Organisation: The Conversation (Australia)

Publication Date: 03/10/2017


'HearMe'. Helping readers tell journalists what they want. The problem: After reading an article, some readers are left wanting more. They want to know more. They want more proof. They want us to chase a story. They want us to chase a particular element of a story. Perhaps they want something explained more clearly. But how can they tell us? And how can we be sure we’re going to hear them? There aren’t enough ways for readers to tell journalists and editors exactly what they want. Yes, readers can use the comments section. But not all authors and journalists can keep up with online comments. Yes, readers can send a message by email or via social media. But that requires them to leave our site. The solution: 'HearMe' is a simple way for people to provide feedback on and ask questions about particular elements of the articles they read. As a reader scrolls down an article, they will be given the option of using the 'HearMe' button at every paragraph. The 'HearMe' options will be customisable. For the prototype, readers will be able to ask for more clarity, more information or evidence for a claim made in an article. The buttons will be displayed as: - Tell me more, - Make it clearer, and - Prove it. Readers will also be given the option of leaving a short (140 characters), private message. In this prototype, the 'HearMe' app will show how many people have initiated action on a paragraph. In future releases this will be a customisable option. Using a private dashboard, journalists and editors can see which parts of an article readers would like to see further explored. Journalists and editors can set a threshold for feedback, at which point they can be prompted via email (or another messaging solution) to review the article. Future releases will include: * Follow article * Option for readers to leave email address and receive updates related to their question. * Option for editors/journalists to respond to all email addresses related to the article if/when an update occurs, or if a new article is commissioned based on feedback. * Display / hide all feedback * Publishers will have the option to turn on or off the visibility of feedback (feedback counters and highlights). * Each category will have its own colour-coded highlight, allowing editors to quickly see which sections of an article readers are having issues with, or where readers want more content. * When highlighted feedback is made visible to readers, users can up-vote previous feedback by a +1 (rather than having to highlight and select option). * Note: The ‘other’ comments will remain private. * Bot search and respond * Automated site search to find possible answers to questions asked by readers. * For example, if the reader clicks on ‘tell me more’, bot searches site (or elsewhere, depending on configuration) for related articles.

Technologies used for this project:

- Ruby on rails - HTML - CSS - Javascript
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