Archive for November 11th, 2008

Newspaper ‘baby Twitterer’ seeks help

Today, I received a DM to the @statesman account from @newshub, which is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It said: “Baby Twitterer here. How do we make our Twitter operation as cool as yours?”

I responded using Tinypaste, which is a handy little tool that allows you to blow past the 140 character Twitter limit.

Here’s what I said:

You’re on the right path (not turning on Twitterfeed is half the battle). Next: Reply to followers, ask them questions and retweet good material. Check out my last post on @statesman – I retweeted a reader’s pic from our Veterans Day parade.

Promo your Twitter efforts on your site somewhere (like I did at

Bonus points: See if you can get your sports editor to live Tweet Packers games. Then, see if you can get a developer to scrape your followers Tweets onto a page (like we do at

Also, check out the blog I do with Daniel Honigman. We’ll offer a lot of tips/tricks.

Feel free to bounce ideas off me anytime. We’re still trying to figure this all out, too.

Good luck!

I also DM’d the Journal to say that it was great to “see a real human staffing these newspaper accounts.” The response? “We’re big fans of humans here.”

:) Not everyone is.

8 comments November 11th, 2008

New Tricks: Wrangling an online community

Do you allow users to post material on your site?

If you are the community manager of a Web site that does, ask for a raise. If you’re the community manager’s boss, give that person a raise … now.

Let’s list this poor schlub’s headaches:

1. Users who attack each other personally and viciously. Few things (outside of maybe driving) make people as insanely rude to each other as the semi-anonymity of social networks.

2. Users who walk the line of libel. OK, cross the line and dance all over it.

3. Users who think it’s a sport to find a way around your dirty-word filter.

4. People who use the community to grind their own axes. I’ve seen people get on soapboxes against one individual or niche issue and just never step down.

5. Users who report abuse when the material is not abusive. This is supremely annoying because someone still has to check out every report and make a decision. These users tend to be highly political and report material with which they disagree politically.

What to do?

1. If you are the community manager’s boss, get that person some help. It does not matter how small a community is, if there’s a community, monitoring help is needed.

2. Make sure your community manager has the tools needed to effectively work within that community. The manager must be able to remove offensive material quickly and effectively.

3. Send warning e-mails to abusive users. That sometimes works wonders. People are often sheepish once they realize their anonymity isn’t absolute.

4. Make sure you prominently display great rules of engagement for your users. Enforce those rules.

5. If possible, deputize the “good” members of your community. Give them the power to zap material or even ban bad users. It’s empowering to your “super users” — and they’ll work for free because they just care about the community.

No community is easy to manage, but if you implement these tricks, you might at least alleviate the headaches for a while. Now, about that raise …

2 comments November 11th, 2008


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