At the API Media Center’s recent three-day seminar, Emerging Technology, Business and Policy for Senior Executives, J.D. Lasica raised the question: How do you turn newspapers from a publication into a conversation? One way is to turn you reporters into bloggers. But what else can online newspapers do to go beyond one-dimensional Reader Forums to create dynamic social spaces? Three speakers gave excellent responses:
Ross Mayfield: Give users a chance to built upon your product. Give people the freedom to remix your content — to take it in new directions — by tagging your material with a Creative Commons license.
Bob Wyman: One roadblock is that you can’t find the conversation about your story on the media site itself. What you need is a button or listing of comments about this story, so that “you suck the entire Internet into your local paper as the environment in which to talk about the paper. They can be blog entries, videocasts, audiocasts, so that the paper once again becomes the focal point of your community.”
Jim Kennedy: Let the readers continue the discussion begun in the story by conversing with the sources.