a better way to recruit readers to participate in stories that are relevant to them

Team members: Rob Berry, Feilding Cage, Sebastien Cevey, Cecilia Dobbs, Ruth Spencer

The Guardian has a philosophy of "open journalism" -- we seek the expert knowledge or personal experiences of our readers to tell more complete stories.

We frequently use "callouts" embedded in articles to ask for reader contributions, but this has a few challenges:

  1. Because space is limited, you would ideally be able to target certain sets of people -- in a certain location, who are interested in a certain topic, etc.

  2. When someone participated previously, we want to be able to keep that relationship going, and encourage future participation.

Our solution

Create a tool for making callouts that include a light interactive element as a gateway to asking for more detailed information.

Enable the callout to be targeted based on certain criteria:

  • anyone who has visited a certain page or set of pages in the past
  • anyone from a specific geolocation
  • anyone who has interacted with a specific callout in the past

Capture information from people who interact with the callout to enable the display of instant results.

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