Google Voice successes at The Troy Record

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Following up on JRC Google Voice training, Troy Record Digital Specialist Tom Caprood launched his first project asking readers to give opinions on of a new McDonald’s opening in Troy, NY. Although the topic wasn’t timely, Caprood “took a chance to see if readers still had something to say about the issue.

Caprood first posted a story explaining he wanted readers to share thoughts and provided a Google Voice number. Caprood received 10 responses. In addition to using Google Voice for the project, he used AP Images to gather stock images of McDonald’s locations and products.

Caprood said newsrooms “have to be prepared for the fact that you might not get responses … If something doesn’t work, rethink your approach and try again. Also, as Karen Workman (from The Oakland Press) pointed out during the training session on Google Voice, it’s best to try and pick a topic that either is controversial or that you feel people will respond emotionally to.”

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Google Plus Hangout with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

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On Dec. 22, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder participated in a Google Plus hangout hosted by The Macomb Daily and The Oakland Press in order to inform readers. Topics included specific initiatives, year in review, political climate, national politics and personal information.

Karen Workman, community engagement editor at The Oakland Press, said a reporter and editor used one computer. At The Oakland Press, a third staffer sat off-camera to curate the meeting and three Flipcams were used to capture the meeting. The Oakland Press Online Editor Stephen Frye said the main stress was the bandwidth but there were no issues.

The end result included text stories, a Storify capturing live Tweets and three videos. From The Macomb Daily, Snyder’s dramatic, controversial moves change state’s culture and Macomb Daily has high-tech talk with Gov. Snyder.

For other staffs trying to experiment, Frye said, “You’re live on camera, so you don’t want to be looking down and reading notes. So know your questions and have fun.”