Here are three things that all public affairs professionals should study over their Sunday morning coffee today. Think of it as a cheat sheet for your weekend reading, complete with simple takeaways.

CNN Turns to Twitter Data Mining for News Tips

“Twitter’s new head of news, Vivian Schiller, announced her first project today: a partnership with CNN and the New York startup Dataminr. The initiative will help journalists cover breaking news by making sense of the flood of public information on Twitter. Dataminr uses machine learning algorithms to analyze the Twitter firehose of data and highlight the needle in the haystack so CNN reporters can find the most important, relevant, and reliable facts and images from around the world.” (The Verge)

Why It Matters: As reporters adopt more technological solutions, the content on Twitter will become more important from a media perspective – even though it may not have the impact on the general public that some would hope or imagine.

Twitter Trying to Look More Like Facebook?

“Twitter Inc. (TWTR) is testing a redesign of its profile pages that mimics the look of Facebook Inc. (FB)’s timelines, part of the microblogging service’s effort to boost engagement as user growth slows.” (Bloomberg)

Why It Matters: Facing typical public company pressure to grow numbers at all costs, Twitter seems to be embarking on a course of mimicry rather than innovation. It’s a good reminder that communicators must be cautious in making long-term bets on any social network, especially when contemplating a meaningful investment of time and resources.

Claim: Like Fraud Plagues Facebook Ads

“The number of Likes you receive is a numerical way of representing your relative popularity. The other is that Likes help your messages travel farther. But what if that system has stopped working like it’s supposed to? That’s what Derek Muller, who hosts the weekly science podcast Veritasium on YouTube, suspects. Muller believes that click farms staffed by individuals in Egypt, India, the Phillippines, Pakistan and a host of other countries are spamming pages with fake Likes — and that Facebook is indirectly benefiting from it.” (Washington Post)

Why It Matters: With changes to Facebook’s display algorithm recently, it has become increasingly difficult for organizations to get fans to see their page without paying for advertising. But what if those ads attracted lots of wasted clicks? This is a problem Google has dealt with over the years, and Facebook doesn’t find itself immune from scammers. Rather than hate on Facebook ads, however, check out this excellent explanation from Jon Loomer about how to make your ads effective and steer clear of fraudulent clicks and wasted money.