hey steve, great post and great answers. we do a lot of tweetwall conversations at events. each week we hold a chat event at 7 pm on wednesdays for the american forum (follow hashtag #amforum) and when we do live radio and tv and webstreaming shows, they're just like tweetups with a panel and guests interacting with the audience in the room and the wider audience online.
we love to keep the tweetwall up so the backchannel is part of the conversation. it is more inclusive. twecklers end up making themselves look silly and positive interaction encourages more positive interaction. conversation is contagious, and we're more about talking with each other than down to one another. that's interactivity.
great feedback and great work. see you on the interwebs folks!
A few reasons in response to "what made you sign up with the @tbd blog network and not @washingtonpost's local news initiative?"
1. When TBD approached us, their philosophy seemed a perfect match with ours—mutually-beneficial cross-promotion, with no restrictions or assignments for our writing. Their local-only focus also appealed.
2. We like the TBD policy of linking to the already-existing blog via headline/blurb on TBD. We had no interest in abandoning our domain, nor in having our content reprinted elsewhere that no longer brought visitors to our site. This arrangement gets OFB content in front of more readers and (hopefully) stimulates more discussion; TBD gets content to fill a locally-focused niche (Capitals hockey).
3. We've butted heads with the Post over Capitals coverage before, and likely will again (in fact, tune in to the blog tomorrow morning). While the Post has some great individuals working there, their overall Redskins-obsessed approach isn't very hockey-friendly.
4. Finally, the TBD philosophy just feels right: You keep doing your thing, we do ours, and we all go home happier than before.
Thanks again for having me on the panel last night!
On Frozen Blog
OK, a comment specifically regarding TBD's commenting (a meta-comment, I suppose): All my line-breaks, or hard-returns for us old typewriter-trained folks, disappeared when I posted the comment below. So now it's a huge, eye-crossing block of text. Please tweak your code to keep formatting as it's entered into the comment box! :)
To answer the time management question (I'm from We Love DC), the answer is... Very carefully! And with lots of communication/cooperation. None of us at We Love DC is full time (people keep thinking we have a full-time editor, which I suppose is flattering, but we don't), so it's important that none of us let the site keep us from being great employees at our day jobs.
We Love DC generates a lot of content during the day, but our goal is always that the work of creating that content is spread out across as many of our writers as possible. We maintain an editorial calendar in Basecamp for our longer pieces. This helps our writers plan to write these pieces in their non-work hours and get them pre-scheduled, as well as ensures they will have a certain block of time where their hard work is showcased in the top slot during the day. We also coordinate the posting of our shorter pieces together, spreading them out to reduce dead spots, and allowing people to again, plan ahead and pre-schedule things the night before, or during their lunch breaks for the afternoon.
That means that when there's something that happens during the day, frequently someone has to squeeze in a post about it between day job tasks, but we work hard at making it as easy as possible for people to handle both their jobs and the labor of love that is our blog.
Thanks for that explanation, Tiffany. It really is incredible that you do so much so well without anyone working full-time on We Love DC. You folks are incredible.
Thanks, Mike and Dave. We will have our tech staff look into the line breaks issue, Mike. Not sure how quickly it will be fixed (they have a monster to-do list), but good point. And thanks for articulating so well why the TBD network works for you.