Ken Hawkins: Community Via Content Curation

  • First, must say: this is a LOCAL environment.  Makes it different
  • Ken made infographics in the past.
  • A great example: the infographic about the 2008 election.  They had to make a link to it instead of putting it in the story, but you could have done that one a blog. That was a major frustration for him

Term: curating community – curating = concept of recommendations & structure around content.  Community = helping ppl make connections in community & growing site interactions

Problem: Newspapers in 1850 had ALL EVERYTHING local.  2002: so so so much information! Not all was in the paper, but it was still less accessible.  2005: the stuff out there blows away all the info containing that the paper could ever do.  Part of the problem is HTML…it’s supposed to connect via hypertext, but it’s not done (stay on our site! don’t read others is the attitude)

Solution? We have to curate connections to make the community.  Everything from finding content to connecting people, etc.

How? Collaboration, comunication, openness.
Collaboration: revisions, communication, drupal (CMS really helps with this)
Communication LINK!
Openness – don’t have proprietary content as your mission. Give credit, open things (Flickr pools, twitter, Open Community – FB is much more closed here).  Doing events telling people how to empower selves by contributing to the community

Ex: Tea Party rally post on Digitel; helps you understand which coverage in other media did what.  Who was facty?  Who had best video? etc.

How to find stories? Local paper, flyers, Twitter, etc. etc. #hashtags to crowdsource

CHS has a better organized community for hashtags.  8-10 ppl helped organized those & posted a list.
[me: Seriously, I need to use #chsbiz on my day job]

FB can be sorta like a press release collection system. They use a flickr account, vimeo, youtube & ppl can add stuff there.

A Topic Page: they are great if you aren’t familiar with the topic.  He’s not figured out how to promote it to community. It’s a bit of wiki & has topical info to help find all info on that topic.  Ex: unemployment

Q’s:
Has P&C ever changed it’s tune on social media stuff? Um, not really. They see no benefit in what he does (We are King!, yet some relationships with ppl at the paper are getting better.).  City Paper have really come to understand more what they’re trying to accomplish (hey! inbound links! Help taking on the P&C!).  CRBJ totally gets it.

How to get people to help? Well, some ppl just want to do it, some to self promote, some just cause.  Some are grassroots relationships built via comments or via twitter.
The Digitel has 2 accts on Twitter, 1 for usual tweeting and another RSS account, just a feed of the headlines & some google newsfeeds rehashed.)

How do you value this sort of site & service?
Well, online ads & those topic pages.  Say, you wanted instant notice of stuff happening, that’s valuable.  Real time traffic info has value. (Wouldn’t you pay a $1/day not to get stuck in traffic ever?).  People want to get him to build them a site. – so a full production media company)

What about the pay to play society we have locally? (To get an article, you have to buy an ad)  The Digitel sez, nope, buying an ad doesn’t guarantee better coverage, but we will know who you are & what you’re up to more than otherwise.

They’re still looking at expanding.  You can guess the southern city they’re looking at. (If I said it’s not ATL, it’s the other guess you’d have).  The functionality would be familier, but the bg might be a bit custom for each place.

Discussion of how to properly target online ads…yarn ad on a knitting site is more valuable.  Local ad on a local site also has value, too.  (Ken points out that you’re likely to look at an ad in a weekly because it mirrors the content much better.)  Vera comments that Ravelry.com does this REALLY well and FB doesn’t “(you know my age and you think I’m fat?!” = scary)

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