When I wrote recently about my efforts to build a community platform at the two local newspapers I lead, a good friend, Adam Tinworth, summed up my ideas as not doing more with less but about doing different forms of journalism. In this era of fewer resources for local journalism, we have to be strategic about what we do and what we stop doing. Harvard’s Nieman Lab summarises a new study from the Reporters’ Lab at Duke University as an issue of stopping feeding the goat. Newsroom leaders must make the brave decision to stop the endless stream of incremental stories and focus on stories that reveal meaning and context.
My job search is over, and I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be returning to a newsroom, a couple in fact, as a regional executive editor overseeing two Gannett-owned newspapers in the US.
Comments are broken! That’s been a common refrain lately, and while I do think comments are a mess, I think this is down to a lack of strategic thinking around audience engagement and passive, or non-existent, community management strategies. It’s not rocket science though, and Lifehacker has shown a simple way to foster good conversations online.
When you’re creating an engagement strategy for your news website, don’t mistake your online community (or communities more precisely) for the internet. Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor at the Atlantic, shares how he has created his and how he interprets freedom of expression online.
Ethan Zuckerman had a great insight yesterday at the Knight Foundation event looking at the information needs of communities. [blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/andrewhaeg/status/172021672419926016"] Ethan pointed to the coverage of Tunisia and how the video of Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation was uploaded to Facebook, one of the few such sites still accessible in Tunisia. Exiled Tunisian Sami ben Garbia covered the early stages of the… Read more →
Disqus has released an infographic of some analysis they’ve done on their comments to compare pseudonymous, eponymous (real name) and anonymous commenters. They looked at both quantity and quality and found that pseudonymous commenters are better for a community than either eponymous or anonymous commenters. To save you from having to wade through a rather pointless infographic, here are the… Read more →
Via Kevin, I came across this piece by James Fallows of The Atlantic: Learning to Love the (Shallow, Divisive, Unreliable) New Media. As soon as I saw that headline, my feathers ruffled. So you think new media is worse than traditional media eh? Well, how come debates that pit blogs against journalism never talk of the scum-sucking pond-dwelling tabs, eh? How… Read more →
Robert Niles has a must-read post on the Online Journalism Review about the role that journalists should play in terms of interactivity and community on their sites. Online communities need leadership: Will journalists provide it, or will someone else? he writes: …writing in any interactive environment is an act of leadership. Your words, your tone and your style not only… Read more →
I’m often asked what are the metrics for success when it comes to blogging or community engagement on a website, and I always respond that it isn’t simply the number of comments. Chasing high comment counts can be a race to the bottom in terms of content as the most provocative content easily gets the most comments creating more of… Read more →
I met Jonathan Stray this past summer when I was speaking at Oxford, and I’ve really enjoyed keeping up with him on Twitter and on his blog. He’s smart, and if you’re thinking about journalism in new ways and thinking of how we can, as Josh Benton puts it, change the grammar of journalism, then you definitely want to add… Read more →