Discuss a shared challenge, brainstorm ideas for a project, or learn more about a case study at Gather's lightning chats. You can also subscribe to a lightning chat calendar on Google calendar or on iCal.
As we get ready to announce October’s lightning chats, here’s a link to one from July that you might have missed:
Engaged journalists on the front lines: Moderating comments can feel like a pointless war zone, but it’s time to take a more proactive approach. In a workshop-style lightning chat, we brainstormed ways to use comments to tell a better story about journalism. We focused on responding to complaints about paywalls and perceptions of bias. Watch the video and read the highlights on Gather.
Jobs, Fellowships, and Funding
Check out our full list of jobs, fellowships, and funding opportunities on Gather, and let us know what we're missing. Here's what's new this week:
- Engagement Editor, Vox Media (Curbed): "Vox Media employees thrive on innovation and change while ambitiously seeking to master their subject areas, hone their craft, and improve their communities. We help smart, talented, creative professionals make a meaningful impact in media, technology and the world around them. The Vox Media house of networks includes industry-leading media forces like SB Nation, Eater, The Verge, Vox, Curbed, Recode, and Polygon, and reaches an audience of hundreds of millions, generating over a billion content views each month. Curbed is looking for a motivated engagement editor to help us deepen our relationships with our audience(s) through vivid storytelling—continuing to establish Curbed as a multiplatform juggernaut for all intelligent home-related content.
Drawing from your experience in social media, writing, partnerships, and analytics, you’ll manage a small engagement team to program content across platforms, and you’ll report to Curbed’s executive editor to implement top-level brand strategy for audience development. The engagement editor works to shape content across Curbed’s 40+ social accounts and syndicated platforms, optimizing content for our many different audiences: think Instagram Stories, cleverly deployed GIFs, Twitter threads, partnerships targeted at growing our regular columns, discussions in our active Facebook groups, and more. Your team will drive multi-platform engagement including reader conversations, traffic from external platforms, and brand awareness through strategic partnerships. But that alone won’t lead to the success we expect: We strive to turn all of our writers into engagement experts so that everything we create is highly engaging, no matter where it’s published. That means Curbed writers should do everything from creating social-friendly content to optimizing their stories for readers who find us through search—all under your wise counsel." Learn more.
Engagement highlights from ONA
Not everyone could be in Austin earlier this month for the Online News Association conference. And even folks who were there couldn’t make it to all sessions. There was so much engagement knowledge dropped. However can we keep up?
Gather is here to help, thanks to some crowdsourcing on Slack. (If you haven't joined the Gather Slack community, you're missing out on a lot of brainstorming, advice giving and collaboration. Join us on Slack here.)
Here’s a rundown of Gatherers’ favorite sessions. Click through to find audio and/or video from the sessions, along with social aggregations that often include links to slide decks.
Jessie Shi took notes at a lot of sessions and generously made them public and shared them on Slack. Thanks, Jessie!
Meet Gina Cole, this week's Featured Member.
Name: Gina Cole
What you do: I'm The Seattle Times' engagement editor. That title probably means something different in every newsroom. For me, it means I get to work on all our means of reaching audiences, listening to them and nurturing our relationships with them. That covers everything from newsletters and alerts to social media and commenting, plus reader callouts and our current experiments with Hearken and GroundSource.
Why you’re on Gather: To learn from minds more brilliant than my own! I love that we have this space to exchange ideas about our rapidly growing and changing field. It's so important that journalists support each other so we can all survive and thrive.
What you want to learn on Gather: I want to hear from anyone who's taken responsibility for a toxic commenting community and successfully made it a more productive space. I'm also interested in how other newsrooms are shepherding people up the ladder (or down the funnel; pick your metaphor) from engaged audience members into subscribers/members/supporters, and how you're making the case for engagement work to the business side of the house so you can get the support you need.
What you have to share on Gather: Newsletter strategies that keep readers opening your newsletter, reading your stories and converting from email recipients to paying subscribers — and how email can also help existing subscribers feel more connected to your newsroom. I've also gotten pretty good at answering messages from angry readers, if anyone needs advice on that!
One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: When a story or conversation opens someone's mind or helps them understand an issue better.
Who or what inspired you to get into this work? I started out as a reporter at a rural daily. In small newsrooms, everyone has to know how to do almost everything, so I ended up also leading our social media efforts for a while there. That allowed me to connect with folks beyond my own beats. It was awesome to see how invested readers were in what we covered and how, and in seeing their perspectives reflected in the paper. Reporting in a place like that bakes a genuine sense of caring for audiences into your approach. Larger news outlets can learn a lot from "community journalism."
Would you rather give up social media or coffee for a week? This one's easy because I don't drink coffee. If you asked me to give up chai tea lattes, on the other hand... well, I'd be taking a welcome social-media vacation.
Links for ways to connect with you: