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Social Reporting

At the Internet Governance Forum 2010
1) What is social reporting?
Social reporting (sometimes called digital reporting) uses digital media to capture conversations, information, and different voices from a community or from an event. Social reporting might involve: • • • • • Writing blog posts or live blogging from a meeting, event, or a discussion; Sharing short updates on Twitter; Carrying out short video interviews or audio interviews; Finding the slides and presentations from a seminar and posting them online; Taking photos of an event, or sharing photos of flip-charts and notes from discussions;

There are many different styles of social reporting, and you will need to find which style works best for you. However, itʼs important to remember that social reporting is not about creating a formal report. Instead, it can be about: • Bridging the gap between people who are at an event, and those who are not, but who can still engage via the Internet. • Sharing insights, ideas, and important conversations from an event or community. • Helping people in a community, or at an event, to share their own views, in their own words, on what has been going on. • Providing your own reflections on particular themes of conversation you have found interesting. Whichever media tools you use, and what ever your social reporting style, the process generally involves three key stages:

Before you get to Vilnius, have you: ✓ Registered on the website? ✓ Registered for a Twitter account at ✓ Got a Twitter programme on your phone or laptop and found out how to search twitter, how to share a photo, and how to reply to or ʻRetweetʼ someone? ✓ Checked if you have any video recording equipment (or if your phone can record video)? ✓ Practiced writing a blog post?

Capture Media

Put it Online

Share it

You can find all the information you need to help you with these tasks inside this guide.

2) Preparing as a reporter
Before you head out with a digital camera or digital audio recorder, or before you start blogging, you need to think about a number of important things. • Who are you reporting for? It is useful to have Social reporting at IGF2010 an idea of who your audience is. What context or background information will your audience need? • What will you report? Be selective. Itʼs easy to get hours and hours of video or audio but no-one will watch it all. How much time does your audience have? How can you find the most useful things to report on? Choose carefully what you will focus on. • What questions or themes are you interested in? And what is your audience interested in? You may want to do some quick background research. • How will people find your reporting? Will you alert a mailing list or online community to let them know how to follow your reports and how to suggest questions or themes for you to explore? Will you focus on reporting ʻliveʼ, or on generating content that you will share with established websites, newsletters, or media after the event. Unlike formal journalism - where the journalist may try not to communicate his or her interest or passion for a subject - in social reporting, you can be part of the report too. You can use your interest and passion for a subject in your reporting as long as you keep it in balance with the goal of giving a platform to other peopleʼs views and voices.

The focus at IGF 2010 - Vilnius, Lithuania
At Vilnius weʼre particularly interested in: • Making sense of key themes - helping people at the IGF, and outside the event, to understand the different views and issues relating to key Internet governance themes. You might like to pick a particular theme and then focus on that throughout the week: sending regular tweets from workshops, capturing some photos or videos, and then writing a reflective blog post during, or at the end of, the week. • Including new and unheard voices - using social media to include different perspectives into the Internet governance debate. This guide suggests some high-profile social media tools: but you know your own communities best. Could you try a different approach to reach them? Do they use different tools (Facebook instead of Twitter? E-mail instead of websites?) that you could use for social reporting? Come and talk to Tim Davies or other members of the social reporting team if you want help turning your ideas for a new social reporting approach into reality.

3) The social reporterʼs toolbox
There are many different tools in the social reporterʼs toolbox. These tools help you with a number of different tasks: • Track It: listening tools For following what other people are saying online and for being able to be part of the debate. For example, Twitter search, or a social media aggregator or dashboard. See for more details on listening tools you can use to track social media conversations. • Tweet It: quick update / status update tools For reporting on what is taking place right now; for sharing quick insights; for joining in the discussion; or for pointing to more detailed reporting. • Blog it: reflective writing tools For longer reports on sessions of themes, or for pointing to other media content you have generated. • Blip It: rich media sharing tools Video or audio recording, or sharing presentations and documents. The heart of our IGF 2010 social reporting will be the Diplo Internet Governance online community where you can add blog posts, share videos and start discussions. Make sure you have registered for an account at http://

Key concepts
There are two key concepts that help explain how we can post media in different places across the Internet, but still bring it together in one place.

