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Archives: November 2011

How the Winnipeg Free Press Makes Its News Café Work

Courtesy Winnipeg Free Press

During the night of Winnipeg’s October provincial election, reporters and citizens from the Canadian city came together to watch the results come in. Their choice of venue: the Winnipeg Free Press News Café.

Sponsored by the Winnipeg Free Press, the news café opened in March and is an attempt by the Free Press to create a stronger link to the community, said John White, the paper’s deputy online editor. The multimedia editor, video reporter and social media reporter all work out of the café and White is working on having a more formal rotation of reporters come down to the café and schedule appointments with readers. Community events, like book readings and debates between local politicians, are also a big part of the café.

“My main priority in pitching this café concept was to reestablish our physical link to the community,” White said. “When we relocated out of the downtown area to an industrial park we lost that meaningful connection and public meeting space.” Read more

The New, Convoluted Life Cycle Of A Newspaper Story

News must be really hard to follow for an everyday consumer of a newspaper website. First tweets go out, sometimes with no links to additional coverage. Then a few grafs go up on a blog, followed by additional updates, either to the top of that post or as new posts. Eventually, a print story gets started, which is posted through an entirely different workflow onto a different-looking story page. This version is usually written as an hourglass-style narrative, following typical print conventions. For the rest of the day, new updates start going to this story rather than the original blog post. Having a hard time following? Here’s a graphic to help:

As a reader, this is confusing because:

  1. I don’t know where to start or end
  2. When I jump into the story somewhere in the middle gray area, I don’t know where to go to get previous coverage or the full picture
  3. To continue following the story, I don’t know where to look
  4. When I look at all this content as a whole, I don’t know where the newest information is. Read more

Social Media & Online Community Post From Around The Web

Every Friday I post links to a few of the blog posts that I read during the week that I found interesting and insightful.

Included in this week’s round-up is a discussion about the use of ‘voting’ contests used by brands on Facebook; how to build thriving online communities; what happens when the corporate social media strategist goes away; how to build strong bonds with online community members; and why community mangers are Human Experience (HX) professionals.

Read more

Coming Soon From Gawker: A Way To Get Rid Of ‘Boring’ Comments?

There are spam comments, flaming comments, troll comments … and then there are just plain old boring comments.

Nick Denton. (Photo by Dave Winer)

It’s a problem that faces many news websites.

So Nick Denton, the influential head of Gawker Media, said at a conference hosted by Advertising Age on Tuesday that his company was developing a product to rid his sites of comments he considers boring.

“I would like an AT&T engineer who has an explanation for why AT&T’s data coverage is weak in New York and San Francisco to feel comfortable in our comment environment,” he said.

Indeed, the comment sections of articles are often used for official responses and the like. But that’s often the exception. Read more

‘Cubes’ Takes a VIP Tour of Hearst Tower

In this episode of “Cubes,” we take a behind-the-scenes tour of Hearst Tower, home to the likes of Esquire, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and Elle. The LEED-certified building contains an exclusive health club, a top-secret app lab, and a dining room that has hosted several U.S. presidents, among many other amazing features.

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