Wednesday, December 15, 2010

VS A JRC IDEALAB PROJECT: Upgrading the way newsrooms use Twitter

Do you have any idea how many different Twitter accounts are managed by the New Haven Register? Or do you know how many reporters, photographers and sales reps are using (or learning to use) Twitter to engage with their communities, link to their work and sometimes scoop story tips and sources? Do you even know if the New Haven Register has a Twitter account?

It's okay if you don't know those answers. Truth is, we aren't exactly sure ourselves either about all the tweeps (as they say) tweeting from inside our very own newsroom. (But I'm hoping you follow @nhregister by now.)

It's been a very free-form and scrappy process over the past few years as newspapers have slowly begun to incorporate social media and Twitter into their daily routine and news delivery. Some have embraced, others have sat back skeptically. Some have 'gotten it' ... others have yet to add a picture or logo to their profile.

As of this posting, our primary Twitter account, @nhregister, has reached a critical mass, of sorts, with 3,339 followers and 8,514 tweets to our name. So we know it works and that some get their news this way. We've established a strong base, but now it's time to take that branded cloud and push it to the next level - not just one of linking and branding, but one of engaging our communities. Both physical, and digital.

Basically, it's time to strengthen our communication with you.

Over the next month, I'll be posting on this blog about what steps we'll be taking to strengthen our use of Twitter going forward as a news organization in a digital age. And I'll be asking for your help and preferences. Because if it doesn't work for you, it won't work for us. I'll monitor and report here how these changes affect our traffic at, as well as our followers, and I'll be asking/hoping for feedback on quality and experience.Which accounts and practices work, which don't -- things like that.

The first step though is to show you what we got, as of this posting. Read on for the Register's Twitter cloud of topic accounts and staff members. And if you only follow one, make sure it's @loudercmarch @nhregister.
TOPICS: These are the accounts managed mostly by editors who tweet the latest and most interesting stories of Think of The New Haven Register as cable television, and of these as the channels.

  • @nhregisterWe navigate the latest news and most interesting stories of for you 24/7.
  • @nhrlive – NHR staff tweet live reports from news events, as they happen
  • @nhrmilford – The latest news coverage from Milford, CT
  • @nhrpolitics – The latest news coverage of CT politics
  • @nhregbuzz – The buzz on music, arts and entertainment in New Haven, and beyond
  • @newhavenbiznews – The latest business news impacting the New Haven area
  • @nhrfaithlife – The latest on religion, local and international
  • @nhrcitizenscraze - The latest on trends and culture, local and national
  • @nhrsports – The latest on UConn, Yale, SCSU, UNH, high schools – and more
  • @nhrfootball – Football writer Mike Pucci keeps you up to date on local football
  • @nhrbaseball – Baseball writer Chris Hunn keeps you up to date on local baseball
  • @nhrsoftball – Softball writer Mike Pucci keeps you up to date on local softball
  • @nhrboyshoops – Boys hoops writer Joe Morelli tweets latest about local hoops
  • @nhrgirlshoops – Girls hoops writer Chris Hunn tweets latest about local hoops
  • @nhrhockey – Hockey writer Dan Nowak tweets latest about local hockey matchups
  • @nhrswimming – Swimming writer Mike Pucci tweets the latest on local swimming
STAFF: These are accounts managed by individual staff members. Some use solely to tweet links to their favorite stories, others use to engage with readers and scoop an occasional source or tip. And others use to offer a bit of the 'behind the scenes' that goes into their daily work. Some are very new to it, others have been tweeting for a few years now. Think of these as television shows, not channels. 

  • @nhrjkramer – Jack Kramer, Editor in chief
  • @nhrmbrackenbury – Mark Brackenbury, Managing editor of newsroom
  • @newsgirlct – Helen Bennett-Harvey, City editor, news hound
  • @edstannardnhr – Ed Stannard, Metro editor, religion writer
  • @nhrvwilliams – Vern Williams, Multi-media supervisor, photographer
  • @abbegsmith – Abbe Smith, New Haven news reporter
  • @nhrbmccready – Brian McCready, Milford Bureau Chief
  • @lutherturmelle – Luther Turmelle, North Bureau Chief, covers Cheshire & Wallingford
  • @asanders88 – Alexandra Sanders, Madison news reporter, trend blogger
  • @jmorelli44 – Joe Morelli, sports reporter
  • @nhrjimfuller – Jim Fuller, sports reporter
  • @chipmalafronte – Chip Malafronte, sports reporter
  • @carabaruzzi – Cara Baruzzi, Business editor, financial journalist
  • @reachangi – Angela Carter, Business reporter, blogger
  • @jordanfenster – Jordan Fenster, Entertainment editor, columnist
  • @joeammo – Joe Amarante, Radio and TV editor, columnist
  • @loudercmarch – Chris March, online producer, digital projects, music writer [that's me, duhz]
  • @nhrphvizdak – Peter Hvizdak, Multi-media journalist, staff photographer
  • @nhrmlavitt – Mara Lavitt, Multi-media journalist, staff photographer
  • @nhrpcasolino – Peter Casolino, Multi-media journalist, staff photographer
  • @nhrbhorrigan – Brad Horrigan, Multi-media journalist, staff photographer
  • @nhrmstengel – Melanie Stengel, Multi-media journalist, staff photographer
  • @nhragold – Arnold Gold, Multi-media journalist, staff photographer
  • @erik_smelser – Online Director
  • @ktremaine – Advertising Director
  • @jxpaton – John Paton, CEO Journal Register Company, blogger
LINK: About Journal Register Company ideaLAB

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