News Leadership 3.0

September 02, 2009

A guide to the emerging role of community management

Journalists need new tools and practices to be an effective part of new online communities. Serra Media’s “Mobilize Your Audience” offers valuable tips for organizations that want to collaborate with users.

News organizations often struggle with the idea of online community. News sites seem to be magnets for loud, angry comments. Traditional organizations build hyper local shells, but the user generated content usually fails to show up. The problem is that news organizations are thinking first and foremost about themselves, while more successful sites put community first.
Now comes a neat eight-page report from Serra Media on how to create and cultivate community online. “Mobilize your audience. Build a collaborative online community with user-generated content.”
The report notes that the role of community manager is a different one for a journalist and it requires significant effort to engage people online.
“You have to work in the pre-launch phase and throughout the growth of the site to create interest in your hyperlocal community and encourage people to participate. You also have to work hard to embed yourself in the community. Ultimately, you’ll see amazing results.
Here’s a sampling:

Tips for community managers
* Community managers need to be integrated in the community and know it well.
* They should moderate the site, but it’s best if they aren’t too involved in the
discussion. Let the audience decide what it values most and choose its own
leaders.
* They do need to decide, however, how much editorial control to impose. Too
much will likely inhibit participation; too little might make users concerned about
the possibility of inappropriate content on the site.

The report offers step by step instructions for pre-launch work and for the launch of the site.

Comments

nice tips for community managers. thanks for share… i like this and please update this article..
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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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