14 comments
DebbyBruck
DebbyBruck

Excellent. When readers become part of the paper, they are more interested and invested in consistently reading the news

DebbyBruck
DebbyBruck

Excellent. When readers become part of the paper, they are more interested and invested in consistently reading the news

brandon_gross
brandon_gross

Nice piece Edward. Definitely in agreement that moves towards co-creation and collaboration by established brands, media outlets, publishers, etc... is a trend that will not be going away. What's interesting is seeing how older brands such as the NYT are adapting to invite greater user involvement while maintaining a strong editorial voice... And on the other end of the spectrum, there are brands that now come out of the gate with the spirit of co-collaboration as part of their DNA (e.g. Jones Soda). Coming from a storied TV network that was built on the premise of co-collaboration, I'm pretty intimate with the potential pitfalls that can be associated with this approach, but when done right, everybody wins. I know I'm not the first person to say it, but we'll continue to see curation be of the utmost importance here. Co-collaboration + Curation can = Incredible Creative.

oCala_DeNtist
oCala_DeNtist

Not to change the subject but that Restaurant looks like the one Jerry and the gang visited almost every day

cloverdew
cloverdew

I just started following your blog and found this post to be a great place to get started. I love the photo and I think it's great that a reader got involved and sent it in. The more involvement, the more range, diversity, personal point of view and authenticity involved. Of course, the NYT reserves the right to sift through reader submissions and pick and choose which they wish to present as part of their site.

I think the key to offering readers, customers, employees, friends a chance to participate is balance. After all, you still want to maintain your own spin on things because your own brand, point of view, or product is what your audience came to you for in the first place. The addition of interaction is a great one, but to what end and how are important questions to consider. What exactly do you want to take on from others? How will this be accomplished? What purpose does it serve? Is it merely to involve your audience and make them feel important or is it to also provide great content and discussion? All things to consider when adopting an open participation policy.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Didn't TMZ build a whole business around this?

I think with so many options for people when it comes to what they wish to read, view, consume media companies need to embrace their readers/viewers and make them part of the experience. The most successful media properties today are real communities. I think you once highlight what the Economist was doing with their online debates. Wouldn't you have more loyaly feeling part of a community than feeling like a just customer?

Great post Edward! As always!

saracera
saracera

The comparison between amateurs and professionals is made in the article on zdnet.com concerning photographers as well, however, the connotation does not seem to be anything more than people who are photographers by trade (e.g. profession) versus individuals who enjoy photography yet work in a different field. The "day in a life" project that the NYT created for its Lens photography blog is a great example of crowdsourcing to create a representation of what is seen by the world - both through the lens of people who are perhaps professionally trained in the art and those who are either self-taught or have captured a special moment they wish to share.
Here is the article:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/digitalcameras/nytimes-mass-photo-project-to-capture-a-moment-in-time/2915

I enjoy watching large companies open themselves up to collaboration. I recently spoke with the manager of communications at a large public company who spoke to how participation and collaboration are truly their core brand message. Ultimately, according to this individual, without the faces of their stakeholders, who post photos on Flickr they lack the human face that represents what their organizations stands for. I agree: If the photos were taken by professionals they would not have the same message that the contributions of their customers do - authentic and representative of why the brand maintains publics who are actively engaged in participation.

Bruce_DeBoer
Bruce_DeBoer

Edward, Can we please stop comparing Professionals and Amateurs? Amateurs are awesome talents; NO argument! I’d be amateur if I could afford it.

Pro’s are pro’s because we devote our life to maintaining a high level of virtuosity, but primarily we’re pros because we manage client expectations, add appropriate creative value reliably with style to the client's needs, and manage production values so delicately you don’t notice them. We do all this on demand, to deadline, no matter what the circumstances you put us in, and then market the results so we get more work like yours. WOW – that sound crazy even to me after 25 years!

Oh yeah, we get paid to keep this craziness going. Please! Stop making the comparison as if there is a vast image quality difference over 10,000 tested random image makers. Seriously dude, it’s embarrassing and NOT for me – get my drift? Amateurs are crazy good. They’re my best friends who’s work I’d rather hang on my wall than mine. Compare me to them and you make them feel bad – uncool dude.

tobetv
tobetv

Swell. Send us your photos. Have you ever tried to find the email address of a NYT columnist or reporter? Good luck. Makes Izvestia circa 1960 look like an open source site. And then there is the closed door policy of not permitting reader comments on a huge number of articles, columns and stories.

CarolWeinfeld
CarolWeinfeld

Co-creation with consumers is imperative to destroy the "us vs. them" mentality. This will increase engagement and a sense of community for one's consumers and strengthen one's brand.

Nice photo of Tom's Restaurant!

@clweinfeld

Bruce_DeBoer
Bruce_DeBoer

@edwardboches Hey Edward - I guess my sarcasm missed it's mark. No bad feelings here. I loved looking at the NYT photos even though I couldn't get through all 10,000 - whew. The reason I commented in the fashion I did is because it seems funny to me that we still percieve great photography belonging to professionals, as in: "awesome photo and you're not even a professional". The comparisons persist even though "camera buffs" prove themselves worthy every second of every day not that the tools are available and approachable.

As you mentioned above, we could easily share the rowing in one boat. Truth is, I read your blog so I don't cause the boat to endlessly circle the pond.

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@Bruce_DeBoer Bruce, I did not mean to make you feel bad. And I am not unaware of how you feel. In the same boat, in fact. There is plenty of user generated content in advertising too. There are crowd sourced campaigns. There are Superbowl TV spots. And there are companies who bypass the professionalism of agencies and go direct to their customers. Those participants may not be professionals but on any given day they can have an idea as good as mine. If not better. If you actually go back and re-read what I wrote I did not compare the two "people." I simply said: a. An amateur's work can be as good ad that of a professional. b. We professionals would take advantage of that. I get your point but you are partially missing mine. Thanks for your comment.

tobetv
tobetv

@edwardboches Yup you can hunt down NYT reporters and columnists on Twitter and Facebook, but shouldn't the Times be more open on its own site?

edwardboches
edwardboches moderator

@tobetv I mus read different articles. Haven't noticed those that I comment on or must not have wanted to. There are Times reporters on Twitter and some are accessible. It seems to be a generational thing.