Meg Pickard, The Guardian’s head of digital engagement, has a little diagram that gets so perfectly to the heart of this thing we call engagement that I giggled through her explanation of it, so amazed at its crystal clarity.
The horizontal line is the process of journalism. The vertical line represents publication. Above the line are the actions of journalists. Those folks traditionally work really hard up until publication, then return to the beginning to start something new. Below the line are the users, whose role has always come after publication, reacting and sharing.
The other two quadrants are empty. And that’s where Meg’s work lies.
After publication, how can/should journalists stay involved with the content? What’s their responsibility or opportunity for tending the fire they started? For raising the child they birthed? For nurturing the community they fed?
Before publication, how can/should users be involved? How can their interests, insight and expertise shape what we do? How can they contribute to conversations, and to stories?