Tonight I went to an event hosted by the BBC entitled “Learning To Talk: Blogs, Media and Accountabilty“. Chaired by the BBC’s Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan Jones, the panel consisted of BBC Internet Blog editor Nick Reynolds, Paula Carter (Viewers’ editor, Channel 4), Siobhain Butterworth (Readers’ editor, The Guardian) and Steve Herrmann, (editor, BBC News Online).
It was an interesting discussion that touched on the role of blogging in organisations but its main focus was how to react and interact with those who choose to engage with you.
I was fascinated by Paula Carter’s role at Channel 4. As part of her job as Viewers Editor at C4 she’s subscribed to a number of blog searches for C4 related topics and more interestingly one for ‘channel 4′. This means that she sees every blog post where people mention Channel 4 and will often reply to them, publicly, on Channel 4′s behalf. She also mentions that she forwards on relevant posts to Commissioning Editors and programme makers.
I think it’s great for someone like Channel 4 to engage in this way and providing the responses are filtered and fed back into the organisation it’s a great use of a viewers team resource.
It’s something similar that we do at Folder and MuxCo, where we try and engage in the places that talk about us. It’s also something that, at Folder, we do for clients who haven’t got the resource to do it themselves but want to be helped so that they can engage properly with their audiences on multiple platforms.
I asked a question about where you draw a line – do you reply to everything and engage in every discussion? As well as being time consuming I think that there can also be diminishing returns the more you get involved. It was interesting to hear that Paula’s line was drawn just above DigitalSpy – she read it, but hadn’t, as yet, joined in the discussion. It’s probably for the best.