Here’s a picture which speaks just one word – but shows the value of social media search

If a picture can speak a thousands words, then I reckon the first one this picture on the front page of the Manchester Evening News would say is ‘ouch.’

A still from a video posted on YouTube, it shows the moment a suspected thief is hit by a car as he fled from a local Asda.

The MEN carried the story in the following spread (click the image to see an enlarged version):

This story proves two things to me:

1. Stories involving user generated content (which essentially this is) work much better when you don’t make a fuss about how it surfaced. The story is the content, not the fact it’s on Youtube.

2. YouTube stories aren’t old hat – just stories which make a fuss about the fact it was on YouTube (which this doesn’t). That makes YouTube a must-check source for journalists. Two ways of doing this: Either search Youtube every day for the keywords you’d look for, or set up RSS searches like this:

http://www.youtube.com/rss/search/oldham.rss

Where word Oldham is, replace this for your search term. If you have more than one search term, put a + between the two words. So if you only wanted video involving Oldham and Rochdale, you’d go:

http://www.youtube.com/rss/search/oldham+rochdale.rss

Of course, this relies on the person uploading actually using the words Oldham or Rochdale in their uploads.

You can create your own personal newswire using Google Reader – click here for a guide – although Reader is increasingly flaky. My favourite alternative, which wipes the floor with Reader, is Spundge – a guide on how to use that is here.
(I’ve added these pages to a collection of great newspaper pages on Pinterest – click here)

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