We’ve all been there. The holidays come and we want readers to submit pics of their light displays. Or maybe a massive snow storm strikes and your paper wants to collect reader pics – fast.
Usually, the call-out for reader submissions goes something like this: ‘Please email your funhouse pics to email@example.com.’ You put the plea in your paper and post it online. If you’re lucky, photos come in – probably slowly – and then you’re left to download them, file them, sort them, and put them in an online gallery with cutlines.
Use ScribbleLive, everyone’s new favourite blogging tool. (NOTE: For those of you without accounts, the request has been made. More information to come.
Check out how the national online team have been using Scribble to collect reader pics.
Fall foliage (more than 100 pics and counting)
And my personal favourite Pets in costume (about 40)
How to do this:
1. Set up a ScribbleLive event as per normal. Note: don’t use the start and end time feature. Just start the event and keep it open.
2. Once you get to Step 4 (the ‘Write’ stage) go to write and select email.
3. Once you’re in the ‘email’ section, go to ‘commenters’ on the right hand side. This is the key to all of this. You can create a unique email for readers to submit their pics. Hit edit and change the ScribbleLive email address to something easy. Let’s pretend you want to collect Halloween pictures. firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Add an example picture in the live blog to show readers what you’re after. Maybe put up a poll.
5. Give readers the option of tweeting you pics. Two ways: They can send it to you through an @ mention i.e) @canoe on Twitter or you can make up a unique hashtag #CanoeHalloween.
How to find the pics: For @ mentions a) Using Scribble’s Twitter search function, look for your Twitter handle
For hashtags: Go to ‘social,’ Twitter and look for ‘autopost’ on the right hand side. Plug in your hashtag and hit autopost. Tweets with hashtags will be automatically posted. If you want them to end up in your moderation feed, if you have to search for them manually (same as above). (Thanks to Hugo R. from Brantford for reminding me of this)
6. All the photos will flow into the moderation feed. (Note: watch out for spam and ban users. You can ban naughty users from the event.
Other cool things:
The St. Catharines Standard has launched a social media blog called #Trending. Have a look
National online travel editor, Nicole Feenstra, had some RT success this week on Twitter. Check it out.