Interhacktives: A Profile

Who is an Interhacktives user?

As part of our Interactive Journalism MA at City University, we are tasked with running the Interhacktives blog and managing its community. The goal is to learn how best to use social media to aid with and enhance our journalism and then communicating our insight to the Interhacktives users.

First, though, we were asked to consider exactly who the Interhacktives community is. If I’ve learned anything from the course so far, it’s that nothing is quite so important in online journalism as specificity. The more targeted your content, the better. So figuring out who our audience is, what they’re looking for online and how best to communicate with them is paramount.

To help me figure out who the audience is (and stealing a good idea from my fellow students Aleks and Anthony) I sat down and sketched what I had in mind when I thought of an Interhacktives user. And then the picture turned into Tintin.

Minus Captain Haddock and Snowy, plus iPhone and Feedly

Minus Haddock and Snowy, plus iPhone and Feedly

But the more I thought about it, the more of a happy accident that seemed. Tintin is exactly who I have in mind when I think about an Interhacktives user.

He’s eternally curious, with an inquiring and investigative mind who seeks out information from every available source. Though his time prevented it, you know that Tintin would have subscribed to thousands of RSS feeds. He understands the value of a community when it comes to sourcing news – Marlinspike Hall was essentially the Twitter of its day. He doesn’t spend every hour of every day in front of a computer – he understands that technology is increasingly portable and many of the necessary tools for research, curation, writing and sharing are available on his phone – so he actively goes out and finds a story. His community is no more than a slide-to-unlock away.

He is interested in whatever interests him, and understands that in the era of online journalism he can find a niche to publish his content to. He reads articles about how best to accomplish this, and about advances in technology and science.

He is keen to learn new skills and actively pursues leads no matter where they may… lead. He understands that the Internet and social media are simply one of many tools available to enable him to practice journalism, rather than a story in and of themselves. He helps foil the machinations of an ancient Peruvian mummy. OK, well, maybe that one was just Tintin.

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