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Posts Tagged ‘community’

Woman’s Day Pays up to $2 a Word for Straightforward, Feel-good Writing

womans-day-january-2014Woman’s Day knows that its readers (women ages 30 to 90) are incredibly busy, and they crave easily digestible advice on everything from cooking and home decor to health and money matters.

The editors are looking for writers with a straightforward tone and the ability to do their research before sending a pitch — reading back issues of the mag (at least the past 12 months) is invaluable. Knowing which section to pitch and what type of reader to cater to is also key:

A writer’s best entryway onto the pages of the mag is a front-of-book section called “Embrace the Day,” focused on community and giving to others. It’s a special place in the hearts of Woman’s Day readers. “We did a story six months ago about a woman who makes cakes for children with cancer. Another editor and I discussed it and she said, ‘do you want to put a call-out for people to give?’ The woman didn’t have a 501(c)(3), so I didn’t feel comfortable soliciting donations on her behalf. But it didn’t matter,” [executive editor Annemarie Conte] shares. “Our readers found her. One even wrote in and taped a $100 bill to her letter. Our readers are incredibly giving and want to find deserving places to give.”

To hear more about how to get published in this mag, including what not to pitch, read: How To Pitch: Woman’s Day.

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Disqus Gravity Tracks “Trending” Discussions on News

Comments are a double-edged sword. On one hand, the online community that surrounds a publication is full of some of the most ardent and loyal readers — those who are willing to engage in a thoughtful dialogue with a publication and other readers. On the other hand, the comments on individual articles could betray terrible trolls and haters that turn a thriving community into a fighting community.

Whether you live in the comments or try to avoid them like the plague, there’s a lot of value to understanding just how a community begins discussion and what makes an article ripe for trending. Ubiquitous comment system Disqus has made the discovery of trending topics visual with its new website, Gravity. The dynamic, HTML5-based website reports in real time where articles are receiving comment traffic by tracking motion across all of Disqus’s publication partners.

“What you’re seeing isn’t a simple directory of content people are clicking on,” the company writes in Gravity’s about page. “You’re seeing discussions experiencing a spike in volume. You’re seeing what people are talking about.” Read more

National Geographic’s Aaron Huey on Digital Collaboration and Community Storytelling

The latest cover of National Geographic features the story of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota. Alexandra Fuller’s well-written piece of long form journalism plus Aaron Huey’s series of striking photographs is standard fare in the magazine by now, but this cover story included a new form of storytelling. Huey, who has spent the past seven years documenting and befriending the Lakota teamed up with Jonathan Harris, creator of Cowbird, to launch the Pine Ridge Community Storytelling Project. Cowbird is a storytelling platform focused on personal narratives rather than quick status updates, and the collaboration is an attempt to give the people of Pine Ridge a chance to tell their own stories. Users can use photos, audio and text on one seamless platform that attempts to build a library of human experiences.

Huey talked to 10,000 Words about the collaboration, which was made possible in part by the Knight Journalism Fellowship and the John and James L. Knight Foundation. He first started covering the community when he was doing a larger survey on poverty—Pine Ridge was one of the poorest counties in the nation. Though he didn’t know much about the history of the reservation at the time, he quickly became drawn into its story and evolution, eventually becoming an advocate for the community. Read more

How Journalists, Community Can Connect With Google+

Chances are if you read 10,000 Words, you’re a journalist of some stripe and you’re also familiar with — and likely already belong to — the latest social network: Google Plus. I’m no longer a news beat reporter, but I immediately saw an awesome opportunity for a specific journalist or even better a whole news organization to make this site into something awesome and useful to connect with their community. Here’s how:

Set up an account and create circles based on specific beats and topics. That’s basically it.

But what will make this useful is how you set up these circles and what you post and share with each. This is the part that I see as an interesting opportunity to build community.

Those circles are important because they will define who gets what news. You can go as deep or as broad as you like. If you cover education, your list will probably be broken down by school district or even individual school level (or maybe just high schools). If you cover city or county government, you could go down to the specific cities/counties, or if it’s just one city/county it could be broken down further to some of the departments or committees — city council, public works, street maintenance, etc. If you cover state legislature, you could take it down to parts of the state, counties or specific districts. If you’re creating this account for your entire news organization, you can do all of these or stick with broader circles for all education, city, county, crime, etc. Read more