Mathew Ingram, who works at the Globe and Mail as a technology columnist and has his own very popular blog on technology and new media, has recently gotten a promotion: The Globe has named him its first “communities editor”, a job that is not very well defined (and that’s a good thing), but essentially means that he’ll be working to bring people together and encourage discussion on the Globe’s website.
In his blog post announcing the change, Ingram says the Globe should experiment:
As I told the senior editors at the Globe, in order for us to do this properly, we need to be committed to opening up our content in ways we haven’t even thought of — including some ways that might seem strange or contentious, and which could at least initially be met with considerable internal resistance. Among other things, we need to make it easier for people to find our content, share our content, link to our content and even make use of our content (in some cases to create their own content).
What this might mean (or should mean) is the end to the archive subscriber block, shorter URLs, less duplication of stories (many newspaper stories are uploaded when they are filed and then uploaded again as part of the next day’s paper), less clutter on pages, easier commenting, more tagging, and lots more user-generated content.
How much of that the Globe will go along with is anyone’s guess.