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):
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 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.
The Guardian has had more stories submitted to Reddit.com than any other major newspaper site.
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.
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
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
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.
Earlier this year, Yale Environment 360 launched as an environmental, online-only publication with an international audience in mind. The articles cover global and national environmental issues and concerns. Allison White spoke to Editor Roger Cohn about the publication’s online goals for the magazine and its audience.
Why did you choose to go solely online? What are the benefits and draw backs?
We chose to go solely online for two reasons: the first is that we saw it as a way to reach a wider and truly international audience. We are covering global environmental issues, and we are looking to have readers internationally. Continue reading