Transform The Newsroom
How To Build A Thriving Community Around Stories
In the dial-up days of Web 1.0, the internet functioned as a kind of virtual newsstand: if someone wanted to read about politics or sports, or television, they typed in a website's URL or selected from a directory, and scrolled through the content.
What came next was Web 2.0, the new internet paradigm in which large social platforms like Facebook would serve as gateways — or gatekeepers — to publisher content. At the beginning, the bargain seemed to make sense.
The publishing industry in the late ’00s was still struggling to adapt to the internet; newsrooms were contracting, and many publications shuttered outright.
So when the big platforms began to court publishers — persuading them to tailor content to their algorithms, or to sign on to initiatives like Facebook's Instant Articles — the general feeling was: what’s there to lose?
Insight From The Industry
What does it mean to build a reader community?
Community is “the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.” So, whether you realize it or not, you already have a community out there — it just may not have a home yet. There are many ways to build a community.
However, there’s one commonality they all have: encouraging engagement through content that provokes thought, asks questions, and leaves the door open for further analysis and interpretation.
In other words, it's engagement with other community members — high quality, positive conversations — that keep users coming back.
A sustainable path forward for newsrooms
So, how do publishers bring it to life?
Give your readers real-time updates
Users will, over time, come to see your site as a go-to for late-breaking updates.
direct line of communication to experts
Questions from readers to the editorial team are also valuable for informing strategy. If you’re getting similar questions, that’s a good sign it’s a topic of interest among the reader community.
Join the Conversation to boost engagement — and quality
Use smart notifications to boost return visitors
Currently, 90% of publishers rely on email notifications to keep users informed about recent activities. We recommend that publishers integrate notifications into your site experience for logged-in users as well.
Make it easy for users to quickly engage with your content
This is not only an effective way to drive engagement quickly, publishers can also glean valuable audience insights about their users through polling.