How to microblog in high heels

A geek girl's guide to social media and online engagement

Autumn update: #cmLDN changes and Community Clinics

After a rather long summer break, and with the lovey Elana Zak off to dazzle the world of social media in the States, the cmLDN steering group met this Autumn to discuss going forward with our regular meetup group.

One of the things which we found difficult in our first year was organisation – as busy communities people it wasn’t always easy to find time to arrange venues, speakers and plan meetups around a theme. So with our new steering group recruit Rich Moynihan, we took time to think about what we wanted from a meetup group for community managers in London.

This took me back to days organising the Cardiff bloggers meetups with Ed Walker – which usually attracted about 40 bloggers each month from Cardiff and beyond to chat, drink, share notes and experiences and enrich the blogging community online with face to face gatherings. Part of the reason this worked, I think, was because most of the ‘talks’ were from the bloggers themselves – sharing experiences on a topic in an informal and friendly way. There were many other reasons this group was popular but I think this was one of them.

CmLDN meetup. Photo: Marika Kochiashvili via Twitter

Much like the bloggers in Cardiff, community managers and editors in London tend to work pretty remotely and detached from others parts of the company – often dealing alone with various problems and issues which arise in their communities. So coming together to share ideas, problems and tactics is really important and will develop and increase the quality community management in London and beyond.

So the meetups are being reconfigured to be for community managers about community management – with informal meetings in homes and pubs and the focus on sharing experiences and ideas in an informal, off the record format. Some of the most interesting discussions we had at the meetups in the last year where when a number from the group started to pitch in and a debate began.

We’re moving our organising platform to Facebook (the group is here) and off meetup.com – so hopefully we can have more conversation, link sharing and interaction between meetups – we’ll announce dates and venues on the events page of this group. If you’re a community manager in London, or work with online communities in some way please do request to join the group and get involved! Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Written by hrwaldram

October 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

#Newsrw: Harnessing the power of online communities

Today I did a presentation at news:rewired about harnessing the power of online communities. Here’s what I said, and the slides are here.

Lightning definition: what is a community coordinator? I’m embedded in the newsroom, I think about new ways we can engage readers around a story – this might be through comments on site, through social media or a special project designed to engage readers.

The first key point to developing communities in a way which will help your journalism – Be a game player – You can’t just watch or run the game to reach the end goal, you need to play it – sometimes with others – sharing tips and tricks & encouragement along the way – I’m NOT talking about ‘gaming’ in the sense of ‘pretending to be something which you are not’ – I’m talking about the true sense of a game – entering the spirit of teamwork to overcome obstacles and reach a mutual goal. Part of this is about connecting players to each others – which I’ll go into later.

But thinking about that end goal, what’s the motivation for readers when we ask them to get involved? I think our readers are motivated to engage with our content for two reasons – 1) because we’re the Guardian, and 2) because of the news story. Now these may be felt in differing measurements – but those who spend time leaving comments on news stories will certainly have both those of these interests as a motivating factor for getting involved. And engaging readers in a way which shows you understand their passion for the brand and the story will be the first step. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

July 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Help me crowdsource slides for my #newsrw presentation

I’m finalising the last touches to my presentation at journalism.co.uk’s news:rewired conference and when thinking about slides to illustrate my presentation, I kept coming back to the idea I that my Twitter & blog followers can probably come up with something more creative and different than I can think of (after exhausting all my creative slide-making juices on my recent Storywheel presentation for #icwsm). What’s more, the presentation is on ‘the power of the crowd’, so I wanted to experiment to see if my crowd to help illustrate various points!
To get involved:
Simply send me the link to your photo/Flickr image/slide via Twitter @hrwaldram with the hastag #SlideforHannah and I’ll pick it up.
If you haven’t taken the image let me know so I can contact the person who holds the copyright (but would be even more AWESOME if you were the author).

