Featuring Tweets

Another way to show users that their feedback is valued is to feature their content online on the unit’s website or blog or vice versa.


Storify is a great tool for this. In November, CNN In America released a new documentary: Black in America 4 on black entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. During one of the early screening sessions given to a select audience at the Time Warner Center, a debate broke out on Twitter between two of the doc’s influential characters: Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, and Vivek Wadwha, a tech entrepreneur and academic. The debate had everyone’s head spinning. Every day tons of new articles, blog posts and tweets were being written by the doc’s viewers and participants. To organize some of the content, Black In America 4 viewer Kiratiana created a Storify of Arrington’s and Wadwha’s twitter debate and tweeted it out on her personal account.

While it is great that a viewer was so inspired and concerned about the issues highlighted in Black In America’s new doc to create something new with the content content, CNN In America could have released something like this first or early on to guide the conversation — or even after this version, as an accompaniment, an update or an improvement.

If CNN did not want to create their own Storify after this one, the very least the unit could do is retweet the link to this one.

List of Online Response

CNN’s In America and other documentary units could also create a master list on their blog of all the content that had been created and the conversation that had been started as a result of their documentary. This would serve as a one-stop-stop for those interested in the doc’s topic and would be an easy way to catch new-comers up on the discussion they had missed.

Providing users with more information to be better informed is the first step to encouraging intelligent discussion and useful feedback and in allowing users to jump into the conversation quickly and easily wherever they see fit.

Here is a list of online responses and reactions to the Black In America 4 documentary I collected.

How to Follow Guide

Creating a guide of how to follow the conversation online and on Twitter also helps.

Hajj Flemings, an entrepreneur in In America’s newest documentary, created this one. In this guide, he lays out the specific hashtags, CNN personnel and documentary participants viewers should follow in order to stay up to date with the discussion and even interact with key players in the documentary as it’s issues unfold. These users that Flemings mentions are the ones most likely at the core of the discussion, who directly contributed to or influenced the documentary, and are most likely to be active on Twitter during the airing of the doc in order to interact and respond. Creating a list on Twitter of these influential people may also help.