Over the course of this week, I’ll be social media editor at Islington Now, the news organization periodically run by students at City University.
In addition to the normal functions of a social media editor, which include publicising stories after they’ve been posted and sourcing material for stories from social media, I’ve come up with a project for the week: a series of articles called “Going out in Islington”.
The main thinking behind this was to create a good base of stock content for the site.
Stock content is that which is useful for weeks and even years after the usual news cycle. It is one of the multitude of innovations that writing for the web involves, in comparison to writing for print, when a newspaper would usually be thrown away a day or two after publication. An example of stock content is an explanatory article, such as the Interhacktives article on how to perform a reverse image search.
It creates a consistent stream of traffic to a site, in contrast to the sporadic peaks and troughs of traffic that accompany its opposite: flow content.
Another important part of the rationale was the desire to engage the Islington Now community.
Once the first article has been posted, people will be better able to comprehend the concept of the series, meaning they’ll be more likely to respond to attempts by us to use social media to crowd-source content. For instance, one of the articles we’ll be doing will be along the lines of “most hipster bars in Islington” and, by both publicising articles and requesting help for future articles, we’re hoping that we can inspire some strong engagement.
I’ll also be attempting to follow up on content, where possible. For instance, to supplement the article on the best ways to get home, I’m planning to post a link to a map showing all of the night bus routes in and out of Islington. As far as I’m aware, such an Islington-specific map doesn’t currently exist anywhere on the Internet.