My initial response was heartily to endorse his first idea, which is to make it easy for journalists to know when someone has commented on something they have written, so that they can respond.
People sometimes comment on blog posts you have written weeks ago, and unless there's some kind of alert system to tell you, it's easy to miss them.
In more general terms, I'd like to see news organisations develop content management systems which are designed to get journalists doing the things they (presumably) want them to do.
Let me see what's happened to something after I've written it - not only whether there have been any comments, but whether anyone has even read it.
And when inputting stories, provide a way for me to provide links to go with it, if appropriate. As I said before, encouraging hacks to set up delicious accounts is all very well, but it won't happen.
I also have my doubts about how many of our readers actually use services like delicious. You end up with a situation where newspapers embrace these services because we think readers want us to, and then try to educate our readers on how to use them.
Links can be very useful with a story, but they should simply be placed on our websites next to the story itself, as the BBC does already.
The debate I referred to earlier on Jo Geary's blog has taken in a lot of issues, but one of them I think boils down to the idea that journalists need to take the reins themselves, as the businesses they work for are incapable of providing leadership (and I'm not suggesting that's Jo's view, just one of the views that seems to have emerged from the many comments and blog posts from various people).
I don't agree with that. We are seeing leadership from Trinity Mirror and, in any case, I believe that's where it has to come from.
My advice to any newspaper business hoping to get journalists to embrace new media is this:
- Make it easy for them.
- Tell them to do it. It will happen.