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Month: June 2008

Why Media Gets Community Wrong

Tuttle Club ChattingI've been thinking (and talking) about community a lot recently, and it was while speaking to about 50 people at a seminar held by Sift last Friday that I had an epiphany: most media people don't realise that blogging is a community strategy. They think of it as a publishing process and, perhaps, as articles published with a particular tone of voice. They certainly don't think of it as a conversation.

This is clear from our traffic figures. Those blogs that do really well are those that are aware of there being a wider web world outside our sites' confines and which talk directly to the readers. Those whose traffic is abysmal are those who show no awareness of a wider conversation around their topics and who adopt a "wisdom from on high" tone of voice. 
And perhaps some of the failure of the latter blogs is my fault. I've been so embedded in online community activity for well over a decade that I instinctively think of the internet as a social place. Thus, I fail to articulate that clearly to people for whom this is a much more recent idea. But, to me, there's no doubt that blogging is all about personal voices interacting with one another, not about personal voices lecturing. And that's something that the media usually misses.

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Thought For The Day

If you wear contact lenses, make sure you put the left eye one in the left eye, and the right one in the right eye.

If you don’t, you’ll end up having a terribly confusing morning and you’ll have a splitting headache by lunchtime.

Is Murdoch Right to Keep Investing in Newspapers?

Golly and, indeed, gosh. An e-mail arrives from one Kyle at The Atlantic, pointing me to the video they’ve produced following up an article about Rupert Murdoch and the future of newspapers – and providing a handy-dandy embed code for me.

Now, given that I’m a subscriber to The Atlantic, and that the discussion is actually pretty interesting, how could I resist? Find out why Murdoch still thinks print is worth investing in:

The article, in all its glory, can be found on The Atlantic site.

How To Be a Community Editor (in 2 posts or less)

A couple of useful links for community editors (or aspiring community editors):

Tish of the Constant Observer shares her Seven Traits of Highly Effective Community Developers. I know some of ours might not be keen on number 3:

3. Must enjoy technology. These days, the tools of digital media are (or should be) easy to learn. Your community manager will understand — and be able to adapt quickly to — upgrades in tools. She or he also might suggest new tools, and will learn new tools pretty quickly.

Meanwhile Howard Owens shares some tips for newspaper people new to community management. I like this one:

Participate. When a reader posts incorrect information, offer up a correction or clarification. When a reader posts an assertion that would benefit from factual support, ask for it. When someone makes a statement that reminds you of an interesting quote or event that didn’t make your story, leave your own comment about it. Your participation not only makes the conversation more interesting, and keeps people coming back, it gives you credibility when it comes time to play cop.

One day I’ll figure out why that one is so hard for journalists. And then I’ll become a consultant and make a fortune… 🙂

Whispers of the Hackopalypse

Whispers of the Hackopalypse

A new week, a new project. Ladies and gentlemen, let me unveil Whispers of the Hackopalypse, my new tumblelog.
It’s just a series of the best quotes from bloggers and others about the rapidly changing state of journalism and publishing. 
This serves two needs. First of all, it’s something I can point my colleagues to as a resource to quickly understand the thinking going on around digital and networked journalism – as well as the threats to traditional model.
And also it’s a great way for me to deal with all those open tabs in Safari with great blog posts, that I can’t actually think of anything to add to but “whoa, cool post”.
My Plurk followers got an early peek at this at the weekend, and a couple of people have already found it thought-provoking, so I’m feeling confident enough to push it public and see if anyone’s interested…