Day: 2018-01-09

Listen More Effectively

By Annemarie Dooling. When I agreed to teach audience development to a class of undergrads at West Virginia University (WVU), I wanted to focus on a few key segments of community management. Those segments would be the core aspects of audience development: basic interviewing skills, user behavior, and safety and moderation. After all, a good foundation in these skills can help newsrooms convert a one-time reader into an evangelist. What I didn’t count on was how much I would first have to teach the skills of basic listening. Listening is a skill that everyone thinks they do well. In truth, most of us are just waiting for the other person to finish talking so we can speak. With the often-earned reputation of harassing commenters and anonymous Twitter trolls burned into our minds, many established journalists have created coping strategies based around listening less, and asserting themselves more. I had hoped that their future colleagues of a younger age would be less burned by these problems, and more open to community conversations. What I learned was that these …