Banish the trolls<br />Five ways reporters can use online communities.<br />
What is a community?<br />“Communities are bodies of people loosely joined together by a common interest that exchange information using web tools.” <br /> – Jeremiah Owyang, web strategy guru<br />Online space/platform created to facilitate interaction of community members (in this case, our readers).<br />Common platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn<br />Content is targeted to interests of the group.<br />Conversation revolves around the common interest.<br />Group often has a collaborative project or a goal.<br />Key for newspapers: Members contribute most of the content.<br />
www.columbian.com/innovate is a community for entrepreneurs.<br />
What is Innovate Clark County?<br />A page on www.columbian.combuilt in partnership with PubTalk, a bimonthly networking event.<br />An online gathering place for local entrepreneurs, between PubTalk events.<br />A local resource for those starting and building companies in Clark County.<br />A way for The Columbian to increase site participation from the business community.<br />
Five ways you can use online communities in journalism<br />(It’s a reporting tool and a content platform!)<br />
1) Develop your beat<br />Create a resource where many of the people you need to talk to are already in one place. Like an online focus group or advisory panel.<br />Build trust and credibility by actively listening and responding with questions and comments.<br />The most engaged community members become valuable sources.<br />
2) Engage with your readers.<br />A crowdsourcing tool to ask community members: What should I write about next? What details am I missing? Who should I talk to?<br />Creates transparency in reporting.<br />
3) Create valuable content.<br />Builds a repository of local information for you and your community.<br />Readers can contribute their own content, bring in new ideas.<br />Adjust content based on reader interest.<br />Encourages reader loyalty. <br />
4) Banish the trolls.<br />Increase the quality of comments.<br />Community members are encouraged to use their real names.<br />Contributions further the group’s goals.<br />Members take ownership over content and police unproductive comments.<br />
5)Get paid.<br /><ul><li>Communities create a captive audience for targeted advertising.
InnovateCC is attractive to service providers such as attorneys and business consultants who want to reach startups and other small businesses.
A host of metrics are available on site traffic, engagement, etc. as a basis for ad sales.
May also provide a target for subscription-based services.</li>
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