Guardian’s nOtice Gives Edge to ‘Communities’

New Thinking Puts Spotlight on nOtice

We’ve come a long way from Paul Revere’s ride for dispensing community information. But the British are still coming, at least in terms of innovative ideas. Yesterday was the launch date for nOtice, a new tool from The Guardian, orchestrated to give the community message board a digital updating. The Nieman Journalism Lab wrote “Think Craigslist, with SoLoMo [the meeting of Social, Local and Mobile media] sensibilities.” They quoted Matt McAlister, the Guardian’s director of digital strategy: “‘…there have been loads of noticeboards created,’ and ‘people are starting to be a little bit more creative about it’ (using, say, customized logos and snazzy backgrounds for their sites).”

“Noticeboards gives users the ability to operate and manage their own community noticeboard using the n0tice technology,” says nOtice’s About Us page. “Noticeboards are free to create and free to use…And, as well as being able to select and promote their own domain, customise their noticeboard logo and the site look and feel, noticeboard owners will also be able to measure performance and activity with social analytics tools for their noticeboard as well as moderating community activity in order to encourage the kind of behavior they want to see on their noticeboard.”

So here’s a major media entity setting up a site to bring in traffic, content and liveblogging to specific areas. SIPA will tackle this topic as well at its upcoming Marketing Conference in Miami Beach on Dec. 7-9. Diane Schwartz of Access Intelligence will present “Social Media – Building and Leveraging Loyal Communities.” She will be keying on how companies can foster an online environment where customers can interact, use it as a sounding board for new products and even do a little marketing of current products.

On nOtice now is, “Vintage Vacations Shortlisted for an Award”; a couple art openings tonight; an apocalyptic warning: “We could end up with an American style city boss in Salford leader Merry warns”; and a, hmmm, not sure how to describe this one: “In need of a hug?? [You’re] in luck. The hugging saint is in town and will be embracing flocks of people outside Alexandra Palace in London Today. This will be the 24th year Amma , real name Mata Amritanandamayi, has offered out the golden token of darshan. The hugging starts at 10:30am.” Unfortunately, our executive director Matt Salt was in London last week. (He did email us back a photo of a student protest that he got caught up in, but we didn’t see any hugging.)

“What we haven’t seen yet—and this is what today is about—is people promoting their noticeboards out to their communities,” McAlister notes. The writer of that Nieman Lab article, Megan Garber, focuses on the ability of nOtice to track the performance of messages, using Chartbeat and Google Analytics. “With those tools, McAlister points out, ‘you can see how people are actually using your site.’ They give every noticeboard creator the power normally enjoyed only by domain owners: to track, and understand, the behavior of sites’ users.”

Garber adds that here’s a newspaper “thinking and acting more like a platform than a simple content provider.” That’s an interesting question for SIPA members as well (though I would take out the word, “simple”). Is it enough anymore to just provide content, no matter how good that content is? Forums, communities, listservs, surveys and blogs are all designed to both give users more information and keep them coming to your site.

There was a good post last month by Mathew Ingram on the site Gigaom. He wrote that few media entities “are thinking about their businesses in radically different ways—as content-generating engines with multiple delivery methods, or as platforms for data, around which other things can be built.”

But who knows? We may yet see a digital Paul Revere riding into our “community” soon.


Discussions like this are exactly what Conferences do best.
In Miami, Dec. 7-9, you’ll have sessions like the “Communities”

one mentioned above, roundtables and those great conversations
in the Exhibit Hall or over a late-night drink.
You can’t get any of that from sitting at your desk.
There’s still time to sign up but it’s getting late.
The 28th Annual Marketing Conference in Miami,
December 7-9 at the famous Eden Roc Hotel
Sign up today!

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