Google+ is a social networking platform that has developed into a valuable tool for journalists. To better understand how Google+ has specifically impacted the world of journalism, Office of Digital and Design Innovation Multimedia Blogger/Producer April Deibert interviewed Voice of America (VOA) Senior Web Editor Colin Lovett.
1. Promotion and Audience Engagement: Google+ allows journalists to alert people on the social network about global breaking news and about stories of interest that VOA has produced. Most importantly, it allows abridged content to be easily shared and also encourages readers to click-through to the VOA website for the full article. Journalists can also engage with the audience directly to find sources and reactions to events. (See highlighted clip below.)
2. Validation: Google+ requires a person with a name and a photo to be associated with each account. Interactivity is encouraged, but this validation method diminishes the likelihood of “trolling” and negative commentary. This validation method has encouraged people to be more polite with comments, even when they disagree on a particular topic.
3. Advice to Journalists: Get engaged with Google+ and other forms of social media. Develop a personal brand to grow your own audience as well as the audience of your organization. By building these networks ahead of time, you will have resources available to you for when they are needed in the future. (See highlighted clip below.)
Top Highlights from the Interview:
1. “We use Google+ to engage the audience directly” [2min 2s]
2. “The advice I would give to journalists is…” [2m 13s]
Full Interview (16m 13s):
(Thank you to Colin Lovett and Robert Bole for their contributions to this post.)
(The foregoing commentary does not constitute endorsement by the US Government, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, VOA, MBN, OCB, RFA, or RFE/RL of the information products or services discussed.)