The best community strategy? Ask your followers for favors
Target audience: Businesses, brands, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, agencies, Web publishers, general public.
While I don’t believe that the richness of the online world can be reduced to a real estate analogy, that’s what I’m going with in order to explain the way humans work, especially in concert and in community.
If you only give to the people and the community around you and never ask for help or for favors, people might still like you but they’ll never feel the sort of intimacy and humanity needed to really connect with you in a profound way. Instead of just building up brand equity by being the prettiest, smartest, most athletic or most altruistic person in the room, try asking for help; for favors. Continue reading →
During the recent annual conference of the Online News Association in San Francisco, I had a chance to sit down (literally on the floor) with Olivia Ma, news manager in YouTube’s News & Politics team.
YouTube is in the news again this week with the rollout of YouTube Direct, a tool to make it easy for YouTube users to submit clips that news media companies can choose to highlight. NPR, Politico, The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle are among the early participants. Scroll down to see the video explaining the program and YouTube’s announcement. (YouTube Direct was still in development when I interviewed Olivia.)
Olivia (@oliviama on Twtter — follow her!) talks about YouTube‘s astonishing growth, the birth of the YouTube Reporters Center — it’s a resource to help you learn how to report news, with instructional videos with tips and advice for better reporting from top journalists — and how YouTube has become a video platform for hundreds of US senators and congresspersons.
• Every 60 seconds, 20 hours’ worth of video is being uploaded to YouTube, which is equivalent to 86,000 full-length Hollywood films being uploaded every week.
• As of this past spring, the US Senate and House of Representatitves now have hubs on YouTube. Some 98 senators nearly 400 of the 435 members of the House now have YouTube pages, as well as many government agencies. “It’s amazing to see how governments around the world are starting to use this as a way to engage with their constituents,” Olivia says.
• Olivia reminds us that, with millions of people now carrying around video-enabled cellphones, Flips and Kodak Zi8s, you don’t need fancy video recording equipment to capture newsworthy or interesting moments. “Just do it,” she says. “If you’ve got the means, just start shooting video and start putting it up on the Web.”
• Some companies are still nervous about having a presence on YouTube. But Google encourages businesses to come on board. Olivia notes that YouTube now has thousands of professional content partners, ranging from Hollywood studios and tech companies to news organizations. So there should no longer be a hesitancy among online news organizations about whether you’re allowed to post to YouTube. You are.
Thanks, Olivia, for the interesting insights and for being good sport by agreeing to sit on the hallway carpet as the conference was winding down.
While I admire YouTube for all it’s doing to enable citizen media, I’m less than happy right now because I’ve tried several times to get high-def versions of my videos (including this interview with Olivia) working on YouTube, without success. So I’ll put that down as a to-do list for early December: Figure out why my standard compression settings for high-def H.264 video aren’t good enough for YouTube.
The sweet, calming voice and gentle, nerdy humor of NPR radio is like home to me, like it is to a lot of people. I remember those comfy moments, driving around and listening to ‘All Things Considered.’ I’m guessing it’s the same way kids felt in the ’50s when their favorite radio personalities graced the airwaves.
NPR know how to tell a story, and tell it well, so it is no surprise that they are using their information-sharing savvy to penetrate online media, and are rising to the top while doing it. They are one of the only news organizations that experienced a substantial growth in the last 10 years as compared to their competitors, who have seen a decline.
They are not afraid of digital media, and this is what puts them ahead of the game. Here are 5 avenues NPR is taking to achieve success:
Andy Carvin, social media strategist for NPR.org, has spent the past several years experimenting with innovative approaches to the news. As the head of National Public Radio’s social media desk, he’s been given a sandbox to foster high-quality journalism using social tools in an age when the public demands engagement and participation — and when many other traditional news organizations have been slow to adopt social media.
For example, as Hurricane Gustav churned through the Caribbean last August, eventually causing $8.5 million in damage in the South, Andy (@acarvin on Twitter) formed a Ning group — Gustav Information Center — and got scores of volunteers to participate in sharing information during the course of a single weekend, largely through the power of Twitter and Facebook.
At the WeMedia conference in Miami last week, I finally had the chance to meet Andy Carvin in person. Andy’s a longtime blogger, podcaster and all-around smart guy. He’s now helping National Public Radio devise its social media strategy. In this 8-minute video interview, he talks about "NPRness" and the challenges of bringing social media components into an august media organization. (Ourmedia page | watch video)