Participation counts.

If you’re in the online news business, you’re in the participation business.

If you’re a journalist, starting conversations is your job.

So what are you doing standing on the sidelines?

That’s the bare minimum.  What are you waiting for?

Participation counts.

10 thoughts on “Participation counts.”

  1. Ryan,

    You’re right. We all now have at our fingertips mostly free tools that a global news organization would have struggled to muster just a few short years ago. The implications for journalist and technician are profound.

    I always thought it rather charming that when I introduced web access into the newsroom, there was an expectation for training in how to use a browser. I was not too popular for suggesting that a curious person would already have a PC at home and have figured that out for themselves. I would not be surprised to find similar expectations in larger news organizations toward the current crop of tools.

    Thanks to this site, and in the spirit of what you’re saying here, I made a rudimentary video the other day for my blog to report on a concert of 16th century music. Very local! It was a simple montage using Soundslides. A “professional” might cringe, but it was fun, and an important dry run for something more significant I have up my sleeve for the New Year.



  2. Agreed on Yoni’s point about curiosity… the folks who are naturally curious have already started to find their niche online.

    Bringing in a trainer or holding formal sessions for this stuff defies the logic of the services Ryan just laid out – they’re easy to use, they require little investment to get going (time or money) and they give immediate gratification.

    With the possible exception of shooting/editing video, “train me” can be taken as “not right now, thanks.” I didn’t know a lick of HTML, javascript, PHP or Flash when I started my job, and I never received formal training.

    If you can use a Microsoft application or Quark xPress, you can start a facebook account. If you can deal with a byzantine editorial front end system, you can use wordpress.


  3. Well put, Ryan.

    There’s great conversations out there and it’s most rewarding when we see those conversations turn into actions at papers.

    Simply put, if you’re not engaging people, what are you doing, exactly? You need to be a participant to fully understand the value of the Web and to understand your audience.


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