A tag is any key word or string of letters used to show that two or more bits of online media (twitter messages, videos, blog posts) are related. RSS feeds can be used to aggregate all the bits of media with a particular tag from most websites. Anyone can make up a tag. For the IGF we are using the tag ʻigf10ʼ, and then adding an extra tag for each workshop or session (e.g. #ws69 for Workshop 69)

Embedding allows the media uploaded on one website to be displayed on another. For example, if you upload a video to the high-resolution video hosting website, you can ʻembedʼ it into the Diplo Internet governance website without having to upload it again here. Look for ʻembed codeʼ or ʻembed thisʼ links on video and audio that you upload. Ning Website
The website is the hub for our social reporting. You can use it to: • Write blog posts about themes and issues, or to summarise your Twitter messages and point to other media. • Embed and upload photos and videos to share in a central place. • Start conversations with hundreds of other community members. You can sign up for free and create a profile from the front page. Blogging Once you are signed in, you can create you own blog posts by finding the button underneath existing blog posts on the front page. Track It You can check in on the blogs regularly to see what other people are writing.

If you have something to contribute to a blog post, why not add a comment? You might also want to link to other peopleʼs blog posts when you write yours to help Give your blog post a clear headline, and then readers find their way to other content write in clear paragraphs. You can use the button to add links into your blog posts, and the on a particular issue. buttons to add images and files, respectively. You should add ʻtagsʼ to the bottom of your post to describe it. Use ʻigf10ʼ and the relevant workshop tag (e.g. ws69) as well as any other thematic words. Tags on Ning should be separated by commas. To embed a video/slideshow in a post: • While in the rich-text editor write ʻEMBED HEREʼ where you want the video/slideshow to go. • Switch to ʻHTMLʼ editing mode from the tab along the top. • Paste the embed code over the words ʻEMBED HEREʼ and switch back to rich-text mode before publishing your post.
You can edit your posts after they are published to tweak the layout and text if needed.

Adding video blips to Ning You can upload photos and videos directly to the Ning site, but if is often better to use a professional video hosting platform like, and then ʻcross-postʼ embed the video into the Ning site. Once your video is uploaded to a video sharing site, find its embed code and look for the ʻAdd Videoʼ link at Paste in the embed code and choose ʻAdd Videoʼ. Give your video a clear title and description, and include the relevant tags.

Find more at:

Twitter: Track it and tweet It.
Twitter is a great tool for social reporting. You can use Twitter to: • Share short updates from workshops and meetings (Twitter limits messages to 140 characters). • Share links to media and reports you have just uploaded to the Internet. • Keep track of conversations that other people are having about the meeting or workshop.

Sign up If you do not already have one, you will need to create a Twitter account to make the best use of it. Visit http:// to sign up. Once you have signed up, let other members of the social reporting team know your Twitter name, and find out theirs so you can ʻfollowʼ them.

Set up It can help to have a Twitter application on your computer or on your phone. One of the best is TweetDeck, which is available for PC, Mac, and iPhone. TweetDeck shows messages you are following in columns, and you can set up columns to follow particular tags. For example, set up one column to show everything on Twitter posted recently with the tag ʻ#igf10ʼ included in it. Twitter applications will also help shorten long web addresses, which otherwise wouldnʼt fit into a message on their own and many help you upload video clips or photos and attach those to your tweets. You can manually shorten addresses if you are not using an application by going to or

Twitter tips • Click the names of people who send interesting tweets and then ʻfollowʼ them to get all their updates (you can always unfollow people later). • To reply to someone include ʻ@theirnameʼ at the start of your message. • To share a message wider you can ʻRetweetʼ it. Copy the message and include “RT @authorsname” at the start before sending it.

What ever application you use, make sure you have a way of following all the recent messages with key tags in them (e.g. #igf10). You can do this through the Twitter website at
• Tag your tweets: include #igf10 and the workshop tag (e.g. #ws69) in each tweet.

Find out more at:

Blips It: Video interviewing & audio Interviews
Short video interview clips (ʻBlipsʼ) can be one of the best ways to capture and share a sense of what has been happening at an event. A good blip might be between 60 seconds and five minutes long. Often they are around two minutes long. You might use a video blip, or a short audio interview to: • Invite a speaker who has just been on a panel to summarise the points they were making. • Invite someone who asked a question during a discussion to elaborate on his or her point. • Get views from a wide range of people in response to a set question. • Capture on film a key insight that you heard someone share during a discussion. Capturing blips To capture a blip you will need a video camera or audio recorder. Check in advance that you know how to use it, and practice recording short clips. Test how well the audio records, and how the video and audio work when there is background noise, or low/high light levels. Once you know your equipment, look out for opportunities to capture your blips. a) Invite someone to participate Explain clearly that you would like a few minutes of someoneʼs time to capture their views, and that it will be uploaded to the Internet afterwards to help focus the attention of a wider audience on the issues the blip will deal with. Often getting speakers who have been on a panel to take part in a blip involves hanging around until you can find a moment to talk to them just before they leave. b) Find a quiet space with good lighting It doesnʼt need to be silent, but you should know from your test what conditions you need to get a good quality blip. Line up your video shot so that the head and shoulders of the person you are interviewing are in frame, and so that you are close enough to get good audio recording. c) Start recording and introduce the person you are interviewing, giving some context, then launch into your questions. People are often more natural and able to talk briefly if you go straight into the interview. If you talk about the questions before hand, often the people you interview will talk for a lot longer which isnʼt good for a blip. Aim to capture your clip in one take. Here is an example of how the conversation for a blip interview might go:
Interviewer: I would really like to capture the point you made about Internet access on film for our social reporting. Have you got three minutes for a short video interview? We are uploading clips of many speakers and delegates views for a wider audience online. Subject: Of course.

Interviewer: We should step just over there - where it is quieter and the camera will pick up your voice best. Subject: Ok. What questions are you going to ask? Interviewer: Iʼm will ask about the point you made on the panel just now. Ok - Iʼm ready to start recording. [Switches video recorder on and frames the shot]. Interviewer (recording, from behind the camera, to give context on the start of the clip) Iʼm here with Mr Howard, who has just been talking on the Internet Access panel at the Internet Governance Forum 2010. Mr Howard, you were just talking about the importance of rural Internet access. Can you tell us a bit more about that? Subject: (replies with a summary of their talk). Interviewer: (adds a follow up question... and after the subject has replied, ends the interview by saying:) Mr Howard, thank you very much for your time and for sharing your views. [Stops recording].

Notice that the interviewer records a short introduction on the start of the blip, with details of where it is being capture and the context. Because the blip could be embedded anywhere on the Internet, this makes sure that it is never watched entirely ʻout of contextʼ. d) Edit your blip, and upload it to the Internet If you managed to create your blip in one single take, then you may be able to upload it directly to the Internet. Otherwise, you will need to edit it first. Most computers have basic free video editing software on them. For example, on Windows, there is Windows Movie Maker, and on Mac you will usually find iMovie. These allow you to shorten clips, add titles and join different clips together. See the help in each programme for basic information on how to edit a blip. The software can be used to add a title on the start of your clip with the name of the person in the clip, the date it was recorded, and the context it was taken in. Once you have edited your blip, you can upload it to the Internet. You can upload direct to the site (see above) or you can upload it to sites like YouTube and provides high quality video hosting. For IGF2010 we have an account. The username is ʻigf10ʼ. Ask one of the social reporting team for the password. Once you have uploaded your blip, you may want to embed it into a blog post on the http:// site, along with a brief text description or transcript of the blip for those who may not be able to watch the video itself.

4) A social reporting team at IGF 2010
This guide provides a basic overview of social reporting, and is intended as a discussion starter, not as a fixed way of doing things. Visit the Social Reporting group at to: • Find more social reporting resources. • Share tips and ideas about other approaches to social reporting. • Discuss how we can make the most of social media tools as part of the IGF. Weʼre particularly keen to explore how to make social reporting as inclusive as possible. For example: are there other social media tools we should be using to avoid excluding particular communities and networks? How can we work better across languages? Making connections There are three key ways that social reporting at IGF 2010 can be brought together: a) Tagging Add tags to your tweets and other content to show which workshops or themes they relate to. See below for suggested tags. b) Aggregate and curate The website at will aggregate all the twitter messages and blog posts from the DiploInternetGovernance Ning site. If you are posting content anywhere else it can be aggregated too; just let Tim Davies Tag it (details below) know about it. Tagging the content you share helps viewers to
CC-BY Written by @timdavies for Diplo Foundation

You can use the aggregated content to write ʻcurated contentʼ blog posts that point to some of the best content on the theme you are following. c) Co-ordinate Tim Davies (@timdavies /

make sense of what it is about. Most social media tools have a tagging option, or you can use hashtags which simply involve including #tagname in your message. For example, if you are sending a tweet about Workshop 69 you would include ʻ#igf10 #ws69ʼ in your message to share that your message is about the IGF, and about Workshop 69. Anyone searching Twitter could then search for ʻ#igf10 #ws69ʼ to find more messages about that specific workshop. Suggested tags for each workshop can be found at based on the patterns below:
• • • • Workshops: #ws + Workshop Number (e.g. #ws120); Regional Networks: #rn + session number (E.g. #rn1); Dynamic Coalitions: #dc + session number. Plenary: see website (sessions donʼt have numbers in the programme) / obslogic
on Skype) is helping co-ordinate social reporting activitie questions about the aggregator, or for support with your own social reporting. Use the notepad at http:// to register yourself as someone who is engaged with social reporting.

This document has been produced in the framework of the Capacity Building Programme in ICT Policy and Internet Governance for ACP countries with the financial assistance of the European Union. The content of this document are the sole responsibility of DiploFoundation and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.