Ruibal column: How to keep engaging with the Post Independent | PostIndependent.com

Ruibal column: How to keep engaging with the Post Independent

Sallee Ann Ruibal
sruibal@postindependent.com
Sallee Ann Ruibal
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

DON’T MISS THE PI ON FACEBOOK

Want to keep us prominent in your news feed? There’s a way:

-When on Facebook, click the down arrow in the far top right corner.

-Select “news feed preferences.”

-Click “prioritize who to see first” and choose what pages (Post Independent!) you’d like to appear at the top of your news feed.

Sunday afternoon, I threw snowballs in the air for my boyfriend’s dog to catch. I packed snow between my hands and chucked them across the yard. Sky would chase those balls only to then look down at the ground confused. “Where did it go?”

I had a similar thought 10 minutes into our fun. I felt my pockets. Empty. “Where did my phone go?”

Embarrassed by what is totally a millennial problem, I asked my boyfriend to take a break from shoveling out his car and help me comb the yard. Before too long, with the help of Find My iPhone, my phone was unearthed, and I was relieved.

The phone was my Christmas gift to myself. I told the Verizon employee back home in Ohio that, you see, I live in Colorado and need a good camera to take scenic shots. I also need a good camera because, during a Facebook Live stream, one Post Independent reader commented that it looked like it was taken with a prepaid phone. So yes, camera quality is important to me — from live streaming a long-awaited bridge opening to taking a photo of the first baby of 2018.

My phone is also a tool to send work emails, reply to Facebook messages from readers, update Typo’s Twitter (@newsroomcat) and, oh yeah, make phone calls.

I joked to my friend once: “If I can’t do my job from my phone, then I’m doing my job wrong.”

Phones and young people often come under heavy criticism. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “Young people don’t know how to communicate! They just text!” Yes, there is an art to communicating in person effectively and in an engaging manner. Eye contact is important. But sending a text or a tweet is communicating. I don’t get to see my college roommate for hours each day like I used to, but we keep in constant contact via our phones. My mother has discovered the joy of FaceTime.

I love being recognized when walking around town, but my job is engaging with readers online. Journalism is pretty straightforward. You report on events, people and issues that affect readers. You report only facts. You use said facts to provide the context and understanding readers need in their everyday life. The standards of journalism are steadfast, despite criticism from even the most powerful (still waiting on our Fake News Awards, by the way).

What is ever changing, however, is my job. My job is to get you, our readers, to engage with and read our content online. On Jan. 11, Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to how the Facebook algorithm would operate. Often when an algorithm change takes place, it leaves social media managers looking up, down and around like Sky wondering, “Where did it go? Our readers? Our page views?” It’s a scramble of sorts to decode the algorithm. Do we need more photos? More video? More bears climbing in trees?

The latest change states that content with a high amount of comments and discussion will be prioritized, especially when it comes from users’ friends and family. Posts from business pages that are easily scrolled past will be buried — and it only makes sense.

So what are we at the Post Independent going to do to stay relevant? Post 30-second recipe videos of SpaghettiOs Jell-o? Nah. Post cute animal photos? Maybe. But above all, we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing. Our reporters and editors will keep covering the community with the vigilance and heart only local people can. If you like it, please join in the conversation. If you don’t, we still want to hear from you. This has always been your paper, and my phone is always on.

Sallee Ann Ruibal is Engagement Editor for the Post Independent and Social Media Manager for Typo, the newsroom cat. You can email both of them at sruibal@postindependent.com