Use: Establish deeper connections with your community by facilitating sharing of content from the community to the news outlet; bolster an advertiser’s product with “testimonials” from community
Guardian News and Media created the GuardianWitness platform (Web and mobile app) which allows people to easily share text, photos and videos directly with Guardian editorial staff and view what other citizens are contributing. Some contributions could be featured in Guardian digital on print publications.
The Guardian posts “assignments” and asks for community contributions. Recent assignment themes ranged from “How fast is your pet?” and “Your pressure cooker recipes” to more serious “Turkey demonstrations” and “student feminism.” Each assignment has a defined life-span. One of the more popular recent “closed” assignments was Top pets: naughty kittens and cheeky cats which had 869 contributions.
Other media have established formal sharing platforms, such as CNN’s iReport. The value to news organizations is deeper community connections and increased engagement (particularly if shared content is featured on the core media sites), not to mention the possibility of enhancing hard news stories. The platform could also be used to help advertisers, e.g. sharing “fashion” photos of recently purchased outfits from Macy’s.