How to slice and dice the media to fit the categories in Facebook Groups





There’s never been more amazing time to be involved in the media – but how would you categorise what we do?

Facebook has a pretty clear idea of where we all fit in. And since Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is the biggest of the new kids on the block, I suppose we’d better be paying attention.

If you haven’t already heard, Facebook has set the  social media digerati abuzz this week, with the launch of its new Groups function.

Twitter, techsites and the blogosphere have all been positively oscillating as commentators trip over one another to froth or fume at the networking giant’s latest announcement.

Never one to miss a bandwagon I thought I’d jump on by testing out Facebook Groups for myself.

Since the idea seems to be to engage likeminded people, I planned setting up a Facebook group for those who listen to Quiet News Day (, the weekly media podcast I put together with co-host Shaun Milne.

With his background in journalism, mine in public relations and a joint interest in social media those are three subjects we talk about regularly – while also touching on tech, search, marketing and even advertising.

But when I tried to find a niche for a Quiet News Day Group, I was totally outfoxed by Facebook’s categorisation system.

While, it’s a fairly broad church, I was pretty sure there would be a “media” category. Nope. Here is the rundown of how Facebook has decided to segment those of us in the media game: Continue reading


Safe Arrival Of Mini Milne Announced Via Social Media

Congratulations to media maven Shaun Milne who has made the most important addition yet to his long list of achievement – becoming a dad.

Well known across Scottish journalism for a career spanning almost 20 years and for his influential blog, Milne Media, he may be notable by his absence from the media scene in the next few weeks.

His wife Rachel went into labour at near 11pm on Wednesday and bouncing baby boy Joshua finally made his appearance almost 24 hours later.

In typical Shaun fashion, he eschewed the usual round of texts and phonecalls to his wide circle of pals – instead announcing safe delivery of the young ‘un via (how else?) Twitter.

Shaun now runs the show at Deadline News in Edinburgh also took a suitably new media approach in breaking the news to the team at Deadline, with this announcement on the company’s in-house social network, The Bond:

Joshua John Milne born 10.42pm on Thursday, weighing 7lb 14oz. Rachel and baby doing fine. I face a long recovery.

Eventually I managed to squeeze in an old-fashioned phone call with the man himself.

He was still on cloud nine and somewhat in awe of how Rachel coped with the whole experience (“barely a breath of gas and air and nary a peep out of her through the whole thing”).

Having recently purchased a fancy dan new camera, he was getting ready this morning to visit wife and wee one in hospital – with the promise of photies of the baby to follow.

I’ve always though that all newborns look like Winston Churchill, but Shaun insisted: “The baby’s definitley got my good looks.”

I’ll post a pic here just as soon as Mr Milne provides one – though I suspect there will be plenty more to see on a number of digital channels near you.

UPDATE – just noticed that Shaun also made his announcement (I wanted an iPad – instead I got a baby) on his Facebook page, where it is a pleasure to see so many people offering their congratulations.

Appointment of Shaun Milne boosts Deadline Press & Picture Agency

Deadline Website

Deadline Website

Interesting changes at Deadline Press and Picture Agency – probably best summed up in the beautifully written press release, below (aye, I know my talents are wasted):

A LEADING Scottish news agency has made a number of key editorial changes to strengthen its multi-media services.

Deadline Press & Picture Agency has appointed former newspaper executive and respected industry commentator Shaun Milne as Consultant Managing Editor.

Milne, a former Associate News Editor at the Daily Record and Assistant Editor at the Scottish Daily Mirror, brings more than 15-years top flight industry experience to the role.

Based full-time in Edinburgh, he will oversee the day-to-day editorial operation and strategic development of the news division for an initial three month period.

Meanwhile his appointment will free up news editor Lauren Crooks to set up and develop a dedicated features service, to further enhance Deadline’s editorial reach.

Both will work closely with Deadline’s video and photographic departments to drive further content for publishers looking to exploit their web presence to the full.

Scott Douglas, co-director of Deadline, said: “We were missing a features department and after scouring the market for somebody to take on the role it was clear the ideal candidate was already in our office.

“However, it was also clear Lauren would need a clear run at setting up the service –  yet robbing Deadline of an excellent news editor to achieve this would have been short-sighted.

“Instead we’ve come up with an innovative and exciting solution to support Laruen while giving every single member of our team working with a media expert of the highest calibre.

“Landing someone with Shaun’s credentials is a real coup. There might be a lot of gloom in the media sector at the moment, but this proves categorically we are refusing to let our heads drop.”

Milne is not only a highly-respected journalist, but is also an influential media observer and commentator and a leading Web 2.0 pioneer. He will oversee development of Deadline’s traditional news and picture offering as well as its online and video services.

He added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with one of the most forward thinking agencies of its kind in the UK.

“There is already an excellent young team in place which punches above its weigh, as they showed from a splash-filled weekend. I’ve already been impressed by their work ethic.

“My role will be very clearly to further strengthen our news coverage, push our video content, help break fresh ground with a new features department and, of course, generate great exclusives.

“I’m also looking forward to working with colleagues across the industry again, some of them old friends and some of them new, and hope they will increasingly make Deadline a first port of call.”

Deadline Press & Picture Agency covers a patch which takes in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and Scottish Borders, including courts, tribunals, the Scottish Parliament as well as  breaking news stories.

The agency’s constantly updating news site is on course to attract more than 350,000 visits per year, while its dedicated DeadlineNewsTV channel on YouTube has generated more than 250,000 views since May.

The multi-media team – the only dedicated operation of its type in East-Central Scotland – is also available for special commissions.


Internet leave our news judgement Blowin’ in the Wind

Over at Deadline Press & Picture Agency, up and coming reporter Michael MacLeod has every right to be baffled by the latest lesson dealt out by the media school of knocks.

As if it wasn’t bad enough he had to work on Sunday, he didn’t get a single show in Monday’s papers for his story suggesting Bob Dylan might turn up in Scotland when an exhibition of his art work is launched on Saturday.

Fair play. The story was a bit of a flier (and our newspapers never use fliers, right kids?), with Dylan’s people admitting it was only and outside possibility, though still a possibility.

However, there is another lesson in here – while newspapers can still choose (rightly or wrongly) what they will or won’t publish, they can’t quite dictate the news agenda the way they once did.

Up until very recently, if an agency like Deadline Press & Pictures issued a story and the newspapers turned up their noses at it, then it was dead in the water. It would sit forlornly in the Database being read by precisely no-one.

Now however the story can be put online. And this particular story caugth like wildfire.

What wasn’t good enough for the Scottish dailies was more than good enough for a global online audience – who turned it into one of the most read items on the global WordPress platform, serving millions of ordinary web surfers.

At one point it was among the top 25 WordPress items in the world. As well as racking up thousands of hits, at one point it was attracting views at a rate of five a minute.

Top 25

Bob Dylan story: Top 25

So, young Mr MacLeod is left wondering what he has to do to get his story in a Scottish newspaper.

I don’t envy the people making the judgement calls on newsdesks. The playing surface isn’t level any more – indeed, its been dug up, churned through and partially concreted over and turned  into a rather scary, free-entry theme park.

Bottom line is though they better start catching on quick. Virtually every title in the country is losing circulation fast and desperately looking for a bigger audience share online, in the hope the web will provide salvation for an industry in turmoil.

Against that backdrop missing out on the thousands of extra hits they could have earned by picking up on the Bob Dylan story has got to hurt.