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JA Resource Q&A: “Building a great community”

November 13, 2012 in Blog, Technology

Disqus is a third-party commenting platform, created in 2007 because the founders felt comment systems hadn’t evolved from the Internet’s early years. Disqus says it helps a range of customers “[f]rom small blogs to massive websites … build active communities.”

Journalism Accelerator

Having the option to comment on anything posted online seems ubiquitous and universal. But, as publishers covering local beats know well, there are many choices happening behind the scenes that affect how people experience online conversation, contribute to it and come to develop relationships as part of an online community on a given site.

Your choices could begin with something as simple as selecting options in a Word Press theme. As you grow and refine goals for the comment section of your site, you may begin to look at software that allows for more nuance and networking.

To discuss the pros and cons of commenting tools and learn more about how online conversation is evolving, we invited Disqus VP of Business Development Ro Gupta to share his insight and expertise. Disqus is the largest commenting system on the web, reaching over 700 million people per month, according to the company. This conversation is part of our series showcasing JA-curated resources designed to offer practical tips and useful insights to increase your yield and deepen your success.  Read the rest of this entry →


October 25, 2012 in Resources, Technology

With a few quick steps, you can turn your old comment system into a new way to engage your visitors. From small blogs to massive websites, Disqus is [an easy way] to build active communities. It’s free to use and works with virtually any type of website.” Source: Disqus

Disqus looks to make it very easy and rewarding for people to interact on websites using its system. Commenters can build reputation and carry their contributions from one website to the next. Using the Disqus’ built-in network effects, bloggers and publishers can expect a higher volume and higher quality of conversations by using the comment system.” Source: Crunch Base

JA Resource Q&A: The Civic Commons draws a line from online engagement to policy impact

September 19, 2012 in Blog, Community, Experiments

Civic Commons
The Civic Commons is designed as a social media environment for civil conversation and action, where the expertise of non-experts contributes to public knowledge. Moulthrop says it’s a form of journalism. “What we’re doing is bringing the public into the conversation in a way that is sophisticated, civil and productive.”

Journalism Accelerator

The Civic Commons was conceived as a “social media environment designed explicitly for public good.” Physically based in Ohio, it is an online home for conversation that intersects with news that affects people’s lives. Recent discussions have tackled parental support for public education, gas and oil development, including fracking, civility in public discourse, and drawing new boundaries in a county with 59 municipalities!

The Civic Commons partners with local media organizations to go deeper on stories and tap into a wealth of community knowledge. The JA is also partnering with The Civic Commons, Poynter and Kent State University to put on a series of discussions that will lead to a new ethics guide to best practices in political coverage. We chose The Civic Commons for our series of chats about resources listed on the JA to learn more about how civic conversation can contribute to journalism and deepen reporting on the issues that matter to local communities. Read the rest of this entry →

Tamarack: An Institute for Community Engagement

July 13, 2012 in Community, Policy, Resources is a learning community of members, from diverse sectors, who share a common interest in collaborative leadership, community engagement and change. It is made up of individuals who are united in our desire to change the world: one community at time…

Together, as we advance this field, we are building a body of practice that will strengthen our individual skills while making the work of communities collaborating easier and more effective for the entire field. As practitioners, our experience has taught us that, in this work, the journey is as important as the destination. And, we believe that “The future will belong to the integrators, the networkers and the collaborators. Chance favours the connected mind.”

…Conversation is at the heart of a strong community. As community facilitators, we have created this space to host an ongoing dialogue about community engagement, collaborative leadership and change. Through the articles, audio seminars and podcasts, and learning events you will find the latest resources in this field but, this is only the beginning. We hope that you, too, will engage, learn, find, and connect with us and others in this online space. By creating and building your profile in Connect, and contributing to the conversations found on this online space, you are helping to build a dynamic learning community. The success of this space requires your energy, creativity, so that, together, we can cultivate a mutually-supportive community of practice.

