A conversation outside the walled garden

Many journalists strive to spark conversation. Of course, those conversations happen outside of your web site. If you wrote only for a newspaper, would you want people only to discuss issues as they stand around the newsstand?

With that, here is a short conversation that happened on Twitter, sparked by my post about linking in a traditional content management system.

http://twitter.com/#!/amyjobr/statuses/29586496231055361

Steve Myers is Managing Editor at Poynter Online.

Twitter / meancode: @myersnews @amyjobr AFAIK most …

In his Linked In profile, Ken Edwards says he “launched bgnews.com, the Bowling Green State University web site for the student-run newspaper, The BG News” back in 1997. In this tweet, he includes AmyJo Brown (@amyjobr), who retweeted Myers’ original message.

Twitter / myersnews: @meancode Yes, most blogging …

Twitter / meancode: @myersnews You mean like iQue …

IQue is an “editorial workflow solution” made by a company called MediaSpan. They also make Transporter, which is described as an “automation and transformation engine.”

Twitter / meancode: @myersnews I assume you mean …

Twitter / meancode: @myersnews BTW, at BG News, …

Use ConvoTrack to follow up on a story

Another Subversive CommentOnce you’ve written and published a blog post or story, use ConvoTrack to find what people are saying about that post on Twitter, other blogs or a handful of other social networks.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a current member of those communities to use the tool. As a matter of fact, ConvoTracker might serve as a good introduction to “social” comments.

To use the service, just copy the URL of your story and then go to ConvoTrack.com. You’ll see an editable box that with “http://” in it. Paste your URL over that text and hit the “preload” button.

ConvoTrack will bring you back to your article, but this time you’ll also see a sidebar on the left. According to the tool’s creator, that sidebar shows tweets and comments from “FriendFeed, Digg, Reddit, HackerNews and any blog mentioning the article”

Now that you can see the comments, read them to find news that you might not be aware of. Pick up on the views from people outside of your existing sources. If you are on Twitter, it might be wise to follow some of the users who are tweeting about your article. Most importantly, follow the many links in that sidebar to find related blogs and streams of conversations.

Admittedly this works best if you’ve written something of national interest on a popular blog or news site. For example, I used ConvoTrack in a post last week that examined how The Wall Street Journal’s White House Czar Calls for End to ‘War on Drugs’ article traveled through social networks with little prompting by WSJ or the article’s author. Here is how that article looks with the ConvoTrack sidebar:

ConvoTrack results for WSJ article 

More about ConvoTrack:

Photo from Duncan Cumming via Flickr