A letter to citizen journalists: tips & tricks on how to encourage story submissions & ensure accurate story counts, or how I learned to stop worrying & love the “consent & save” button.
Hello Citizen Journalists! We’ve recently received some feedback regarding story counts and how to effectively save submissions. Although there have been some technical challenges and issues recently, don’t worry- We will always do right by you. We thank you for bearing with us as we continue to work out the kinks of the collection system that is supporting the statewide Story Bank. We’ve made some changes to make the final steps of story submission easier. For example, we removed the “Consent, save, and share another” button because it will reroute to a general Our Tomorrows URL rather than your customized URL. This means you will have to enter your custom URL into the browser every time. We know it’s a little inconvenient, but it does mean you will have an accurate story count. Additionally, we’ve made the “Consent and save my story” button much larger to make it clear people MUST click the button for their story to be successfully submitted. In the meantime, we know the software isn’t perfect but here are some tips on how to save submissions and encourage accurate story counts:
- Keep an informal count of your submissions (to the best of your ability)
- Be sure to ALWAYS use/send out your custom URL – this is the URL that looks like this: https://ourtomorro.ws/YourName
- Don’t use the long URL that appears in the browser after you enter your custom URL
- Follow up with the folks you’ve reached out to. We all like to be “yes people” but sometimes we put things on the backburner. Be sure to follow up with the folks who have agreed to complete the survey for you. We know this can be awkward, but you can always ask them if they have any questions or feedback about how to make the tool better. We want to know about both of those things AND it’s a good way to get the conversation started!
- Provide the survey-taker with some tips about saving, including:
- Make sure to click the radio button that contains the large consent statement
- They MUST click “consent and save my story” for their story to be submitted and recorded
- They successfully saved if their browser window reroutes them to the Our Tomorrows web page; there will not be a “successfully saved” message
We know Our Tomorrows can make real, meaningful change, and you are the driving force behind it. We appreciate the work you, as a Citizen Journalist do for the Our Tomorrows project and team. We absolutely couldn’t do what we’ve done – and what we are doing now – without you! If you have any additional problems, thoughts about how to improve the survey, or just want to chat about how things are going, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for all for your amazing work, Ariana & the Our Tomorrows Team