01 ottobre 2008

Un social network "rispettoso" per National Public Radio

Mentre i forum di discussione della RAI versano ancora in uno stato di profonda confusione e semiabbandono, ieri un altro ente si può dire "pubblico", la NPR americana, ha lanciato il suo social network. Uno spazio dove"commentare le notizie e i programmi e parlare tra gli ascoltatori" diventa più facile.
Niente di nuovo, precisa giustamente Wired dando la notizia, che arriva una settimana dopo la creazione della Web community del New York Times, ma è indicativo. Niente di nuovo e anche un po' in ritardo (e lo dicono a noi...), ammettono i responsabili del progetto. Ma era una cosa "rispettosa" da fare (capite bene, neh? "rispettosa"). Le strategie online di NPR sono oggetto di un ampio articolo della American Journalism Review, da leggere anche se troppo lungo per essere riportato qui.

NPR Launches Online Community

There is something new on NPR.org today.
Starting now, it will be easier for you to talk to us, for us to talk to you and for you all to talk to each other. We are making it possible for anyone who registers with us to comment on a story and to create a profile page where many interesting things can happen. We are providing a forum for infinite conversations on NPR.org. Our hopes are high. We hope the conversations will be smart and generous of spirit. We hope the adventure is exciting, fun, helpful and informative. This is important for the NPR community.
That last phrase -- "important for the NPR community" -- is not phony baloney corporate rhetoric, I promise.
The NPR community is a real thing; it is made up of the people who work here, the people who work at member stations, the people who listen to NPR on the radio, the people who use NPR.org and the people who support NPR. And many in that community think of ourselves as "NPR people." Few other American news organizations inspire such allegiance, have a real community and have "people." NPR does and it is vitally important to our health and growth to be able to talk to each other more and more openly.
NPR is late to this game, to be blunt. Many big news operations have had open comments and other "social media" functions for quite awhile. Some of you are grizzled veterans of Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and online news commenting; for some this will be new. NPR has been cautious because we want to do it right; we want the comments and the conversations to be useful, friendly and civil; we want NPR employees to participate and talk about their work. We needed the right tools and the right philosophy to come together. Now it has.
NPR is a non-profit. We are not launching the project to get more "hits" that will make more money. We are doing it because it is the respectful thing to do for the NPR community. We expect to get story ideas, tips, insights into the world we cover, tough criticism and even the occasional compliment. We want to share more of the news we gather and the stories we tell with you. And we want to do all this in the NPR style -- with both dignity and self-deprecating lightness.


NPR’s Digital Evolution: Social Networking, Open API, and Training the Dinosaurs

By Chris Snyder EmailSeptember 30, 2008

National Public Radio launched its social network yesterday, finally adding the community aspect to a community-driven news organization.
This is hardly innovative (nor was it a week ago when The New York Times launched one), but NPR acknowledges this in the announcement on its blog.
“NPR is late to this game, to be blunt,” says editorial director for digital media Dick Meyer. He also says they are not launching the service to increase traffic to the site.
So why invest the time and money?
Meyer says it's simply the "respectful thing to do."
But this is also the just latest step in a major initiative to converge online, and attract a younger, wider audience -- i.e., a future source of fund raising as much of its core audience ages.
Downloads of iTunes podcasts have done fairly well, and now the radio station is looking to be a hub for sides of a story, including video, images and text.
NPR also has a mobile site, released a library of open APIs this summer, and is funding a program to train editorial employees on digital storytelling while providing substitutes to fill in and cover their usual duties.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation coughed up $1.5M for the program, and NPR added an additional $1M, showing that they are very serious about the task.
The one worry, they say, is that by focusing too much on their parent site, they will take away from support for the local stations.
"In a way NPR is showing good leadership by moving to these other platforms, and in a way they've created a bypass that frightens a lot of member stations," says Richard Towne, general manager of KUNM Public Radio in Albuquerque, in the American Journalism Review.
But while traffic has gone up in the past year (a 78 percent increase in August from last year according to comScore), it’s difficult to imagine too many core NPR listeners turning completely to the web instead of the radio.
You can’t read an article or watch a video while you’re driving to work

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