Network News: October 8-14

#NPRedchat a Multi-Million User Success

Last week’s Twitter Education Forum, hosted last week in collaboration with Tell Me More was a huge success. Not only did it provide a platform for a dynamic and diverse conversation about education reform in the US (and one that we plan to continue), but it also reached a whopping 17 million people–and counting. (That’s right. They’re stilll Tweeting. They just can’t stop!)

Tell Me More

Sarah Gonzalez of StateImpact Florida, Michel Martin of Tell Me More and John O'Connor, also of StateImpact Florida, at the October 10 Twitter Education Forum at WLRN studios.

Perhaps more importantly, though, the experience provided a big learning opportunity for everyone involved. Through both the subject matter and the partnership with Tell Me More, we were able to engage diverse communities that we hadn’t before reached. We test drove Scribble, our new and improved live-blogging and social media curation tool that we hope to use again and again. And we learned just how powerful Twitter can be when used for story and source development–instead of simple content distribution.

Sarah Gonzalez of StateImpact Florida tells us that the event allowed her to develop sources both near and far–particularly among teachers, parents and other sometimes hard-to-reach communities.

“They really wanted to engage in conversation,” she said. “We tapped into a Twitter audience that wanted to be part of the conversation instead of just following people who we know are influential.”

“After a quick back and forth with someone, they would usually follow us. I linked to old content from months ago, and actually got some new traffic on those stories, which was great,” she said.

In all, they gained about 50 new followers during the forum and grew more comfortable with engaging by asking questions of people on Twitter, such as “Do you have any stats on that?” or “We at StateImpact Florida have done work around that issue, check out this link.”

“The conversation has slowed down on #NPRedchat, but it is still going, which is great,” Gonzalez said. “And I’d encourage all the ed states to use the hashtag. Tell More More and StateImpact Florida are still at it.”

You can relive the event through pictures on Tell Me More’s Facebook page or in this fancy-shmancy video presentation on Vimeo.

And tune into our digital strategy meeting on October 25 for additional tips on using social media and other tools to increase audience engagement.

Last Week’s Reader Faves

Most visited stories last week, in raw numbers:

  1. Texas: New York Times Reporters Detained Covering Keystone XL Protests in East Texas
  2. Ohio: Issue 2
  3. Pennsylvania: Perilous Pathways: How Drilling Near An Abandoned Well Produced a Methane Geyser
  4. Pennsylvania: Perilous Pathways: Behind The Staggering Number Of Abandoned Wells In Pennsylvania

We highly recommend you check out Scott Detrow’s series, Perilous Pathways, exploring the risks of drilling near abandoned wells. The series was well-reported, document-driven and extremely important. We anticipate that it will be getting much more traffic in coming weeks.

Most visited content on each site, in order of popularity:

What does that mean? Well, we took the top post from each of your states, according to traffic. We adjusted those figures to reflect each state’s population and then ordered the results.

  1. IdahoAfter The Wind Boom, A Fight Over Idaho’s Energy Future
  2. Ohio: Issue 2
  3. Indiana: State Superintendent Candidate Debate Set For Oct. 24
  4. Pennsylvania: Perilous Pathways: How Drilling Near An Abandoned Well Produced a Methane Geyser
  5. Texas: New York Times Reporters Detained Covering Keystone XL Protests in East Texas
  6. Oklahoma: What An Oklahoma Hamburger Chain Can Teach Us About Intangible Property Taxes
  7. Florida: Social Media Helps Student With Autism Find His Voice
  8. New HampshireThe States With The Best And Worst Wage Laws For Home Health Workers

Traffic Sources (according to Google Analytics):

55%

26%

18.5%

0.5%

Search engines
Referral/
Social media
Direct
Email
Top search terms:

  • keystone pipeline
  • issue 2
  • fracking
  • stanley jackson
  • glenda ritz
  • oklahoma state question 766
Top referrers:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • huffingtonpost.com
  • mobile Facebook
  • Google
  • reddit.com
  • idahostatesman.com
  • The Texas Tribune
Includes people who type in the URL or use a bookmark. Also includes referrals from mobile apps (eg Facebook iPhone app). Directed through email newsletters, etc.

Remember that to boost your search-ability, it is vitally important that you use clear headlines and that you put key words up top in your post. In other words, get to the point as quickly (yet as smoothly) as you can. Also, don’t forget to fill out the “excerpt” box in your draft. When used, this is what Internet users will see when they read through their list of options in Google. So work it!

Around the Network

Last week:

  • Jessica Pupovac and Lynette Clemetson had a wonderful visit to Miami and WRLN last week. Thanks for showing us such a great time!
  • The DC team struggled to keep tabs on Ken Rudin as he continued his cross-country,  pre-election marathon. (Ken, could you just let us know if you’re OK? We worry because we love you.)

This week:

  • Jessica Pupovac and Chris Swope will hit the road this weekend, headed to Boise, Idaho, where they intend to do lots of editorial plotting and planning. Look for an abbreviated Network News the next few weeks as Jessica struggles to pry herself away from the oh-so-charming Idaho team long enough to pull it off. And don’t judge.

Your editorial team,

Chris Swope, Jessica Pupovac, Ken Rudin & Becky Lettenberger

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