I recently met with a couple of editors who I found eager to tackle some new initiatives and want to do more than just put out a print magazine. The result of our discussion is a new concept that I’m calling “user-generated interviews” -- using a private chat room created on AIM, paltalk, Talk City, Chatzy.com, or one of those types of tools.
In a “user-generated interview,” editors will promote a date and time of an interview for an upcoming feature or cover story on their Web site. Readers can then submit their own questions in advance, while a select number of subscribers will be able to view or even participate in the live interview from within the private chat room. From there, the editor will write the story, do follow-ups and then publish the story.
Can this become the next form of user-generated content? As most publishers now accept story comments on their Web sites or invite readers to blog to get more involved in content, why not make them part of the interview? This way editors don’t assume they know the questions their readers want answered.
Someone last week introduced me to the term “content agility.” Publishers need to stop and consider how agile they are when it comes to the ways they create and disseminate content, from the systems they use to the people doing the work. User-generated interviews may be just one of these ways.