How newsrooms can be more than a link farm

  1. Our newsroom at the Ottawa Citizen, like those across the country, is a tight ship. Everyone is busy – especially on weekends, when we’re down to basically a skeleton staff. Our weekend folks have to be able to do everything, and fast.

  2. In addition to the rest of her work on a busy Saturday, Kirstin Endemann was responsible for The CItizen’s Twitter feed. This meant answering questions:
  3. @OttawaCitizen hi! How long does it usually take to decide whether or not to publish “an emailed opinion” thanks
    November 19, 2011 9:59:00 PM EST
  4. @basma_aal Not long, usually.Email it to Letters (at) undefined.
    November 20, 2011 7:24:02 AM EST
  5. @OttawaCitizen I did thanks
    November 20, 2011 10:22:16 AM EST
  6. A regular part of an online editor’s job is to post links to our top stories. The goal, of course, is to increase page views on a sunny weekend..
  7. But there’s a difference between just posting links and tempting readers:
  8. Is perm. residency applicant a victim of bungling — or is the delay punishment for talking to the media. Comments open. bit.ly/unZotu
    November 20, 2011 11:33:51 AM EST
  9. We’ve heard the temperature is about to drop, so maybe we all need a reminder of how to dress in layers. (I do.) bit.ly/t1TMq8
    November 20, 2011 11:36:02 AM EST
  10. Yes, it is still only November. Still no reason not to get a jump start on holiday planning. For tips and more, visit bit.ly/uG8RTI
    November 20, 2011 12:01:04 PM EST
  11. Anyone surprised #Twilight saga Breaking Dawn scored big at this weekend’s movie box office. bit.ly/tKdmHz
    November 20, 2011 12:07:07 PM EST
  12. She also functioned as an events guide for @OttawaCitizen followers:
  13. RT @OttCitizenArts: Wim Wenders documentary a tribute to famed choreographer ow.ly/7zvcd Airs at the Rideau Centre Theatre Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 7:30…
    November 20, 2011 11:34:03 AM EST
  14. The future of libraries and the written word: Author Alberto Manguel will be speaking at the @OPL_BPO on Nov. 28 bit.ly/swbh1H
    November 20, 2011 11:39:00 AM EST
  15. As aside, did you know author Alberto Manguel owns 40,000 books? {and I bet they are not all digital} bit.ly/swbh1H
    November 20, 2011 11:39:58 AM EST
  16. Sometimes talking to followers means reminding them of our events database:
  17. @OttawaCitizen weare having a social event for folks who just moved to Ottawa. meet new friends, learn about Ottawa. 25 Nov @ARChotel 7-10pm
    November 20, 2011 11:46:48 AM EST
  18. @sociableevent @ARChotel Sounds fun! Be sure to add it to our events listings here : bit.ly/gTtM0u
    November 20, 2011 11:57:16 AM EST
  19. The next day she continued the pitch, informing followers  with a friendly tone – and  continuing to offer links
  20. At least two killed in fresh violence in Egypt’s Tahrir Square Sunday as police charge protesters. bit.ly/rJzdoH
    November 20, 2011 12:12:28 PM EST
  21. Busy night for @OttawFirePIO: Six people left homeless after fire, and Stats Can loses trailer – at cost of $250k bit.ly/rs1qzp
    November 20, 2011 12:56:40 PM EST
  22. Some use yoga to relax, others to make money $$$ … bit.ly/u7Cqx7
    November 20, 2011 1:46:07 PM EST
  23. BREAKING NEWS: Canada to deploy frigate to Med. Sea in advance of possible #Syria action. More to come. ottawacitizen.com/
    November 20, 2011 1:45:09 PM EST
  24. Your Sunday Smile: Columnist Roger Collier enters The Transit Games … by choice? bit.ly/rCOysA
    November 20, 2011 2:01:06 PM EST
  25. When Citizen reporter Mark Brownlee was sent out to cover the story of a man who jumped into the frigid Ottawa River, he Tweeted updates.
  26. Endemann added context after ReTweeting his information.
  27. RT @markbrownleeott: Ottawa man who jumped in Rideau River Sunday morning was attempting to flee from arrest, Ottawa police say #ottnews
    November 20, 2011 2:06:41 PM EST
  28. Fire services say the man was trying to swim the Rideau River, and refused to come to shore bit.ly/t6uw2r
    November 20, 2011 2:07:34 PM EST
  29. Our followers noted Endemann’s methods.

    “You don’t normally Tweet this much on weekends, @OttawaCitizen?” one follower asked (sorry, I couldn’t find his original Tweet).
    We have a lot of students come through the Citizen, and when I ask them how they get the news, they often get embarrassed. They’re don’t want to admit they don’t pick up our print product.
    The brave ones will hold up their phones, and say “My Twitter feed.”
    So in a sea of links on their devices, we need to convince people to click on our news.
    We need to sell ourselves.
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