Tag Archives: user generated content

Do blogs make reporting restrictions pointless?

The leaked DNA test on 13-year-old alleged dad Alfie Patten has revealed a big problem with court-ordered reporting restrictions in the internet age. (NB This is a cut down version of a much longer original post on blogging and reporting restrictions that was featured on the Guardian).

Court orders forbidding publication of certain facts apply only to people or companies who have been sent them. But this means there is nothing to stop bloggers publishing material that mainstream news organisations would risk fines and prison for publishing.

Even if a blogger knows that there is an order, and so could be considered bound by it, an absurd catch 22 means they can’t found out the details of the order – and so they risk contempt of court and prison.

Despite the obvious problem the Ministry of Justice have told me they have no plans to address the issue. Continue reading

User generated content and citizen journalism (Online Journalism lesson #4)

Lesson 4 in this series of Online Journalism classes looks at User Generated Content (UGC) and Citizen Journalism. Now the students have to think creatively of ways to engage communities in the issues they’re covering (and vice versa):

It’s the Sun wot won it at Fark

The Sun has had more stories submitted to Fark, the social news site for stranger news stories, than any other UK newspaper. That may be no surprise, but it’s the Guardian wot’s runner up.

The news follows the discovery that the Guardian is top at Reddit, the Times at StumbleUpon, and the Telegraph at Digg.

The graph is based on an analysis of the total submissions for each newspaper site to Fark. It shows that, just as with those other social news sites, the FT, Mirror and Express are trailling in last.

Sun winning at Fark, Guardian second

Sun winning at Fark, Guardian second

Guardian tops Reddit submissions list

The Guardian has had more stories submitted to Reddit.com than any other major newspaper site.

The news follows the Telegraph topping the Digg list and the Times topping the StumbleUpon list.

The graph shows how many pages have been submitted to Reddit for each site. It’s based on an analysis of newspapers’ Reddit submissions that also suggests the Telegraph is catching up with the Guardian – they tied for the number of stories submitted over the last week.

Submissions to Reddit: Guardian wins

Submissions to Reddit: Guardian wins

BBC Future of Journalism conference day 2: more reflections (part 1)

The more interesting of the sessions at the BBC’s Future of Journalism conference came on the second day.

Head of BBC Newsroom Peter Horrocks spent most of his session fielding questions from employees concerned about how their particular corner of the corporation would be affected by multimedia newsrooms. That aside, general themes from his presentation and responses to questions included:

  • a need for a broader range of skills, such as information design and software development
  • While strong single-platform performers will be encouraged to continue doing well on that platform, everyone else will be encouraged to work across platforms
  • a need to reach audiences the BBC (and other news organisations) are struggling to engage with, particularly young C2 audiences

User generated content

The second panel, on user generated content, was probably the most interesting of the two days – mainly because it was also the most diverse, including Sky’s Simon Bucks and Paul Hambleton from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation alongside BBC Sport Online’s Claire Stocks, Matthew Eltringham from the BBC’s UGC hub, and Chris Russell from Future Media and Technology. Continue reading

3 wishes for social media in 2009

This was published as a guest post on Shane Richmond’s Daily Telegraph Technology blog:

Media organisations are still barely getting their heads around social media. They look at a conversation and see ‘vox pops’; they look at a community and see a market. They ask for ‘Your pictures’ and then complain when they get 1000 images of a mild snowfall.

They ghettoise viewers into 60 second slots at the end of the news bulletin, or ‘Have Your Say’ sections on the website. They can see the use of blogs and Twitter when they can’t access a disaster area and are desperate for news, but the rest of the time complain that they’re ‘only for geeks’ or ‘full of rumour’. And they advertise, when they should socialise. Continue reading

Lessons in community from community editors #7: Angela Connor of WRAL.com

I’ve been speaking to news organisations’ community editors on the lessons they’ve learned from their time in the job. Today, Angela Connor, Managing Editor/User-Generated Content WRAL.com and GOLO.com

1. Acknowledge good work

As a community manager, it is important to make your members feel valued and appreciated. When you come across a great blog, interesting comment or great photo, send your compliments to the author, and do it publicly on their profile page or directly on the content.

Remember, you’re the community leader and your opinion matters a great deal. So don’t be stingy with it. Positive reinforcement goes a long way, and it will make that member feel valued and vested. Once that happens, they’re in for the long haul.

2. Ask for help

As the person responsible for the well-being and growth of the community, it’s easy to feel and operate like an island, putting all of that work on your own shoulders.

But as the community grows, so does the number of stakeholders. Use them to your advantage.

Contact your top posters and most involved members and ask them to greet and reach out to new members. Ask them to work on a community-driven FAQ. Tell them what kind of content you’d like to see more of and ask them to help you build it.

Not everyone will jump right in, but you may be pleasantly surprised by the level of response.

3. Know when to walk away

Community management is a tough job and there are days when it can be extremely stressful. From trolls running rampant to direct abuse from visitors and an overflowing inbox filled with pettiness, sometimes it can really take its toll.

When you find yourself feeling like your head is going to explode or as though you’ve reached the end of your rope, get up and walk away. Or better yet, log off the site and just take a deep breath.

Find a message board for community managers and vent with like-minded souls familiar with your plight. And remember, there’s always tomorrow.