It seems that all these new advancements have made your jobs easier and, in some ways, better. But I often meet people who view each new technology or app as adding *another* task to their ever-growing to-do list. How do you respond to that?
We evaluate each app on its merits. I also sometimes think, "Oh another thing..." Or I announce to the newsroom, look at this great tool I found! And they're all, "Not another one..." Some of them are fun gimmicks that aren't necessary to our reporting. I took awhile to fall in love with Twitter, for example. It's just so noisy. But it's such a wonderful way to find out the latest, fastest news, and report the same.
I think the last of our reporters who felt that way retired last week, actually :). Most of our staff understands the importance of digital as both a reporting tool and for sharing their content with others. For those doubters, I just show them how easy it is and the web traffic numbers they get; that alone usually works.
I still don't know about Google+ or FourSquare, for example...
I agree with Jessica on that point; we pick our battles. It doesn't make sense for all of our reporters to be experts in broadcasting live video. When it does make sense, they're smart people and they generally understand that.
Zach, now that you've mentioned numbers, let's stay there for a second.
Well traffic is an obvious measure, but so is engagement. Our sports live blogs do very well because there's a devoted -- I'd say obsessed, really -- audience. So you get a small group with a lot to say, unlike a severe weather chat, which might get huge readership but would have less engagement.
We generally gauge success as a measure of how much we put in versus how much we get out.
Jessica, the Reporter-Herald ran a chat about the USA Pro Challenge that impacted the print edition of your paper. Can you tell us about that?
Certainly. The sixth stage of the USA Pro Challenge came through Loveland in August. We were getting a lot of calls about parking and road closures and other logistics, so we decided to hold a one-hour live chat three days before the event. We invited members from the Chamber of Commerce, Police Department and City of Loveland to participate and act as our "experts" in the chat.
We set it for 1 p.m. on a Wednesday and invited the community to participate. We had great interaction and many people contributing to the discussion.
Then I decided we had had such great questions asked of our experts, that we hadn't covered before in stories, so we published many of the questions and answers in a Q&A the next day in the paper.
This was a great way to generate news-telling and content through ScribbleLive in the blog, and then publish it in the paper in a succinct format for the people who hadn't visited the chat.
So by focusing some energy on newer narratives, it made traditional storytelling easier.
Zach, here's a reader question I'd love to hear your view on
I'll answer that as best I can since I'm from the news side of things. As far as I know we've had the best luck targeting reliable advertisers on sports content specifically. That's a huge thing for us, and we can plan the events in advance. So, in effect, the advertisers know exactly what they're buying. Based on casual observation, those tend to be among the larger local businesses. Does that answer your question?
Zach, I know you've got to sign off a little early (news never sleeps), but it's been a pleasure having you here today!
But we're still lucky enough to have Jessica with us for a few more minutes.
Well, this is what my vision is for those type of liveblogs: A place for the community to find the day's schedule of activities, latest news, Tweets from reporters in the field. And a place to ask questions about parking, food, prices. And a place for conversation.
It's almost like a community gathering on a community gathering-- very meta!
We're still training our community. In reality, the liveblog interaction is never what I expect. Sometimes people interact a lot and ask a lot of questions, which was the case during the Larimer County fair.
Other times, people don't ask questions, but they are hanging out on there, and watching it, like was the case during our Front Range Flood in September and the Larimer County election coverage last night.
Jessica, thank you so much for joining today's discussion! We've definitely learned a lot about an integral and rapidly-changing part of the journalism world.
Of course, thanks for inviting me to participate. This was a lot of fun!
Look forward to seeing the great work you and the Loveland Reporter-Herald continue to produce!
And thank you, readers, for following along with the discussion.
And we look forward to seeing you all next week for another edition of Scribble Chats.