Good morning everyone,
In the building:
REDDIT CHAT TODAY at 3PM! Today Serri Graslie organized a Reddit AMA with NPR Librarian Janel Kinlaw and Trevor Munoz on digital preservation of stuff (i.e. how do you store a VHS tape for long term? How are librarians going to save tweets and Snapchats and Facebook messages? What’s the best way to keep your digital stuff safe for decades.) The link isn’t up yet but I will pass it along when it is up.
TWITTER CHAT TODAY at 12PM! nprcodeswitch intern Jairo Ramos writes “To kick off our coverage of poetry month, we’ve invited poet Kima Jones to curate a crowd-sourced poem on the subject of race and identity. We’re inviting audience and poets to join us today at 12 p.m. EST on Twitter, and tweet out the lines they’d like to see added to the poem with the hashtag #CSPoetry. We’ll share the final product by retweeting the selected lines on our timeline.”
TWITTER CHAT MONDAY at 4PM! On Monday, Kiana Fitzgerald will be hosting a live First Listen on Twitter with Kelis, who will answer questions using the hashtag #AskKelisNPR. Follow @NPRandB and @iamKelis to join in the conversation.
PRAISE FOR TELL ME MORE! Twitter has praised Tell Me More and Davar Ardalan for engaging audiences with social storytelling.
Kat Chow sends along two bits of wonderful information: “ 1) How I’m experimenting with Google docs as a crowd sourcing tool; and 2) Neat things I learned when I attended Boston University’s Narrative Journalism conference.
1. How I got strangers to help me brainstorm 300+ books by/about people of color in less than three hours.
Yesterday I asked people to suggest books by and about people of color in a single Google doc. The hope is that the Google doc will then live on and serve as a public resource for folks looking for books that touch on themes of race, ethnicity and culture.
Why I did it: So often I turn to Twitter to ask folks for good book/poetry/movie recommendations, but the suggestions eventually fall away into Twitter’s abyss, and it’s hard to find the info again if I’m not diligent about compiling and organizing them in a timely fashion. This time around, I wanted folks to suggest books by or about people of color. I went with a Google doc instead of a Google form because I wanted folks to gather in a single space so we could all watch the suggestions unfolding together. This helped build camaraderie (and community!) and to avoid repeat suggestions.
How I did it: I created a Google doc, changed the settings so that anybody could edit it, tweeted it out from @katchow and voila.
Within three minutes of tweeting the link, 49 people were in the Google doc, suggesting titles and authors under categories I had established (fiction, non-fiction, memoir, humor, et cetera). Folks were able to see what others had/hadn’t suggested. To make it more conversational, I encouraged people to sign their suggestions with their Twitter handles, and told them they could log in using their Google accounts if they wanted to chat real-time with me.
It was pretty amazing to watch it all unfold.
The Google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DY6ZpEUO14ytlEW5ETNZlQRp46_ktOUCuNe1moilb48/edit?usp=sharing
Original tweet: https://twitter.com/katchow/status/453260612563648512
2. I spoke at Boston University’s Narrative Journalism conference (#narrativeBU) about how social media can be long form. I walked folks through how we made @TodayIn1963 and why projects like #NPRWIT and #xculturelove are such a success (through strong voices, dedicated and routine interaction and strong themes).
The takeaways from my presentation: Identify what awesome, compelling story you want to tell and decide how you want to tell it — not every medium will fit every story.
And some tips:
- Twitter is a medium
- Social media projects require a lot of project management
- Look for cross-platform opportunities
- Know your audience (really)
- And get your audience to join in on the storytelling process
Slides from my talk are here.
Other projects I saw:
Jennifer Brandel, wbez, about her project CuriousCity.
Really, really neat stuff: Brandel’s Curious City encourages the audience to get involved every step of the way.
For a look back on an old, historic amusement park, Brandel had audience members call in and leave a recorded message sharing memories they had about the park. They then combined the audio from some of the listeners with old photos of the park.
I love this: Curious City crowd sources what they should investigate next. Using a 140-character template on WBEZ’s site, they ask folks to share and vote for the questions they should ask. Some questions: “Why are Latinos concentrated in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods? When did it happen?” and “What exactly is ‘mild sauce’ and why does it seem to exist on Chicago’s South and West sides only?” The page has different tabs for “up for voting” and “answered & investigating” and “new & unanswered.”
Brandel uses low-lift tools like Zeega.
Ta-Nehesi Coates (@theatlantic) interviewed David Carr (NYT). They talked about how storytelling and tech evolve together.
"People consume narratives on their phones. It’s hard to finish something on a computer or a tablet because they do too many things." — David Carr, on how computer/tablet functionality makes it harder for us to focus.
Carr says Medium is a typewriter for the internet and loves its frictionless, intuitive interface. He says the modern age has an absence of friction when you want to go do a story — easy to self-publish content. He gave shout-outs to McSweeneys and Lucky Peach, two outlets that give an “artisanal” approach to building their medium.
"What drives all good stories [is that] ‘no shit’ factor." — David Carr
Ta-Nehesi Coates: What’s the secret sauce that makes ‘This American Life’ so great?
David Carr: I see them as killing their way to excellence.
Jacqui Banaszynski, Mizzou/Poynter, about storytelling
Wonder-riff — let your thoughts trail off and always ask more and more and more questions.
For her Pulitzer-prize winning series, “AIDS in the Heartland,” Banaszynski asked her subjects to let her watch them die. (To not do so would be unethical, she says.)
Solo session: Amy O’Leary, nytimes, about how journalists can keep readers’ attention in a competitive landscape
"We talk a lot about what readers want and we hardly ever ask them."
O’Leary says our reporting process has evolved. Before, it used to be simple: Idea > Report > Create.
But now it’s more complex: Idea > Report > Create > Package > Promote > Listen > Respond.
Ideas have to be compelling to get attention, she says, and our reporting has to be attuned to our readers’ attention spans. Asking questions while reporting like, “What makes you smile or think? What can you find that no one else has?” help in that process. And story creation should consider people’s wandering minds — “attention management.” The package is important, too; consider the headline, photo and teaser. Whenpromoting, think of why folks should share your story. And listen because stories don’t exist in a vacuum — and respond because we live on a two-way street with our audience.
(More from Amy’s presentation here.)
—Kat / @katchow
Intern Ty Von Plinsky shares this link: People don’t like or want ads on Twitter, but they don’t know realize that Twitter’s ads are ads!
And Journalists on Vine (via the community manager for Vine in the social journalism group on Facebook)
Lance Ulanoff https://vine.co/LanceUlanoff
Jeff Elder https://vine.co/u/906297537944756224
Al Roker https://vine.co/u/908573760016232448
Tim Bradshaw https://vine.co/u/906268633364316160
Elizabeth Holmes https://vine.co/u/907088171131613184
Nick Bilton http://vine.co/u/906268969080590336
USA Today https://vine.co/usatoday
NowThis Politics http://vine.co/nowthispolitics
The Times of London https://vine.co/u/925764848690794496