Archive for May, 2011

A Journal Register Co. editor mentioned a common challenge in a newsroom trying to master social media. How do you build an engaged audience on Twitter? My answer to the editor (expanded some as I’ve thought more about it):

Engaging followers is largely a result of two factors: following people who care about your community and conversing with them. (more…)


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As my wife, Mimi Johnson, and I were making plans to spend a few days in southeast Utah enjoying canyons and arches before I start my new job, she made a simple, but firm request: I needed to unplug. Yeah, I’m mostly wireless these days, but I knew what she meant: Put away the laptop, put away the iPhone (except to take photos). No blogging, no tweeting, no reading important or interesting links.

But yesterday morning before we left Salt Lake City, while I was leading the workshop that brought us to Utah, Bill Keller got Mimi all stirred up. And she hadn’t brought her laptop. She can’t post from her iPad to her blog (a really good blog; if you missed her post about me leaving newspapers last year, it’s worth catching up). She also can’t post to her blog from my laptop. So she commandeered my laptop last night (she knew I wasn’t going to be using it) to write a guest post for me. As you’ll see, she’s addressing an issue I might have written about anyway. Better that you get it from the best writer in our family:

It was with some reluctance yesterday that I pointed out Bill Keller’s latest column for the New York Times Magazine to my husband. I have been known to scold Steve for being too strident, especially when it comes to The Times’ paywall experiment and Mr. Keller’s opinions on social media. So I was relieved when Steve posted one amusing tweet on the column and then sighed, “I’ve written enough about Bill Keller.”

“Good,” I said. Good. And then I was the one who just couldn’t let it go. As my mother used to say, “I did not care for his tone.” (more…)

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Update: I’ve added some digital storytelling links to the end of this post (more to come).

Update: Thanks to Steve Klein for curating today’s digital storytelling examples provided by my tweeps. And thanks to Mindy McAdams (I lost count of how many examples she provided) and others who responded with examples. I will be blogging more on this topic, with links to examples in the blog and sorted by topic. But right now I am unwinding in the canyons of southern Utah.

Update: The workshop is over. Thanks to all who shared examples. I will update later with links to the examples, but you should be able to see most of them on the Twitter hashtag or the liveblog replay.

I’m leading a workshop today on digital storytelling and mobile strategy for a meeting of editors of Pioneer Newspapers.

I will be asking on Twitter for examples of different types of digital stories, using the hashtag #digitalstory. I will be collecting those examples in this liveblog: (more…)

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I tell journalism students they are entering my profession at a time of extraordinary opportunity. I still believe that, even if the opportunity at TBD didn’t turn out to be what I was expecting.

I agreed today to pursue another extraordinary opportunity. I will be rejoining my friend and mentor Jim Brady and joining the visionary John Paton, Jon Cooper and other Journal Register Co. colleagues I am eager to meet.

I will be leading community engagement efforts for JRC: social media, community blogs, community conversation, the full range of community engagement. More on that as this adventure unfolds. (more…)

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Erik Wemple, editor of TBD, will excel in his next role, blogging media criticism for the Washington Post.

Erik told the staff of his move this afternoon. He wrote a lot of media criticism as editor of City Paper, and his video Fuego/Frio riffs have been a delight at both City Paper and TBD. We’re wondering whether the high-energy F/F can make the transition to the staid Washington Post. Even with his editing duties at TBD, Erik did some outstanding media criticism for as well. With the 2012 election campaign already rolling, Erik will focus initially on political media.

The energy, edge and drive that marked TBD, especially in its first six months, were a direct reflection of Erik’s leadership. He has been a joy to work with and leaves with my deep respect, admiration and affection.

I’ll repeat publicly what I told Erik this afternoon, before leading a round of applause from the staff: He did a hell of a job under difficult circumstances.

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You might find some valid research in the Navigating News Online study published Monday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a project of the Pew Foundation.

But the study needed lots of context that an organization committed to excellence in journalism should provide. For instance: (more…)

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I blogged recently about the many possibilities I see for news organizations to pursue new revenue streams. I mentioned calendars as one, citing Wimgo, the events site developed by The Oklahoman.

Some points I should have made in that post are that your organization doesn’t have to start from scratch on every project yourself and that you can find a revenue stream by developing a good solution yourself and then offering that solution to other media companies. This is exactly what Wimgo is doing, so an organization seeking a robust calendar can partner with Wimgo and focus on developing its own solution somewhere else.

Wimgo was launched in 2008 with a clever set of TV commercials that explained the distinctive name, short for When I’m going, Where I’m going, Why I’m going.

In an email exchange, Rob Wescott, Wimgo’s chief product officer, answered my questions (and explains Wimgo in greater detail in a video here): (more…)

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