I’ve just added Spundge to The Social Media Kitbag For Journalists after reading about how it was being used by newspaper journalists in the UK. It looks like a powerful tool for editorial collaboration.
What does Spundge offer?
Spundge promotes its product with those three wonderful C-words which journalists who use social media for newsgathering rely on – curate, collaborate and create.
The company describes Spundge as follows (all quotes – the bits in grey – are taken from the official site).
Spundge helps you connect with the best content creators on the web. Collaboratively curate the web and create relevant, influential content. Publish and track your content via Spundge’s smart social containers.
Spundge offers the following three steps:
1: Discover and filter
Create a Spundge Notebook to stay on top of a topic, person, company or interest. Spundge Notebooks deliver a stream of relevant content from news sources, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr and SoundCloud. Filter and then save the best of what you discover.
Creating a notebook is simple and the streams work really well. The instructions are easy to follow. Just click on the sources you need, type in your keywords and it’s done. I can see this being valuable for storing all those elements you may need to return to in order to validate a piece of journalism and reference/include the original sources.
2: Curate and collaborate
Invite friends and colleagues to contribute to Notebooks and discover and save new items. They receive notifications when new content is saved, and can add comments to Notebook items. Collaborative Curation enables you to track information, while instantly sharing with friends and colleagues.
This is the function I have not tried but I can imagine this would be useful when working with a team on a story. The ability to add comments on a notebook item could mean that journalists are able to update the piece with their latest findings and tips.
3: Stream and publish
Transform your Notebook into a real-time stream you can embed anywhere on the web. Share what you’re reading, or curate a real-time newswire about a breaking event or topic of interest. Embedded Notebooks can be placed on a personal website, topic page, as part of an article or blog post… anywhere.
My first attempt at using Spundge
I’ve created one Spundge notebook entitled Free tools for journalists in order to test the system. It’s just a random list of articles I selected using the “Notebook Firehose” feature which lets you select feeds from social networks based on the key words you choose.
I haven’t collaborated with anyone yet, but the instructions seem fairly straight forward. I have made my notebook public, although there is a private option – which could be good for collaborating around a story with colleagues without giving all your leads away.
The embed worked fine, although I didn’t like the way it displayed in this page. I chose the option to only show one entry.
I was hoping it would link to the Spundge notebook I had created and display the front page image and description, but instead it displays the entries you have made to the notebook.
Spundge responded to the white space issue after reading this piece.
@helpingmedia Thx! The white space will disappear when you add more items to the notebook. Most embeds are for streaming more than one item.
— Spundge (@spundge) December 22, 2012
I have now removed the embed because it wasn’t displaying what I wanted and because of the space issue.
There is also a pro version which offers more, but the free versions seems enough to be going on with for now.
Have you used Spundge for newsgathering?
If you have any experiences of using Spundge for newsgathering, curation and story collaboration please share them using our comment box below along with any tips of how it worked.
What people are tweeting about Spundge
Having only just been introduced to Spundge my first impressions are that this could be a valuable news collaboration tool, especially for those scouring social media for story leads.
I like the firehose feature and ease at which you can select items and add them to your collection.
The embed feature could be good for those who want to offer sources for their work. It looks a bit like a Storify embed when published but without the line around that distinguishes the embed from the rest of the content.
I am looking forward to reading more about how journalists are using it in their work. Comments welcome below.