As the Bonnier media intern, I not only work in a print medium, but also that relatively new frontier, social media. This week was all about taking what I already know about the Internet and adapting it to a business, rather than a personal, perspective. Using social media allows the magazines to interact directly with their audience and gauge how popular certain stories and trends are.
The first step for any of the dive group’s web posts is to put stories from print onto their websites. After all, you can’t share content that isn’t online. Typically we move the articles online a couple of issues after they were published. This process is fairly straightforward and simply requires one to take the original unformatted text of the article and any images and upload them to the site. It’s important that we provide tags and other meta data so users can find the content that interests them (think of tags as being keywords like “shark,” “wreck diving,” “dive training,” etc.).
As long as the online library is consistently updated, we have plenty of options for the next step, choosing which content to share!
I decided to share a few articles that related to diver training, such as different methods to clear your ears and tips for dealing with seasickness, because I think these are some easily avoided problems that can otherwise ruin people’s dives. I also found an older article on our site about an underwater remote-operated vehicle encountering a sperm whale. It was from a live feed, and you could hear the excitement in the scientists’ voices while they watched the discovery in real time. I thought people would enjoy such authentic enthusiasm as much as I did. Lastly, I chose a post that highlighted some very poor behavior from a group of divers via photographs that were taken of them standing on the reef and otherwise acting badly around sensitive marine life. I think the safety of the divers and the marine environment are the most important aspects to consider when thinking about good diving behaviors, and I wanted, by social post, to reflect that.
After choosing what to share, the next step is to share it! (Kind of.) The process of posting on social media is a bit more involved for a business compared to a personal account. Since we want to track how visitors find the content, we add a specific tracking code to the URL depending on if we are linking through Facebook, Twitter or Google+. It’s a lot of copying and pasting web addresses, but it really helps us understand what content people are responding too.
For instance, my post about the divers behaving badly picked up a lot of traffic. (I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I think it was over 7,000 shares and a whole lot of comments/likes). The post did extremely well, and I’m glad other people are just as motivated to recognize and correct damaging dive practices as much as the author and myself.
Web content allows us to use another type of content that isn’t available in print, videos. I uploaded some videos that we received from outside agencies, but more excitingly, I got to edit my own.
Last year Deputy Editor Mary Frances visited Cuba for an assignment. She ended up filming a lot of video of her dives in the Gardens of the Queen. When I mentioned that I am interested in editing, they put me to work making some videos that would highlight the trip. I ended up making two videos, one that focuses on the many sharks that Mary Frances encountered on her trip and another that was a bit more general. It included grouper, lobster, corals and other marine life besides the sharks.
The first video has been posted here, with Mary Frances’s original story. I’m excited to see how the web audience responds to the videos!