Over the past twelve months, I have designed and carried out an in-depth study that focuses on understanding how the function of news organizations in the public space is evolving to accommodate the ways in which users generate content of their own. This research has focused primarily on the interface between news organizations and ‘users’, and how different news organizations are tackling these interfaces using different strategies. My research has taken the following forms:
In-depth semi-structured interviews with news and non-news moderators
I have interviewed moderators and founders of popular online communities and successful online fora about how they create online spaces structured around an enforced set of social norms. I’ve also spoken with comment moderation vendors and audience engagement teams at news organizations to understand emerging best practices in online community engagement.
Focus groups and talks
I have organized focus group interviews and conversations for large groups of journalists, including the staff at magazines, to brainstorm the evolution and possible future of audience engagement. I have also spoken about this work at journalism schools.
Forthcoming, in May 2016.
In partnership with the Future of News Initiative at the MIT Media Lab and the Coral Project, I’ve worked to organize a gathering of activists, academics, journalists and other key thinkers/practitioners in the online community space, for a day-long series of conversations about online community engagement. More information here.