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Posts Tagged ‘Trentonian’

Jeff Edelstein

Trentonian columnist Jeff Edelstein showed two things with his Facebook engagement before, during and after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey:

  1. He showed how to use Facebook to engage during a big story.
  2. He showed how effective routine Facebook engagement gives you a strong connection with people that is invaluable when the big story breaks.

I’ve written before about Jeff’s great connection with his community on Facebook. He uses Facebook regularly, asking questions of his 4,000-plus friends and they answer, sometimes giving him column material, sometimes giving feedback on a column and sometimes just deepening the connection with chatter among friends.

That routine conversation gave Jeff a deeply engaged community that stayed in touch as the storm approached and blew through New Jersey. With a mix of humor, impatience, empathy and reporting questions, Jeff had a  running conversation with the community throughout the disaster. I’m going to highlight a few of the dozens of Facebook updates that Jeff posted relating to Sandy.

It was a mix of personal and professional, all with personality. So when Jeff asked for help, it wasn’t like a journalist was asking people to do his job for him. It was a trusted friend asking for information. And he got lots of replies, whatever he was asking or saying.

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I know you’re planning to watch tonight’s basketball game. I am, too. But I already know the big winners of the March bracket: The Trentonian and First N’ Ten.

After a competitive month with strong community engagement, the Trentonian’s Facebook fans have chosen the best bar in Trenton. Jeff Edelstein, columnist and engagement whiz, who says his role was simply to “publicize on social media and host our live TV bits,” explains (lightly edited):

Our editor, Mike Topel, had the idea to have a “best bar” tourney to coincide with March Madness. He enlisted Joe D’Aquila to figure it out. Joe and I then posted on our FB’s and Twitter, and on the Trentonian’s, looking for nominations. Relatively unscientific, but it worked. Got 32 entries. Picked ’em out of a hat. Joe set up Facebook polls on the Trentonian page for the first round.

Honestly, I was expecting blah results.

I was blown away. (more…)

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How is your newsroom using Google+ Hangouts?

In recent months, I’ve seen some good examples of Google+ use in some Digital First Media newsrooms. I asked my colleagues to explain what they did and how. Their responses are presented below, with minimal editing. (You’ll note that I’ve been hanging onto these examples quite a while. I’ve had more blog-post ideas than blogging time lately. I hope to catch up in the next few weeks.)

From Karen Workman of the Oakland Press:

The Oakland Press and The Macomb Daily made Michigan history Thursday, Dec. 22, by conducting the first editorial board meeting with a governor by using a Google+ hangout. (more…)

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The Trentonian used Twitter, Facebook, community bloggers and the newest big-name social tool for journalists, Google+, to cover a shooting at an apartment building Thursday.

I learned about the Trentonian’s excellent coverage while preparing for a Friday workshop at another Journal Register Co. newsroom, the News-Herald in Willoughby, Ohio. I quickly compiled an earlier version of this Storify account, pulling in tweets, news accounts and Facebook updates. But I didn’t know much about how the Trentonian staff did its outstanding work. I sent Interim Editor Joey Kulkin an email, asking him to send me a few paragraphs explaining how they had covered the story.

My workshop was about using social media in beat reporting and about curating social media content. In the questions during my presentation, a staff member asked how journalists could use Google+. I gave a pretty lame answer, saying that I had not had much time to dig into Plus and explore the possibilities. I said I had been impressed with Google Wave and saw considerable possibilities with it, especially after the Seattle Times used Wave in its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the manhunt for a cop killer. I thought Google Buzz was lame from the first and never found it useful for journalists. I had played with Plus enough to think it would be useful, but not to talk knowledgeably yet about how you would use it.

Just four hours after my workshop, I learned that Google+ had actually been an essential tool in the Trentonian’s coverage of Thursday’s incident:

“Google+ is what gave us, and no one else, the key information,” Kulkin said in his email telling me how the Trentonian had covered the story. (more…)

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