Collaborative journalism is the practice of sharing and developing ideas and content. This is done by amateur and professional journalists without having a “parent” organization overseeing them. Each person brings something to the table and this allows people to write better and more informative news stories.
One best practice in collaborative journalism is crowdsourcing. Jeff Howe, a contributing editor to Wired magazine, first coined the term in 2006. It is jargon that basically combines “crowd” and “outsourcing.” Crowdsourcing has become very effective because you can delegate tasks to outside resources (mainly people) and have loads of information come back to you. For example, Wikipedia does not hire its own writers and researchers to define terms and people, they let outside people contribute to the definitions and this way they have the work done for them, for little to no cost. However, if the information given to them is not properly vetted by the company it can’t be completely relied on. While there is this drawback, it is still a very effective tool.
When dealing with the public on social media, it is important to remember to always look into what the person is saying and why. Is it a legitimate critique of your product or practice? Or is it just a derogatory comment meant to stir up drama? By sifting through comments with this filter, it is easier to decide which comments are worth responding to. It is important to answer these comments, especially critiques, with an open mind. It is good to state your company/organization’s position on the topic, however, you want to avoid coming across as defensive.