Some inspiration for slides:

  • Pictures which demonstrate engaged communities (I know, right – maybe some Lego men shaking hands or something…. get creative!)
  • On that note, ANYTHING LEGO related always works a treat…
  • Also, (sounds unrelated but it’s not), there’s a bit when I talk about video games & player participation – maybe Super Mario – feel free to work on this theme
  • Readers – what do they look like?
  • Likewise, community coordinators?
  • Knowledge – I need a slide to represent knowledge. No books please.
  • Instagram, the official tool for making things look better. If you send me an Instagram from your daily business, I will almost certainly make use of it somehow

So that should give you something to get on with this weekend 🙂 Just to reiterate, this isn’t me being lazy – but trying to illustrate a point, and at the same time harness the power of the crowd. Plus I’ll post the slideshow and talk here for everyone to see (and everyone who takes part will get a special mention).

UPDATE Mon 9 July: Thanks for the couple of slides sent my way! I’ve finished my presentation now. Thanks to those who took part!

Written by hrwaldram

July 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Posted in journalism, Online Journalism

Tagged with

Lost in Denmark #3: #Dona conference and visiting dr.dk

dr.dk offices in Copenhagen, Denmark

Last year I visited the Danish School of Journalism in Arhus to join a conference on hyperlocal journalism.

I was lucky enough to this year join the Danish online news association (Dona) for their regular meetup and speak alongside Kurt Westh Nielsen on ‘engaging with users for news organisations’.

Kurt has been speaking to a number of news publishers across the globe from the New York Times and meeting Rob Malda from slashdot to Le Monde to get an idea of the best practise for engaging with users.

He said speaking to Jay Rosen was inspiring, who fully believes that the user knows more than you do, and argues that journalists still need to overcome the fear that their ideas will be stolen if they work in an open way.

From speaking to many subjects, Kurt came up with a list of future competences for journalists (please be aware these are based on my notes):

  1. Engage in a dialogue with users
  2. Don’t be lazy – try out new platforms
  3. Digital journalism rewards specialist knowledge
  4. Refer each other (colleagues) to new digital platforms
  5. Communications between users – interact
  6. Share and request ideas from users

Kurt had also put together an (in progress) diagram for how different social media networks are performing against each other based on a metric system he created for measuring social success (which scored networks for things like togetherness – a presence of other users) – you can see a hazy picture of the diagram here.

He also had devised this handy checklist for journalists on good and bad uses of social media – some of this may be basic, but it’s worth remembering:

YES:

  • Write new versions for separate channels
  • Cross reference your other personal identities
  • Experiment!
  • Use social media to learn
  • Refer to other colleagues and good sources

NO:

  • Multiple channel streams
  • Not one personal identity doing it/or a general identity
  • Bombard users with content spam
  • Appeal to people’s common sense, don’t implement social media rules

Meeting dr.dk and other news organisations

While visiting Copenhagen I also met up with Marie Bering from the third biggest national newspaper in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten (JP), and Katrine N. Jensen, news editor and Lars DamgaardNielsen, social media editor, from the online outlet for the Danish version of the BBC – dr.dk. 

Interestingly in Denmark – Facebook use far outweighs Twitter – with more than half of the Danish population (5.5m) using Facebook rather than just 70,000 on Twitter – although many believe Twitter will grow to be used as a mass social network in Denmark soon too.

I won’t go into the details of my conversations with Katrine, Marie and Lars as some of the information they shared is commercially sensitive, but the general impression from the trip – after speaking to journalists from the biggest national newspaper Politiken, as well as Peter From Jacobsen from the Danish School of Journalism’s research centre Update.dk, is that some Danish media are still struggling to convince managing editors of the value of engaging with users via comments and social media. They are experimenting with different business models including the freemium idea that a certain amount of news content is free before extra niche/feature content is paid for, with Facebook commenting systems and social sign in methods to validate users on their sites.

Royal and parliament buildings in Denmark

Some projects of interest from dr.dk include their following of election candidate’s activities on Facebook (not sure we could even do this in the UK!). Dr.dk also recently launched this great interactive for browing some of the latest data from parliament on Copenhagen and the country’s budget.

Finally here’s a huge thank you to Peter From Jacobsen for organising parts of the trip, Jon Lund from Dona, and Katrine from dr.dk for chatting to me about some of the things going on in Danish media at the moment. I will follow with sincere interest!

#cmLDN March meetup: ‘What makes a community manager?’ – notes

What makes a community manager? This was the title of last Wednesday’s meetup event for the new and growing Community Manager London group.  

