The Scoop

A blog about what's new and changing on sacbee.com

August 27, 2009
Want local news on Twitter? We've got you covered

The governor of our fair state isn't the only one tweeting to communicate to the public. We are too.

While the governor seeks to sway public opinion, our mission is to deliver news - and lots of it.

Many reporters and newsroom staffers are tweeting information on a variety of subjects, from education and consumer news to sports and state politics. You can see a list of who's tweeting from the Sacramento Bee newsroom and follow them here.

Two of our most popular tweeters are columnist Marcos Breton and political writer Kevin Yamamura. Our Kings beat reporter, Sam Amick, is in a friendly competition with 49ers writer Matt Barrows to see who can attract the most follows. For now, Matt's in the lead with 1,148 followers, two more than Sam.

If news updates is what you want, your best bet is to follow our main Twitter feed at twitter.com/sacbee_news. More than 6,200 people are following us there, and since its inception we've tweeted more than 10,000 breaking news items and updates.

Just for fun, we've ordered our list of tweeters by those who have the most followers.

You can see it after the jump.

August 22, 2009
On sacbee.com, users can decide to hide story comments

Let's get straight to the point. You can now decide for yourself whether you want to see comments on sacbee.com. We've added a button (see below) at the bottom of every story and blog post that allows you to turn comments on and off.

Click the button and ALL comments on ALL stories are hidden from view. Click the button again and ALL comments reappear. The site will retain your preference to hide or show comments every time you visit as long as you have cookies enabled in your browzer.

We will still be moderating those comments that are flagged as abusive by users.

Why did we do this? In an earlier reader forum, users debated the value of story comments. Some thought the comments were too crass; others fought for the ability to air their views, crass or not. Several readers wanted greater flexibility with the commenting system.

This is a first step toward giving users that flexibility. We hope to add more functionality to our commenting system, such as allowing users to block the comments of individuals that irritate them. That function is already available on our forums.

If you want to weigh in on user comments on sacbee.com, post your views to our forum on the issue.

In the meantime, the choice is yours on whether comments are part of your reading experience on sacbee.com -- or not.

August 19, 2009
Access Sacramento on sacbee

Access Sacramento now has its own page on sacbee.com.

It's a small step for the nonprofit group and The Bee with a big goal. The small step: Provide more exposure to the public access cable TV and radio station's efforts to encourage citizen journalism. The big goal: work with groups like Access Sacramento to foster more community dialogue through sacbee, the region's local news site with the biggest audience.

Access Sacramento offers free training to any resident of Sacramento County on how to shoot and edit video, as well as provides a platform for the finished video. The group also offers free courses on how to start a blog or Web site. The group's stated mission: "Giving voice to the thoughts, dreams, opinions and community events not otherwise seen or heard on commercial and public radio, television and other popular forms of media."

The page on sacbee highlights content from the staff of Access Sacramento, including a blog, as well as content from citizens. The staff of Access Sacramento picks the content to highlight.  

Sacbee has a similar page called Helping Others that consists of Bee stories and content from nonprofit, volunteer groups. The page seeeks to inform readers on volunteer efforts and needs around the region.

In both cases, part of the intent of the pages is to give groups trying to make a positive difference in our communities exposure to a bigger audience than they currently get on their respective sites. The Bee would like to work with more such groups and create similar pages. If you belong to such a group and are interested in starting a similar page on sacbee, e-mail me at tnegrete@sacbee.com. If you have some suggestions about the type of community events and information you would like to see on sacbee, please use the comment field below to leave suggestions that others can add to and agree with. 

   

 

 

August 13, 2009
Sacbee.com commenting survey

Thanks to everyone who participated in our commenting forum. We're moving along with new commenting features while still working to understand how best to serve you, our loyal readership, with a better commenting experience.

As such, we've created a survey where we'd like to get your opinion on our sacbee.com commenting system.

Participating in the survey should take only 10 minutes of your time, but will be very helpful in allowing us to get a better sense of how you currently enjoy (or don't) our online commenting feature, and how we can make improvements going forward...

August 4, 2009
This feel-good story was true -- and truly inspiring to Web readers

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In Hollywood, a heartwarming and inspirational story that captures the imagination of the audience is often called a feel-good movie. My favorite is the 1993 film "Rudy", in which an undersized college kid gives it his all to play football at Notre Dame.

At sacbee.com, we have a feel-good story of our own. Friday's article and video on Sacramentan Paul Campfield, 68, who discovered he had purchased his late mother's long-lost record collection at a Sutter Creek antiques shop, generated an outpouring of emotion among sacbee.com users.

More than 450 people have commented on the story, which was picked up by Yahoo and displayed on its home page Friday afternoon. User JudyDavis recalled working with Campfield's stepfather at a Bank of America branch in Anderson, Shasta County. "I was excited to hear about Paul's find -- what a small world!" she wrote.

Others said the story reminded them of their grandmothers, mothers and wives. "This story brings back some wonderful memories of childhood during the Second World War," daffidik wrote. "Our mother was a singer who performed with her sisters and her dad in the early years of radio. ..."

Another user, larryTheFairy, said the account of Campfield's discovery was "so much better than reading about murders, muggings and automobile accidents."

We couldn't agree more. For sacbee.com, the story has generated more than 1.8 million page views, the most ever for a single article on our site. More than 171,000 people watched the video. The package also helped propel our unique visitor count for July to a new monthly record.



About The Scoop

The Scoop is a blog where the managers of sacbee.com talk about new initiatives and our plans for sacbee.com. You can reach us by at the e-mail addresses below or you can comment on our postings.

Tom Negrete is managing editor of The Bee and oversees the daily work of journalists who produce news content for the newspaper and sacbee.com. Negrete, who has been at The Bee since 1994, has served as assistant managing editor for business and sports, sports editor and assistant city editor. E-mail him at tnegrete@sacbee.com or reach him at (916) 321-1171.

Seán McMahon is The Bee's Director of Digital Media, overseeing the interactive efforts of the company. His e-mail is smcmahon@sacbee.com.

Linda Gonzales is digital team leader for Sacbee.com and has been an editor at The Bee since 1995. You can email her at lgonzales@sacbee.com.

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