1. Tap Into the Crowd
Mandy Jenkins @mjenkins
#norcalsoc April 2012
2. What is Crowdsourcing?
• When you call on your
readers/followers to contribute to a
• Calls for content, news tips and story
• Can be breaking or long-term
• Involve a little or a lot of information
3. Before Crowdsourcing
•Build engaged community (follow people,
converse with them)
•Build Twitter lists of key sources for
•Plan ahead when you can, have a plan for
when you can’t
•Include crowdsourcing in story-planning
4. During Breaking News
• Open keyword searches
• Monitor key Twitter lists
• Have reporter or news org start tweeting
live to get and share info
8. Breaking News
•Say what you know
•Say what you don’t know
•Say what you want/need to know
•Don’t spread rumors
•Vet sources & information
•Ask questions as you gather info
•RT with context, note if it's verified
17. Ask Everywhere
• Print callouts (Tell Us Your Story)
• Social media promotion (reporter and
• Embeds into online stories
• Word-of-mouth, IRL on the beat
18. Crowdsourcing Ideas
• Ask for archival photos/stories
from community anniversaries
• Is it raining/snowing/earthquaking
• Build a source database for
recurring themes (foreclosures,
veterans, lost jobs, etc.)
22. Check the person's credibility
• Check when account was created.
• How frequent are updates?
• Do they have a photo?
• Do they have friends/followers? Do they
• Check bio, links
• Check Klout score
• Google name and scam, spammer
• Contact & interview
23. Follow up on the tip
• Ask for a phone number and call the person.
• Ask if they witnessed first-hand or heard
• Ask exactly what they witnessed, how they
saw it and when.
• Ask who else may have the same info.
24. Check credibility of the info
• Check earlier tweets/updates: Anything leading
up to the tip that makes sense?
• Do follow up tweets/updates make sense in
• Does it read authentically? Misspellings, bad
grammar, typos can also be a sign of a real
• Corroborate the info
25. Evaluate your options
• How urgent is this information?
• How important is the tip to the overall
story? Is there a story without it?
• Is it worth the risk if it is wrong?
29. Verifying Images
• Check exif info: regex.info/exif.cgi
• Check for edits to photos: errorlevelanalysis.com/
• Reference locations against maps and existing images
from the area.
• Examine weather reports and shadows to confirm that
the conditions shown fit with the claimed date and time.
• Check clothes/buildings/language/license
plates/vehicles etc. to see if they support what the
image claims to be.
These slides & more at
Newest updates first
Whenever there’s a recurring topic, include form for readers to add themselves for followup stories
Check scanner, police sources to verify.Back it up on a Twitter search to see if other social accounts are reporting.Ask followers if they can help verify (a.k.a. The 'Andy Carvin method').