Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2011

I’m learning lessons about social media nearly every day. But I learned long ago that few things touch people like photos of animals. The two types of learning come together in this story of a mountain lion, a Maine coon cat and some smart journalists at the Denver Post using an array of social media tools.

In a couple of recent meetings, I have met and discussed community engagement with Post colleagues, gaining respect for their smart use of social media. We will be working together much more closely as the Journal Register Co. partnership with MediaNews progresses. In our initial meetings, I have seen multiple ways we could benefit from sharing our ideas and insights in both directions.

I’ll start that by sharing, through this post, a great example of using social media in multiple ways to bring some fun content into the site and then to bring attention to that content. What’s interesting is that the photo in question actually was submitted initially to a TV station’s website, and the station wasn’t making full use of it. Then the Post journalists tracked down the photographer, got more pictures from her, and multimedia magic ensued. (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Journalists like to keep their work secret, then make a big splash when they publish.

Of course, those big splashes are rare. Mostly we’re covering routine or well-known news, which there’s no reason to keep secret. Perhaps we’d make a splash — even a little one — more often if we were more open with the public, inviting people more openly to tip us to or contribute to potentially big stories.

Several Journal Register Co. newsrooms have recently started publishing their daily news budgets, inviting the public to contribute to the stories they are working on.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Community engagement in a Digital First newsroom doesn’t mean sitting at a computer all the time. You also invite the public in to use your computers, drink your coffee and chat.

Journal Register Co. newsrooms are working to open our newsrooms in a variety of ways. Our Newsroom Cafe at the Register Citizen in Torrington, CT, has received the most attention, including being named Innovator of the Year last month by the Associated Press Managing Editors (video below). But other JRC newsrooms are working to invite bloggers and other community members into the buildings and to reach out into the community digitally and in person.

The Register Citizen’s move was prompted by a necessity to move out of its old building into a roomy former factory. Publisher Matt DeRienzo planned the layout of the new building to include the Newsroom Cafe, an area with computers and a microfilm machine for public access (with free printouts), a classroom and a lounge where community art could be displayed.

For some newsrooms, this is a great idea to copy or improve upon (as the Winnipeg Free Press did). Opening an area to the public is more challenging in other communities, where many of our newsrooms operate in old buildings and less-than-ideal locations. But each newsroom is working on direct public outreach in its own way.

This is the perfect illustration of something I say frequently: Community engagement is not a one-size-fits-all venture. Don’t try to replicate what the Register Citizen did. Find the right engagement path for your newsroom and your community.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Most editors using Twitter should try to be more conversational. They use Twitter primarily to post headlines and links to their staff’s stories. Posting links is a valid use of Twitter, but if that’s all you’re doing, especially if you’re just posting headlines with the links, you’re just getting started.

Twitter has much greater value for improving your journalism and engaging with your community. As I’ve noted, too many newsroom leaders don’t use Twitter at all, but when they do, most start by sharing links to their staff’s stories. That’s a good start, but it’s just a start.

In my Twitter tips for journalists and my exhortation to editors to be active on Twitter, I encourage journalists to be more conversational. A group of Journal Register Co. editors asked me to elaborate this week, with some advice for what to tweet about and how. (more…)

Read Full Post »

I’m sorry to see Brad Rourke and Cindy Cotte Griffiths call it quits with Rockville Central.

They served their community well with a lively forum for news and discussion. They were innovative, shifting their product from a website to a Facebook-only community. They were a delight to work with as one of the first members of the TBD Community Network.

And they’ve decided it is time for them to move on. In a joint announcement on their Facebook page, Brad and Cindy this morning said:

The simple fact is that it takes a great deal of energy and time to support the online community in the way we feel it deserves. We do not make money off of Rockville Central, and never intended to. It is a labor of love and devotion to Our Fair City. We don’t feel we can devote the kind of energy it deserves and so, rather than let it whither, we decided to make a clean end.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Sometimes people who are making good use of a social media platform still overlook a basic step or two. Like including a web link in your profile.

Take a few moments to check out your basic profiles on such social tools as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or About.me. Twitter allows a single link in your profile. Others allow multiple links (I have lots of links in my Google and About.me profiles and still haven’t hit the limit, if there is one). (more…)

Read Full Post »

Sometimes I want to slap my forehead when I hear an idea so simple that I should have thought of it myself ages ago. Then I sigh and steal the idea.

At a meeting this week with Denver Post colleagues, they noted that their tweets promoting staff-written content include the staff member’s username:

(more…)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »