The members of Journal Register Company‘s ideLab huddled up at the company’s corporate office for a day-long summit this week. It was the first time most of the 18 members (15 members and 3 honorary if you’re counting) met, though they’ve been sharing ideas via Facebook (ideaLab – Journal Register Company) since the group was announced.
For those unfamiliar with the program, members of the ideaLab were selected from an open application process that generated almost 200 comments on Journal Register Company CEO John Paton’s blog. Armed with their choice of mobile phone, a Netbook and iPad, members of the ideaLab get 10 hours of paid time per week to experiment and innovate.
The day started with an overview of the ideaLab’s rules and goals.
The first rule: … the only rule …. THERE ARE NO RULES.
The goals: Play, experiment, learn and teach
The meeting included time with JRC Advisory Board members Jay Rosen and Betsy Morgan where they provide Labbers (Note: Members are still working on a better collective noun) with some insight and direction on how to lead Journal Register Company.
You can read more about the day’s events from Labbers (that new name can’t come soon enough) Tom Caprood, Chris Stanley and Kelly Metz. You can also go back and watch Ivan Lajara’s captured stream of the day.
By day’s end each member of the ideaLab was to present one problem (though a few tried to sneak more than one onto the list) that they would address in the next 30 days — knowing that during that time they were free to update, amend, alter or completely change what they picked.
Here’s their list: (track them on Twitter with the hashtag #JRCideaLab)
Angela Carter: (@ReachAngi) — Grow traffic during non-peak hours. Angela will work with newsroom staff to develop an audience outside of her newsroom’s normal web traffic cycle.
Ivan Lajara: (@ivanlajara) — Publish content as it happens. Ivan will work with newsroom staff to continue to train co-workers so the staff can deliver news to the audience as rapidly as possible.
Tim Ingle: (@timingle) — Increase advertiser engagement in digital. Utilize new devices to showcase potential reach on new media platforms to local advertising clients.
Kelly Metz: (@Kelly_Metz) — Improve the use of crowdsourcing in her newsroom. Work with newsroom staff to effectively and precisely crowdsource on every beat in the newsroom.
John Lazzeri: Better understand our audience and who we aren’t reaching. John will coordinate Journal Register Company circulation managers to share data and suggest new marketing plans.
Kaitlyn Yeager: (@kmyeager) — Increase live content offerings including video and chat. Kaitlyn will train staffers on tools and will work with the newsroom to learn when best to utilize live tools.
Dennis Kaffenberger: Reduce the fear factor of technology changes through training. Starting with ideaLab members, work with those across Journal Register Company in need of training and support on new technologies.
Marissa Raymo: (@marissaraymo) — Develop an SEO kit for Community Media Lab bloggers. Marissa will train community bloggers — and staff bloggers — to drive (and measure) traffic.
Michelle Rogers: (@ideaLabHeritage) — Incentive co-workers to learn new technologies and understand the value of digital. Train co-workers to utilize new tools by showcasing the strength and potential of each offering.
Tom Caprood: (@TomCaprood) — Remote filing of all content. Tom (working with Karen) will use ideaLab tools to teach co-workers to file stories and edit and file photos and video.
Karen Workman: (@OPdogblogger) — Remote filing of all content. Karen (working with Tom) will use ideaLab tools to teach co-workers to file stories and edit and file photos and video.
Chris Stanley: (@ca_stanley) Live high school football scores. Starting with his newsroom, Chris will work on delivering high school football scores as they happen via the web.
Chris March: (@loudercmarch) — Deliver “Digital First” arts and entertainment coverage that represents New Haven’s vibrant arts scene. Chris will work with newsroom staff to augment existing coverage and will crowdsource additional content to grow the Registr’s offering.
Ben Doody: (@BenDoody) — 100% coverage of all high school football games, guaranteed. Utilize crowdsourcing and social media to ensure his newsroom has complete coverage of all regional high school football games.
Anthony SanFilippo: (@anthonysan37) — Change the traditional sports coverage model. Anthony will change how sports is delivered to the sports fan/reader by utilizing web tools and video and non-traditional storytelling.
Karl Sickafus: (@karlsickafus) — Work with Journal Register Company staffers to develop non-traditional niche microsites.
Lee Moran: (@leeamoran) — Improve community engagement and marketing. Lee will showcase the community, business, promotional opportunities available in her market and grow audience involvement.
Viktoria Sundquvist: (@vsundqvist) — To go “all in” on Digital First. Improve content offerings online by training staff, establishing multi-media content standards for her newsroom staff.