In addition to the Communities Collaborating facilitators, this site will introduce you to thought-leaders who contribute and are referenced regularly within this online space. Their blogs, comments, profiles, and seminars are meant to further stimulate your learning. Your ideas and contributions to this space are just as important, and are essential to generating the rich diversity of perspectives needed to distill experiences into wisdom.” Source: Tamarack

The JA and Collab/Space 2012 test a new way of extending the conversation

April 10, 2012 in Blog, Community, Experiments, Technology

Journalism Accelerator

When you invest time in a professional conference, the experience of connecting with others can be deeply energizing, leaving you inspired by ideas you hope to explore and people you intend to follow up with. But back in the daily grind we face familiar demands, accountabilities and our regular routine. The great energy and good intentions often dissipate into the ether. How to keep the momentum from fading? Anti-ether – aka the continued conversation that the JA, MediaShift’s Collaboration Central and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism are testing. We’ll expand the conversation that starts this week in a room in California to a JA online forum for deeper exploration over the next couple of weeks. Read the rest of this entry →

Rebooting Media: The Digital Publishing Revolution for a Fully Social Web

February 24, 2012 in Distribution, Resources, Technology

Rebooting Media: The Digital Publishing Revolution for a Fully Social Web brings together eight of the most thoughtful influencers and offers their most cogent assessment of the new online relationship-building that is helping to connect people in absolutely unprecedented ways.
Together, these eight contributors reinforce three dominant themes:

Building a media brand on the new social Web means that publishers have to meet consumers where, when and how they want. It’s all about user-driven pull, and publishers need to offer experiences and establish relationships that may not be on their own terms.

Facebook is a transformative platform driving new personalization and connectivity across the upstart social Web. We are still waiting to see all of what Facebook ultimately becomes, but we know it represents a once-in-a-generation paradigm shift.

Any way you look at it, search (as we know it) is declining. The open sharing of social networks, and the power of social endorsement, are seriously altering what consumers look for on the Web, and how we’re engaging with content. The search algorithm has lost out – big time – to the will of the audience.” Source: Rebooting Media


January 27, 2012 in Community, Craft, Education, Resources

#wjchat is a chat for web journalists on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. PDT. We talk about all things content, technology, ethics, & business of journalism on the web.” Source: @wjchat


What it is: Web Journalism Chat is a weekly chat around topics facing the online journalism world. Topics range from digital news design, to community engagement, to radical newsroom culture reinvention. Each week is a different topic and there’s always lots to learn.

How to get involved: Wednesdays at 5pm PST (8pm EST), get on Twitter and search for the hashtag #wjchat. Respond to the questions, submit your own questions, and walk away from the two hours knowing something new. If you think you’d be a good host for the chat, get in touch with Robert Hernandez.

Why you should do it: It’s a free way to tap into the collective minds of…bright web journalists on Twitter. It’s not often that there are so many people in the industry on Twitter at the same time watching the same hashtag…” Source: 10,000 Words


Google Moderator

December 28, 2011 in Distribution, Experiments, Resources, Technology

Google Moderator makes it easy to gather and prioritize questions or opinions on any topic from a group of people.

  • Users vote for the questions they care about
  • Collect questions in one place
  • Suitable for any event or gathering

Pricing details – Free for organizations using Google Apps “Add it now” will add this service into your control panel where you can continue the setup process.

Description – Keeping group discussions or Q&A sessions focused on important topics can be difficult. Google Moderator will help keep things on track by allowing users to both suggest questions and vote on others’ questions.

Everyone has a chance to propose questions and the questions are collected in one place. Users can individually vote up or down on the questions they feel strongly about. Questions can then be addressed in popularity order, providing the best chance to answer the questions that the audience cares the most about.

It is flexible enough to be suitable for anything from a lecture to a team meeting or as a research tool to gather popularity-ranked feedback. Google is using Moderator to organize Google Apps feature requests at” Source: Google Apps Marketplace


Using the Google Moderator: Google Moderator lets some people submit questions and lets other people rank the value of each question for an answer. Schools could use this approach to encourage students to submit questions and let their peers rank the question so the teacher could address the most popular questions first…

Once the service is installed, the moderator will create a series of questions, such as “Final Exam” or “Tuesday Lecture,” or whatever topic the moderator wants to collect questions for. The moderator can also allow anonymous questions to encourage more activity…or to link questions to the person submitting the question. Participants will then submit questions and vote on questions for popularity’s sake.

As more and more questions are fed into the Google Moderator, they’ll queue up for participants to review. New questions (questions that you’ve not seen before or voted on) will appear with a blue background. This helps new questions get some attention from participants and to show that new ideas are being submitted for review. Participants can also flag questions that aren’t appropriate for the conversation—though the question will remain until the moderator reviews and removes the flagged item.

Google Moderator can also be added to a page on a website. This allows participants some time to think of questions, add more questions via the Web, and vote on existing questions. Schools may also be interested in integrating Google Moderator with Presentations. This simplified view of Google Moderator is useful for live presentations as it’s a condensed version of the questions and it highlights the popular questions that have been submitted.” Source: InformIT