world,” another user wrote.

“I knew someone who did shotgun shells in their wedding that was not cowboy-themed because someone who had passed in the family had actually made their own ammo with those shells and they wanted that member represented in some way,” another user shared. “Actually kind of cool in my opinion.”

Blue shotgun shell placeholder for bride set on a table near bouquet.

Shotgun shell placeholders seem to be a common decor addition in gun-themed weddings. (iStock)

One Reddit user defended people who might find the shotgun shell placeholders appealing for their wedding.

“Oh, come on … Not all of them are bad etc. I honestly think some [people] are just having fun with it ’cause they can,” the user wrote, which earned more than 10 downvotes.  


“It all depends where [you’re] at,” the person added. “I’ve been to weddings where most had [guns] or [were] carrying,” the Reddit user continued.

“It was fun and interesting and they were very nice people.”


Fox News Digital reached out to the Facebook Marketplace seller for comment.

Man wears shotgun boutonniere in what appears to be a cowboy-themed wedding.

Shotgun shell boutonnieres are another gun-themed decor item that grooms and groomsmen have incorporated in nontraditional weddings. (iStock)

The Facebook Marketplace listing was uploaded on Thursday, June 1, in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay, which is an inland city of New Zealand on the east coast of North Island.


Users of the “wedding shaming” subreddit have generally frowned upon wedding themes that involve guns, including engraved bullet casings, bullet boutonnieres, hunting cake toppers, camouflage attire and wedding portraits with firearm props.


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