Facebook Graph Search
When thinking about having the ability to use Facebook as a journalism tool, I have to admit, I was very hesitant to use social media as a means for doing research on a serious topic. With that being said, I decided to take a look using Facebook Search, at the kind of things one would find when searching NBC Sports, also the newsroom that I will be following throughout the semester. I spent some time on each individual section that search takes you through. (Top, Latest, People, Etc.). I decided not to narrow down any of the search options to start off with, because I wanted to explore what would pop up in a vague more open search. The pages that popped up in association with this search were the other pages that NBC is linked to in terms of sports pages, all of which were verified. When you scroll down the page a little, you’ll find posts from friends and groups regarding your search topic.
After a narrower search, I was able to find exactly where NBC Sports headquarters are and surprisingly it’s close to home. (Just a fun fact I felt I would share). But narrowing down your search options such as changing post’s made by friends only, and relevant to 2017 only; I was able to see more specifically what my friends were sharing/looking for. This is where I can see Facebook Search being a useful tool for journalists, because it allows you to narrow down a search to be specific to what you are looking for. One issue that I found however when it came to looking for photos that could be used to help a story you are working on, is that it doesn’t narrow down your search results for only photos that NBC posts. This could be an issue when needing to get the rights to certain photos to use, because it involves doing more digging to find the owner of the photos, and then securing the rights from them.
I will however come out and say that I am a fan of Facebooks algorithm that suggests certain pages for you to like based off of your specific search. For example when I searched for NBC Sports, then went to the pages section, it outlined a bunch of pages that were relevant to NBC Sports. So if I were looking to do a story regarding NBC Sports and their soccer coverage, a suggested page that came up was “NBC Sports Soccer”. This narrows down the search results and would easily help me with any soccer related research I would be doing.
For this second part of this week’s assignment, I decided to take look at NBC Sports reporter Rob Dauster’s Facebook page. Rob is the Lead Writer for NBCSports.com as a college basketball coverage reporter. When looking at Rob’s professional Facebook page, it was clear that Rob does the average (what’s to be expected) for posts. I did a lot of searching down his page and couldn’t find anything that really made his page standout from others.
When it came to posts, they were relatively short and to the point, they weren’t witty in any way nor did they show any sense of “fun”. I use the term fun here to depict a post that would tend to lean towards the more relaxed side. It would go above and beyond just posting a link to the story you wrote and a little blurb. I didn’t come across any use of Facebook Live, which in his case would be a very useful tool especially considering the time of year it is (Almost March Madness). In my own opinion, the use of Facebook Live as a sports reporter could potentially be huge, because fans would love to have an inside look at their team’s preparation for game day, or just the atmosphere surrounding game day. So in this case Facebook Live is very underutilized. For someone who works a huge sports news conglomerate, he doesn’t have as big of a following as I thought he would have. He comes in with 3,932 followers to his page, and in part because of his posts and the style in which he posts, I feel this number could be drastically higher. If I were in the position that Rob were in, I would be as interactive on my page as possible in order to draw more of a crowd to my page, because not only are you creating a bigger interest to what you are doing as a journalist, but it would help to attract more attention to your organization, and I’m sure NBC Sports would eat up the ability to have a larger following.