We constantly conduct research as part of our work. If you’d like to work with us, get in touch.
Everything we do is centered around users. We have interviewed more than 300 people from 150 newsrooms in 30 countries. We’ve talked to frequent commenters, trolls, people who have been harassed out of the comments, and people who never comment.
We’ve conducted a survey on journalism and harassment. We’ve brought commenters and college students into newsrooms, and community activists into universities. As a result, we’ve crafted user personas and aggregated needs to create our roadmap and inform our decisions.
- Read our User Personas
- See our list of aggregate user needs
- View a behaviorial study of commenters
- Join our online Community for feedback and conversation
- Try our Comments Lab to see research in action
- Play our free card game, encouraging discussion around community tools
We work with academics to support our work.
Studies that we’ve initiated:
- One of the largest-ever surveys of commenters on news sites, conducted with The Engaging News Project across 20 different websites
- A study of women in comment spaces and best practices around women in online communities by Marie Tessier, fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missiouri
- An review of the effect of real names in online communities by J. Nathan Matias, an expert in sociology and online culture at MIT
- An informal literature review of moderation studies by Nicholas Diakopoulos of the University of Maryland
- Articles from academics and others on our blog
- Various work by four Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellows
- More academic collaborations announced soon
We frequently use pre-existing academic work to inform our product decisions. We have also assisted research projects by Anika Gupta at MIT, Fiona Martin at University of Sydney, the World Editors Forum.
We host events to inform and improve our work, running workshops and discussions about what we do. We also hold gatherings in newsrooms, colleges, and at events around the world. Tell us if you’d like to host an event with us.
- About our event ‘Beyond Comments: Building Better Conversations’ (held jointly with MIT Media Lab)
- About our hackathon, ‘Communities of Data’ (held jointly with The Washington Post)
- About our session at the Association for Alternative News Media
Previous workshops/sessions include: SRCCON, World Editor’s Forum, Internet Freedom Festival, Online News Association Conference, MozFest, People-Powered Publishing, Newsgeist, Association for Alternative News Media, SXSW, The Engagement Summit, SND Makes, Community Managers Meetup, Taking Back the News, FOO Camp, ReporterForum, BarCamp, MediaParty, International Journalism Festival, National Press Foundation, Newspaper Association of America, Media Law Resource Center Forum, NEO Media Lab in Buenos Aires, Media Learning Seminar, Internet Governance Forum, Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference, Poynter Annotation Summit, Digital Journalism World, NICAR, Hacks/Hackers New York and London, gatherings for students at Boston colleges, Howard University, the New School, various newsrooms.
We commission articles from experts on community management and technology. We are compiling them into a practical series of guides around community and engagement for newsrooms. This has so far included:
- A series on creating and managing communities from the founder of Slashdot
- Interviews with community experts and innovators
- A round up of the best audience-led stories from 2016
- Best practices from community managers at Metafilter, design researchers, in the health care industry, and more
- Guides for creating forms, the law as applied to online comments, protecting yourself from malware, how to present a convincing argument
- We also share essential reading on community management in our newsletter
If you have ideas for how we can work together on future research, please get in touch.