CBC News is upping its user-generated content game with video comments

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It looks like CBC News is upping the ante when it comes to comments and user-generated content with a new platform called GoodTalk.

From what I can gather, it’s an online tool that allows readers to record and submit video comments on news stories (currently only on stories from the Manitoba site).

It’s still very new and appears to be in beta phase — in fact, as of this writing, it looks like only one story is available to comment on so far. Interestingly, any searches for GoodTalk only brings up information about “a new-style chat app” that originated in China.

From the CBC GoodTalk FAQ:

GoodTalk is an online engagement tool designed to allow media audiences to watch and create short video comments about web articles. GoodTalk is partnering with CBC News to test this tool out with stories originating from its newsroom in Manitoba. CBC Manitoba picks featured stories for GoodTalk comments and may promote them online, on TV and radio. Each featured story is open for video comment submission for 24 hours.

All approved comments appear on the GoodTalk website and some may be featured on CBC TV. They can also be shared on social media.

It’s an interesting concept, and I’ll be watching to see if it catches on. Although if you’ve ever read through the comments section of a news site, your head might be spinning at the thought of seeing some of those gems in video form. **shudders**

Check out the CBC GoodTalk website here — the FAQ is worth perusing if you want to learn more about it.

Image credit: cbc.goodtalk.org

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Beyond audiograms: The challenges of making audio shareable on social media

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Getting people to share audio on social media is no easy feat. In fact, with all the effort that Facebook has been putting into making video the dominant form of content on its platform, a whopping 85 per cent of Facebook video is watched without sound.

Podcasters and radio stations who publish audio online face the unique challenge of getting social media users to listen, a behaviour that’s completely opposite to what is now the norm. It can be frustrating, since there are so many great audio stories being made but no obvious way to make them shareable, what with the web being so dominantly visual (think memes, GIFs and viral video).

But NPR seems to be leading the charge in experimenting with different methods of sharing audio. The NewsWhip blog recently published a post looking at 4 ways the network is bringing radio to Facebook news feeds. You can read the full post over there, but the TL;DR version is that they’re:

  1. posting direct links to audio streams
  2. livestreaming their newscasts via Facebook Live
  3. creating audiograms, which are audio sound waves in video format
  4. creating images with quotes from the interview on them (This one’s a stretch, in my opinion, since there’s no actual listening happening)

And it may be working apparently. According to NewsWhip, NPR has seen sustained growth in engagement, going from 5.4 million engagements in February 2016 to 11.9 million in February 2017. That’s an increase of 121 per cent — although how much of that is actual listening isn’t clear.

At CBC Radio, we’ve played with audio slideshows, which can be beautiful and compelling, but are time-consuming to make.


Whatever the solution is to making audio more shareable on social media, I believe it will come from the platforms themselves developing an easier method of listening, rather than publishers trying to find workarounds with existing tools.

Last Spring, NPR wrote about their experiment with a beta audio player that actually appears in the Facebook feed (It was designed for music services like Spotify). I’m not sure what happened to it, and I still have never seen the audio player pop up in my own feed (although I’m sure if Facebook had prioritized audio in its algorithm the same way it prioritizes video, it would have done a lot better than it has).

Facebook is currently testing Live Audio players with some of its partners, including BBC World. The player includes continuous streaming even when the app is closed (at least for Android phones), which lines up with how people generally listen to audio on their devices. Whether it will catch on remains to be seen, but more thinking like this is a step in the right direction.

Image credit: PixaBay