How to microblog in high heels

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

Posts Tagged ‘denmark

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!

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Lessons from Denmark: #2 – Hyperlocal sites can be profitable

The conference room in the Danish School of Journalism, Aarhus

The Danish hyperlocal scene is sprouting new sites throughout the country – with roughly 100 sites creating firm roots as hyperlocal contenders to regional newspaper giants.

When we talk about hyperlocal here, it’s worth pointing out after speaking to a number of Danes on the subject it’s clear they mean local news or community run news blogs and websites – as opposed to hyperlocal blogs in the broader sense of a website covering any topic (horses/tractors) for a geographical community (see Philip John’s excellent post exploring the definition of hyperlocal).

The annual conference run by research institute Update has been exploring issues around hyperlocal news blogs for a while.

Yesterday the conference took place in the second largest city in Denmark, Aarhus – home to one of the three main journalism schools in the country – the Danish School of Journalism.

Around 40 regional journalists gathered to discuss new developments on the local scene – you can catch up with the rest of the programme using Google translate here.

Much of the conference was in Danish – with questions and debate around my presentations in English for my benefit.

But it was still it was possible for me to digest a little from some of the other speakers at the event – so here’s a short fix of the morning presentations from three hyperlocal publishers in Denmark – if anyone (Peter, Kasper I’m thinking of you) reads this and thinks I got the wrong end of the stick please comment and I’ll update the post. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

February 11, 2011 at 8:45 am

Lessons from Denmark: #1 The hyperlocal scene – We’re not so different

The cathedral in Aarhus

It seems timely that the week Martin Moore publishes this post on the difference between the US experimentation and the UK conservatism on the hyperlocal scene, I learn the UK comparison to Danish counterparts is far less terrifying – turns out we’re much the same.

This week I went to Aarhus in Denmark on invitation by Peter From Jacobsen from Update – the research institute attached to the Danish School of Journalism. The institute holds an annual conference which has been running for six years and more recently has been exploring new developments in hyperlocal journalism.

I spent day one exploring the journalism school and speaking to Peter about some of the findings from his research in regional journalism in Denmark – and the picture is similar, as far as I can gather, to the UK.

This is all based on a very glossed-over view of what’s taking place – but the general themes of uncertainty in regional newsrooms over how to respond to hyperlocal is much the same. Local papers want to enter and participate in the hyperlocal sphere but are unsure of the best route to do so without losing time and money – or the best way to engage or compete with existing sites.  The feeling of local media not wanting to offend hyperlocals and vice versa is purely British.

Danish School of Journalism. Photo: Hannah Waldram

But Danish titles are grabbing the bull by the horns and getting stuck in with hyperlocal – and some interesting projects have emerged from unique partnerships between independent publishers and overarching regional arms.

One of the most interesting from my point of view is a project Jacobsen is involved with recruiting local people as citizen reporters for very small geographical areas who will work from an embedded paid ‘professional’ reporter from regional paper which serves a bigger area. The project is in collaboration with regional newspapers.

This reporter works with eight or nine community reporters – holding bi-monthly news meetings and they then upload stories to the site.

Peter and the journalist build up a formal network of citizens who have an interest or passion driving them to learn how to report local news. Peter gives them a manual with a short ‘how to’ of local journalism online and nurtures their abilities and use of the technology over email.

Soon the stories start flowing in, with those with a regional appeal going on the the paper. Peter said the ‘citizen reporters’ tend to be 35-year-old women who are very active in the community – and all is done voluntarily with no payment.

The reporters do get awards for the best stories, and a subsidised fee for the local newspaper. When asked about the potentially problematic idea of getting local people to do journalism which could be for the paper for free – Peter told me this really isn’t an issue in Denmark – it seems only the British are the ones really worrying about the implications of community contributors submitting content out of a compassion for their community.

As for the Danish School of Journalism itself, UK lecturers would be interested to know it essentially does the same thing – but in a far cooler building, which is light, well designed and full of pot plants. The online module is still a separate part of the course and lecturers are trying to work out how to integrate it into the core skills teaching.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a blog looking at some specific examples of hyperlocal blogs from the conference.

Written by hrwaldram

February 10, 2011 at 8:45 am