editorassistance Newsletter

Editor Assistance

October 10 2012 Editor Assistance Newsletter

Greetings and Salutations!

I just made a large improvement to our BellaOnline system. I will try to explain it as clearly as I can. As always, I warmly encourage responses and comments if you have any questions at all about what this means :).

First, a baseline. If you look at most sites like CNN, they have two parts. First they have the article where they lay out the facts or ideas. Then right below that they have the user comments. So a user who reads the article gets sucked right into the comments and wants to participate. It engages them in the content, activates their emotions, and makes them want to talk, share, and come back.

I've wanted to do this at BellaOnline for a long time. At the same time, we all have more than enough things to juggle! So I didn't want yet another system for us to have to monitor and weed spam out of.

So I finally figured out a way to integrate our forums - which we already do an awesome job of monitoring - with the article threads!

You can see an example here:

Eggs and Salmonella article:

Eggs and Salmonella Forum Thread:

It is very easy to do this.

1) write your article as normal.

2) when you post the article, create the forum promotion for it as normal, using the link on the marketing page.

3) Once you've created that forum promotion, look at it. Use the "Manage Topic" dropdown and point to any of the choices there. In the URL for those choices you'll see a six digit number. In the Salmonella example it is 123650. I will try to make this part easier going forward. For now this is the only way to see the thread ID for this thread.

4) Edit your article and put that thread ID, the 123650 type number, into the "Forum Tie-In" spot.

That's it! Once you do that, your article will now show the comments related to an article right under that article. That will lure readers into promoting the article more, participating in the discussion, and coming back.

The next step will be to have an actual type-your-opinion-here box ON your article page. I want to test each stage, though, to make sure we don't have any questions :) So first I want to test out this part and make sure we all understand it. Then I'll move on to the next part.

Please give this a try with a few of your articles and see how it works! I'd love to hear any feedback, suggestions, and comments you might have.

Please note that the forum system only generates this tie-in when you create or add to a thread from this point going forward. I.e. it won't instantly work with all the old threads in the system. So if you have an old thread you want to connect to an article, just add another post to it. When you add that new post, it will then work. I.e. we have 150,000 old threads in the system. I didn't activate every single one because that would take me a long time to do. But all you need to do to make a thread work is to add one post to it, and then it'll become active.

I know this can be a bit confusing. Feel free to ask me any questions and I'll help clarify!

This is well worth looking into, because it can easily quadruple traffic with very little effort. That means more visitors and attention to your great articles!


Lisa Shea, owner


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