The keys to successful conversations, based on newsroom experience:
- Reward productive comments and publicly challenge harmful ones.
- Look for appropriate times to inject your own emotion or perspective into how you write.
- Especially as you get started, focus on hosting and participating in conversations people are eager to have. As you earn your users’ participation, they’ll reward you by being willing to jump in on more nuanced or difficult topics.
- Be a vehicle for users to share strong emotions — especially appreciation, outrage, pride and nostalgia.
- Try making conversation the main purpose of a post (rather than treating it as subordinate to the sharing of a link).