Outing Your Commenters’ Identities

RulesIt’s important to have a clear set of rules.

Your Terms of Use document (terms of service, community guidelines, FAQ, rules of the road, etc.) is your social contract with your site’s users. Whether you craft it to your specific needs or use boilerplate, your Terms are the rules and a good site lives by and enforces those rules.

The rules should lay out what behavior is expected and what is unacceptable in your online community, and what happens the rules are broken. You expect your visitors to abide by the terms, and they should expect the same of you. Continue reading “Outing Your Commenters’ Identities”

Talking about online news

Are you busy on Sept. 22? Interested in a hearing about the current state of the news business or how news organizations are putting social media and online technologies to use to help keep us better informed?

I’ll be on a panel that night at Varsity Grill in Tacoma discussing those very things. The panel is organized by Social Media Club Tacoma and Tacoma’s own Mark Briggs will moderate. I’ll be joined Doug Conarroe, AME for Online at The News Tribune, and Brent Champaco, editor of Washington’s first Patch.com site in University Place.

Thanks to Walter Neary, my former editor, for putting this together.


What can news orgs learn from content farms?

There’s been a lot of discussion over the last year about so-called ‘content farms.’ These companies – Demand Media, Answers.com, Seed.com, etc. – produce large amounts of content based on reader demand, as determined by search and social media trends. In a nutshell, they listen to the questions and search requests of the global internet audience and try to provide answers. Of course, they don’t try to answer every question or search query; just the ones that appear to have enough interest around them to generate a solid return from ad dollars or syndication fees.

It’s a smart business, but calling it journalism is a stretch. Let’s learn from them to create better journalism. What can we learn? How to be better listeners.

Continue reading “What can news orgs learn from content farms?”

Putting social media to use in and after a crisis

The analysis reports are starting to come in on the Pacific Northwest’s media coverage of the Lakewood police executions and, from what I’ve read and from what I experienced, my fellow journalists set the bar high. What I found interesting is that this tragedy caused many of the Puget Sound’s more traditional news organizations to wade deeper – much deeper in some cases – into social media.

Many of the area’s news orgs have been using the ‘core’ social media tools (Facebook, Twitter) for a year or more. Some have even won awards for their early adoption of the tools. Some local media seems to have been born with iPhones in their hands and Twitter accounts. For them, this is old hat – Twitter’s real-time updates are part of their regular routine. But this was not so at the staid Seattle Times.

Continue reading “Putting social media to use in and after a crisis”

TIME.com: How Many More Mike Browns Are Out There? — Oct. 03, 2005 — Page 1

Time has an interesting article looking at the current levels of cronyism in the Bush administration. They seem to focus on the positions that pose the greatest risk. Good reporting but mediocre writing. Still worth your time, though.