I remember when I started in television 21 years ago.  Back then – as in many newsrooms – you dreaded answering the phone in case a ‘viewer’ had a question or wanted to tell you what they thought of the newscast.  Who wanted to hear that?

How wrong we were.

Today, I rarely say we have viewers; we have customers.  And we definitely want to know what stories are on their minds, what they think of our newscasts and more!

I know we have a lot of work left to do – when I respond to someone’s e-mail or join the comments on our website, customers are amazed someone at the station actually cares about what they have to say.

Do we have a lot of work to do!

So, we have set up a lot of ways for people to give us the feedback I argue we don’t just want, we need in order to thrive in the world.  One example is the live chat my station, News10, does on big story days.

One Way of Connecting
One Way of Connecting

We’re building a culture where everyone realizes how important this is.  And hopefully, in a year or two, people aren’t so surprised when we talk back.

Take the poll, comment – give me some feedback.

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For years, AIM ruled the chat world.  Now, we have dozens, if not hundreds, of options.  We have used a few here at WZZM.  I am wondering what software your news organzation uses for interact with your connected customers:

  1. Shoutmix.  This is what we use for our moderated chats, in conjunction with our Mogulus player for on camera chats.  This happens at least several times a week.  (Here’s our page:
  2. CoverItLive.  I need to learn a little more about this but, if you have used this, tell me how it’s better than Shoutmix.
  3. Live Messenger/AIM.  A few Gannett stations use these to connect online with customers.
  4. Twitter.  We used this quite a bit during the Elections and for the Inauguration.  This is the one I like the best for its easy of use.  (my Twitter name is timgeraghtywzzm).

What do you think about all this?