How do you build local engagement on Twitter? (via The Buttry Diary)

Steve Buttry nails it with this post in building community engagement on Twitter. The meat of it is this:

However you find people tweeting about your community, the key to engaging them is conversation. If your Twitter feed is a one-way stream of self-promoting headlines and links, people are not likely to engage with it. But if you answer their questions, ask them how they know newsworthy information that they tweet, retweet their observations about community life, they will engage with you.

Excellent advice for anyone or any business on Twitter. He goes on to give tips for using several 3rd party tools and Twitter’s own Advanced Search.

In my experience working with small newsrooms the tools we provide have to be both comprehensive and easy to use. Continue reading “How do you build local engagement on Twitter? (via The Buttry Diary)”

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”

New York Times’ iPad app: Advertising done right

NYT app iconThere’s a lot to like in this week’s update to the New York Times’ iPad app. The new version has much more content than the previous “Editor’s Choice” app, the navigation is improved and the app feels much more polished. But it’s the handling and placement of the ads that really impresses me.

In-app advertising so far has been a mixed bag. Many apps rely on ad networks and phone-optimized ad units. Some have created custom ad units, including “sponsored by” messages on the app’s splash screen.

The Times appears to have taken a different approach: their ads make excellent use both of the iPad’s form factor and new user interface features in Apple’s iOS. Continue reading “New York Times’ iPad app: Advertising done right”

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 site in University Place.

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


Facebook outage

As if to underscore one of my earlier concerns, Facebook crashes and sites using their social plugins get big holes in their pages.