And a key point of discussion it is too – with many recruitment agencies and companies thinking of employing a community managers and wondering what the role will require.

Steve Ward, founder of Cloud Nine Recruitment who recently ran an award for the ‘community manager of the year 2011’ took us on a whistlestop tour of how the community manager role has evolved form 1998 to present from his perspective in media recruitment.

You can see the slides form Steve’s talk here – which give you a good idea of many of the points covered – the main one I took away from the talk was in some ways how community managers are doing the job the startup CEO used to do – in terms of meeting and knowing intimately the company’s users and target audience – holding the keys to future development and possibly business potential too.

[View this story “What Makes a Community Manager? (#cmLDN March meetup)” on Storify – helpfully curated by Elana Zak]

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

March 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Pinterest: Why the new social network is gaining so much interest

Pinterest

'Me boards'

Forget Linsanity, based on how my social media streams and blog readers have been clogged with mentions of Pinterest in the last week, I’m beginning to go a bit pinsane.

I’ve been interested Tumblr’s cooler younger sibling for a while – I signed up back when the branding wasn’t as retro and watched tentatively until US tech blogs began the murmur last Autumn. By the new year , it was all the US social media crowd could talk about and UK users were growing – then more and more mainstream media articles began to appear. I was asked to write a piece on Pinterest for the Guardian on Friday – but on researching the article I received such a wealth of response from self-confessed ‘Pin-addicts’ that I thought it would be good to publish some of these in full here – as some of the comments are incredibly insightful and, well, pinteresting.

Here’s the piece in full – and Cardiff-based photographer Pippa Bennett, who I quoted, has written this blogpost outlining in full how she got on Pinterest, her favourite things about it and the best boards to follow. Here’s an extract:

Its potential for creative professionals is definitely one of the most exciting things about it. All my other sites and networks have to be divided into personal and professional but you dont need that with Pinterest. I just have one account and it benefits my profile as a photographer without having to be aggressive in my promotional approach.

As a photographer I have created boards of my images on there. I tag them as accurately as possible and make sure my website link is on each pin. That then means that they can come up in other people’s streams and searches. It gets my photography recognised and seen without me having to shove it down anyone’s throat. Pinterest is especially perfect for me as I am a wedding photographer and wedding blogging and planning makes up a huge proportion of Pinterest usage.

I can also interact with my potential clients in a totally novel way. If they like what they see of my photos or they see other things I’ve pinned, they can go look at my other boards and see what, beyond my own photographs, I enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

February 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

#cmLDN: Community managers London January meetup and #CMAD

Thanks to all those who came to the first Community Managed LDN meetup for a Christmas social. We’re kicking off the new year with our first event proper.

It’s on Wednesday 25 January 2012 – from 7pm at Crayon, in Oxford Circus. See my last post on what the meetups are all about here – a friendly informal space to chat about building and developing online communities.

For the first event we’ve got Markham Nolan from Storyful coming to share some thoughts with us about community management in the year to come. Markham is a social media newsgatherer, sourcing and verifying news via social media using old journalism techniques alongside new tools. A core part of this is sizing up and building relationships with online sources and crowdsourced factchecking.

We’ll then have a couple of pitch sessions à la Hacks/Hackers London and some space for anyone to share a story from their community and questions/debate. If you want to take part in any of these slots please email communityLDN@gmail.com.

The very lovely people at Crayon have kindly offered up their cool space in the heart of Oxford Circus for us to meet up in so we’re looking forward to trying out this new space with this new group. Please do say hello to @nathanmiller and the @crayonlondon team to thank them for the room and the Ribena! There are more details on how to get to Crayon and a map here.

So all you need to do is head over to the meetup page here to tell us you’re coming. Once again we’ve organised this via The Community Manager – but you can also find our chat about it on Meegloo here, or follow some of the tweets here. If you add yourself to the London group we’ll keep you updated on future meet ups – where we’re likely to hear from speakers and do some more exciting things.

Also – in case you didn’t know, next Monday it’s #CMAD – community manager action day! Give you nearest communities worker a cupcake, hug, beer or any other sign of your appreciation. It’s an international event (there was an event last year in London too) so get involved via Twitter using the #CMAD hashtag.

Written by hrwaldram

January 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm