Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Necessity could prove the mother of a better fit with your community

Recently I spoke with an editor who bemoaned the fact he didn't have the staff to perform the simple act of adding a couple of news pages to his monthly magazine - and the lack of resource he had for the website that represents his brand online, too.
I had a simple solution: Hand control to the community - via the gift of submitted User Generated Content (UGC).
Allow that same community to vote for the UGC stories they like most (I don't usually advocate the digg-style lowest-common-denominator approach, but this is to create a result for 'mass media' publication) .
UGC beats rehashing centre-out press releases any day, for me.
Allow the stories to sizzle gently online for a couple of weeks (during which, in a wiki, wisdom of crowds-style errors are corrected, and assertions challenged)
Take those which score highest (those the community has filtered as best fit with what they want to read about) then run the usual 'professional' journalistic pre-publication accuracy and legal checks.
And finally reward, with publication in the magazine (and more... who knows, a job in the end for regular stars?)
Next use magazine to inspire next round of 'Your News'... and allow the cycle to repeat.
Watch like a hawk to learn what it is your community is telling you about their brand. Respond with improvements to magazine and site.
Celebrate, with the people who made it happen.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?