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#wef11 – Panellists share advice on how to build communities

There were lots of nuggets of advice to take away from the community building session at the World Editors Forum in Vienna yesterday, from specific tips offered by panellists to inspirations to be taken from the projects they are involved in.

Some of the tips from three members of the panel have been collected below:

Jim Brady, editor-in-chief of the Journal Register Company

There is a difference between “shallow engagement” and “deep engagement”. He says shallow engagement examples are comments on articles which are not responded to, “you’re not really engaging just giving a platform for them to talk to each other”, user photo contests or sharing tools, which “allow the community to recirculate your journalism, but there’s no direct engagement”.

Deep engagement is about spending real physical time with the community, he said, such as through open newsrooms, hosting of events or curating work of community members. “This gives you feet on the ground”, he said.

But you have to give up some control if you want to work with the community, he warned, and you need them to view you as a partner, and then they will come to site more regularly, link to you more, tell their friends about you and “root for your success”.

Anette Novak, editor-in-chief, Norran

“It is about actions, not just words”, she said. Novak gave several examples of how Norran has been productive in responding to the views of the audience, such as starting a campaign about train service. A resulting poll showed 90 per cent of readers “were really happy about it”, she said. “They really felt we were on their side”.

Much like Brady, she also encouraged opening up the newsroom. Norran runs a project called eEditor, an online chatroom people can use from 6am until the newsroom closes to discuss the news list which is put out to the community to enable them to “co-create with journalists”.

Mark Johnson, community editor, the Economist

Johnson told the conference to think beyond the article, offering the example of month-long festivals the Economist ran which were based on themes of special reports.

He also urged the audience not to feel like they need to change who they are or what they do to fit in to the community, or feel the need to dumb down. “Work out what is special and unique and then decide how you can translate that wherever you want to build community,” he advised.

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#wef11 audio: Jim Brady of Journal Register Company talks open newsrooms

October 13th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Local media, Newspapers

During the building communities session at the World Editors Forum in Vienna today, editor-in-chief of the Journal Register Company Jim Brady discussed a number of ways in which you can build communities and importantly, greater engagement with your audience.

One of the ways is through opening up the newsroom, referring to the Register Citizen in Torrington, which opened up a newsroom cafe open to the public at the end of last year.

Members of the community are welcome to get involved either virtually, such as by attending news meetings via Skype or physcially by coming into the newsroom to talk to reporters over a coffee.

I spoke to Jim at the end of the session to find out more about the project, and how it has developed in its first year.

Jim Brady, Journal Register Company by journalismnews

Another member of the panel, Anette Novak, editor-in-chief of Norran in Sweden, also discussed a similar project they run online, called eEditor, which you can find more on here. There will be more tips on building communities from the World Editors Forum session on Journalism.co.uk tomorrow.

The topic of enhancing community engagement was also discussed at Journalism.co.uk’s own event news:rewired, which took place in London last week. You can see a liveblog of that session here, and a copy of the presentations from those speakers is available at this link.

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Manager of Washington startup TBD.com leaves amid ‘stylistic differences’

November 8th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Hyperlocal, Jobs, Local media

At the end of last week it was revealed that the general manager of Washington startup news site TBD.com, Jim Brady, had resigned.

In an internal memo (published by FishbowlDC), TBD publisher Robert Allbritton says Brady decided to move on following “stylistic differences”.

In his positions at AOL, Washingtonpost.com, and now at TBD, Jim has proven himself to be a true visionary and a champion of innovation in the world of online journalism.  The results of his expertise are self-evident: our site is being studied and praised throughout the community of people studying the future of media.

As we talked about the next phase of our growth, it seemed clear to Jim and I both that we had some stylistic differences. So with mutual respect—and in my case a lot of appreciation for the work he has done across the company for the past year—we decided to shake hands and go in different directions.

Hatip: Lost Remote

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paidContent.org: Nice try Newport, but charging system won’t work, says Brady

June 24th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

While commending its decision to ‘try something new’, former WashingtonPost.com executive editor Jim Brady says plans by the Newport (R.I.) Daily News to charge more for online-only subscriptions is fundamentally flawed.

The paper will charge $145 for an annual print subscription; $245 for print and web access; and $345 a year for online-only.

“[T]his model reeks of desperation. It’s as if, having used all of its bullets in the battle to preserve print revenue, Newport has now decided to throw its gun at the problem.

“The issue with Newport’s model is fundamental. It posits that, in the battle for the mindshare of future readers, print actually has a chance of winning out. I do not believe it does,” he writes.

Full post at this link…

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CNET: Washingtonpost.com wants identities of readers who post comments

Speaking on a panel at the Digital Hollywood conference, Jim Brady, executive editor of The Washington Post’s online division, said he would like to see a technology that could identify people who violate site standards, and if need be, automatically kick them off for good.

He added that there was no guaranteed anonymity for those who post comments to Washingtonpost.com.

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Editor and Publisher: WPNI head quits, Post takes greater control over web elements

Caroline Little, the CEO of WashingtonPost Newsweek Interactive, has resigned from her post, the newspaper’s publisher has confirmed.

Rumours about here departure bound round the internet last week, till Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth confirmed the move in a memo to staff.

The memo praised Little’s 11 years at the company, but also suggested that the Post newspaper and web teams would move closer together as senior figures in the web team would now report directly to Weymouth.

“I am taking this opportunity to move washingtonpost.com and The Washington Post closer to a true Washington Post Media organisation – rather than a newspaper company and an Internet company,’ the publisher wrote in the memo.

‘To that end, Jim Brady, executive editor of washingtonpost.com and Rob Curley, vice president of products, will report to me.

‘Goli Sheikholeslami, vice president of classifieds and local products, will report to Steve Hills, president and general manager of Washington Post Media.’

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Washington Post Facebook app attracts 350,000 downloads

March 26th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Multimedia, Online Journalism

Jim Brady, executive editor of Washingtonpost.com, discusses widgets, podcasts, vodcasts and live streaming in the interview with Beet.tv below.

Brady says the Post’s political application on Facebook, which has been downloaded around 350,000 times, was a simple and relatively inexpensive way of promoting the WaPo brand.

However, he says that when experimenting with any new distribution methods – whether widgets, audio or video – it’s crucial to get the editorial content right first, regardless of what technology is in place.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpWWrFA7Nfw]

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Washington Post site attracts record traffic figures

February 6th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism, Traffic

According to an internal note posted on Fishbowl DC, Washingtonpost.com broke its personal best for web traffic last month.

Political stories were particularly popular, writes Jim Brady, executive editor of the site, with traffic to politics articles almost doubling and a 60 per cent increase in unique users to this section.

Brady reports an increase in traffic across all sections – something he puts down in part to a big news month and a new design for the site’s story pages.

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Popular in the US, but where are the UK widgets?

October 1st, 2007 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism

While US newspaper websites appear to be going ‘widget’-crazy, there’s a distinct lack of the things this side of the pond.

The way the US sites are using these gadgets shows the breadth of news subjects they can be applied to:

These type of applications can sit on your desktop or feature on sites like Facebook, which now encourages outside software developers to design applications for its users. Answering this call, the Washington Post has developed political quiz application, The Compass, for use on the social networking site.

According to the AP article:

Jim Brady, the executive editor of WashingtonPost.com, says widgets can boost a newspaper’s brand online, refer new readers back to the site and perhaps generate revenues through sponsorship deals.

Sounds like a plan.

Yet on a quick perusal, there don’t seem to be any on the UK’s newspaper sites. Why not?

Has anyone spotted any, anywhere?

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