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#wjchat — So, what’s next?

January 5, 2017 - Posted in #wjchat Updates , Web Journalism Posted by:

Happy New Year, #wjchat-ers!

The title for this post came from an email received in recent days from someone eager to get back to work. Before we do that though, we, the #wjchat crew, still owed you that promised recap of our last episode.

The 350th episode of #wjchat was held on November 30, 2016.

The topic? The chat’s future.

This allowed our community — the most important part of #wjchat — to add their voices to a conversation that continues to take place, albeit mostly via email among members of the crew, about the future of the weekly chat and its purpose. It was driven by a post previously published here on Medium sharing the planning crew’s then (& still current) predicament.

The consensus of those who participated (and those who added their voices afterward) was to investigate moving forward with doing the chat every other week.

BTW, THANK YOU to everyone who’s added their voices to this process!

The chats would continue on Twitter. We would also investigate returning to our old practice of archiving the chats somewhere (possibly our existing website or via Medium).

Keeping the chat active on Twitter was important to many, perhaps because of accessibility.

The discussion also showed that the weekly conversations meant different things to different people. Regardless of the purpose, all saw it as a resource:

A #wjchat Slack group currently exists, though its current primary purpose is to reduce the amount of emails flying between members of the planning crew. It, or a Facebook group, could be used to allow for longer-form, extended discussions on topics.


Another option for expanding how we communicate with each other was suggested by David Cohn (of Spot.Us fame, now senior director of Advance Digital’s Alpha Group). He invited the crew to take over and re-start the Carnival of Journalism. This post on Journalism Accelerator from 2011explains its purpose.

It would allow for us to spark longer conversations (& potentially identify guest hosts, volunteers, etc.) for the future.

David’s suggestion (disregard the first line).

Back to the question at hand — What’s next?

There is some talk of us trying to organize our first chat of the year on January 18 — if we choose to move forward. It sounds as though there are many of you who’d like for us to do just that. If we did so, we’d celebrate our 7th anniversary with an episode on February 15, 2017.

A few questions for you as we consider this:

  • Do you like the approach outlined above? (An episode every other week, with a Slack group or Facebook group for general continued conversation AND potentially a once a month blog carnival on journalism topics).
  • Do you want to become part of the #wjchat planning crew if needed? We’ll need additional help to manage all of this stuff, including admins/moderators for the Slack or Facebook group; folks to help craft questions/recruit hosts; and folks willing to help us once again create archives of the episodes. (NOTE: I’m the one writing this post so I have no problem immediately claiming management of the return of the Carnival of Journalism if this moves forward).
  • Is there anything else we should be considering/not considering/etc.?

You can answer any of the above questions by commenting directly on this post. If you’d like to submit topic suggestions or volunteer to serve on the planning team, you can use our existing form. None of the fields are required, but fill out as much as needed so we can contact you for additional information.

If you’ve already expressed interest, we’ll be getting in touch with you soon. If we don’t, find one of us or tweet to the #wjchat Twitter account and we’ll take care of it. Please let us know soon, so we can best plan how to move forward (or if it’s reasonable).

That’s it. We’ll let you know about the possibility of episode 351 as soon as possible — though depending on how this is received, you may actually beat us to the punch.

Thanks, everybody! Looking forward to talking soon…

BTW, if you’ve made it this far, it would help a lot if you understood just how this crazy thing started in the first place, courtesy of Robert Hernandez.

As his fifth anniversary post also suggests, it’s been a pretty cool collective of folks contributing to this effort behind the scenes. We’ve enjoyed it, a lot.

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