News is anything that will make people talk. The conversation has been happening for years around the water cooler and over coffee. The internet made the conversation global, and now newspapers and journalists are helping themselves by being a part of the conversation.
Newspaper websites are increasingly making ways for their users to get involved. Chapter 10 lists these ways:
- comments on news stories and blog posts
- contributing photos
- contributing videos
- adding event listings
- editing wiki style sites
- message board posts
- blog posts
- votes and recommendations
- promotion on other social media sites
Take a look at RiotACT. This is a local newspage built upon the conversation of a city. Posts are made not only by website editors but by the community at large. People want to upload their photos of the latest flooding, and help out other users who query which builder they should use in a renovation project.
By allowing and encouraging user interaction newspapers can build an online community. Newspapers can be the office which has all those great people around the watercooler to chat with, or the coffee house with all your best friends.
What is clear is that the journalist must also be a part of this community not separate from it. They can increase their list of sources, and cover what people are talking about.