Community engagement ok, but what's next?


If we succeed in building a trusted, behaving, useful community, is it enough ?

For many newsrooms, there is critical economic issue. And with a divider : either you’re free and you’re advert dependant, or you’re subscription based and then your news interests only a few…

So what seems to gain some interest these days is “membership”. The Guardian is doing it with some encouraging success (

I bring this here because we might consider adding to Coral Project tools for economic relations and followups.
Meaning : if Coral Project tools helps building a good community, why not make sure this set of tools also helps to fund the media and help organise community-based events and impact measuring ?



Thanks Pierre - you’re absolutely right, revenue is a really key part of the value of online community. In fact we have a thread about that here: The business case for engagement

We’ve been talking with our friends at the News Revenue Hub for a while about integrating our tools for those newsrooms that would like that - stay tuned for more news on that - as well as connecting the data from subscriptions to the data on commenters.

Several newsrooms that have looked at that connection have found that there seems to be a direct correlation, eg

What other tools would you like to see us develop? What would a tool that “helps organise community-based events” look like for your newsroom?


Ah thanks !

Well, basically, I think that if Coral projects tools are able to show us who are our most engaged readers, maybe the tools can integrate a way to sollicit their money somehow… :wink: I still have to test these tools and work on these concepts though.

About events, the thing is that any debate wich arise in the comments or from a news piece could be followed up by a real debate, being organised by the media. Because next to online chats, there is a need to discuss things for real and I can sense that a lot, being a local news media.

On impact, we need something to measure what were the effects of news articles : did things change, when and how ? With statistics and the ability for journalists to get back at an issue, given those stats.


Soliciting money to the people most likely to pay in a way that works for them: that’s what News Revenue Hub has down. They connect Stripe with Mailchimp and Salesforce. I’d personally love to add Eventbrite or something similar to that flow too. We worked with the CEO of the hub on this piece which points to that too:

Impact is always a bigger question for all newsrooms. Here’s a piece that I think is interesting about one approach to that:

The most engaged readers is a great idea, one we’ve been playing with in various ways for a while. What metrics would you use to measure that?


News Revenue Hub is only for US based newsrooms ? Looks promising, I’ve dropped a note.

Metrics to measure engagement is always a tricky one. At first guess, I’d look for :

  • time spent on the website (Wordpress + Google Analytics can know that)
  • time between news publication and the actual reading of it (the lesser, the more engaged)
  • recirculation action (share, share + comment, email forward…)
  • having an account with the website
  • commenting and regularity of comments

Since I use a lot Facebook to engage and chat with the audience, it would be very nice to have some sort of link between our data and FB data.


Awesome Andrew.

Myself, I am thinking there is an additional correlation between your research and the total number of commenters of all annoying types visiting any given newspaper. How would I leverage that problematic reality because I willing to bet I’m right. While still “elevating the conversation” of course.

I’ll cite that later. Probably with material I found through the Coral site. :wink: Regards, Dave Horsman


My view is that supporting highly private accounts on news sites is important but not more important than integration with other SM (FB) and supporting publicly open users.