Dan Gilmorr’s advice extends to magazines, trade associations

Dan Gilmorr’s advice extends to magazines, trade associations: Dan Gilmorr has some great advice today that he recently shared with newspaper editorial page editors on how blogging and other forms of citizens journalism (or, as I call it, “conversational media”) should be utilized by newspapers. Just change the words “editoral page” and “paper” into “magazine” or “trade association” and the same advice applies:

Editorial page weblogs. Discuss upcoming topics among the staff and welcome reader comments.

Offer user-moderated posting and comment systems. Moderation by the newspapers — that is, removing obscene or illegal postings or trolls — will be necessary.

Use comments and community postings as letters to the editor. Better, publish greatest-hits threads of the best conversations, not isolated letters referring back to stories and editorials that no one remembers clearly. Provide context.

Publish the best reader-written essays in the paper. Let readers decide which are best. (Sometimes you will disagree with the readers and have a good reason for not publishing a certain piece; explain why you made that decision.)

Over time, think audio and video for commentaries.

  • Mark

    What happens when the readers are better writers/photographers/videographers than the “house” staff? Do they start their own blogs or get hired?

    I’m not being facetious, although one might could take it that way.

  • rex

    Blogs (and podcasting and videoblogging) will become the proving ground for writers, photographer, videographers. If someone is better than the “pros” they will replace the pros. “Media companies” may seem it, but they aren’t total dumbasses. If a “non-pro” or “semi-pro” develops a unique voice and displayes the ability to consistently engage readers/listeners/viewers, they will soon have a media company calling.

  • Hudge

    human nature being what it is, some of the media companies will seek to neutralize or block the better folks. either by actively blocking them from the site or, as rexblog notes, by hiring or buying them.
    My hometown, Gannett-owned thrice weekly is a rag of rare renown but the only advertising game in town. A local businessman desperately wants to start a new paper, but he may be better off putting his capital into starting a competing news web site or heck, even a blog. He could test the waters, vent his spleen, build a following, and then see if it’s worth adding a print component. Instead of doing it the other way round.