msnbc has become the leading progressive cable news network. The audience is smart, passionate, and active, but for seventeen years had no central location to organize, communicate, and take action on the content that moved them.
With the launch of the all new msnbc.com in October 2013 we seized the opportunity to develop a website not just with great video and reporting, but to serve as a true community home. Community features and functions are crucial to the site’s mission and were considered through every stage of development.
Join In is entire section of the website dedicated to connecting users with their favorite shows, hosts, members, and groups. Users have the ability to filter by topics, so they can find the best matches for content and discussion most important to them.
Follow buttons are showcased throughout msnbc.com. By “following,” a user selects content to populate a personal digest. This provides the user a custom newsfeed showcasing the latest content from areas they’ve identified as important and notifying them of responses to actions they’ve taken.
Speak Out is a persistent call to action throughout the site. Users have the opportunity to comment and discuss every piece of content. Because the community’s discussion is crucial to our content creation, comments have been elevated to run alongside articles.
msnbc hosts and reporters appear in Speak Out threads, posing questions and hosting special live Q&A’s bringing the community in direct contact with the msnbc family.
President Obama even got in on the action as questions for his exclusive interview with Chris Matthews were directly solicited from the community within the “Let’s Play Hardball” community group.
- Over 179,000 comments have been logged on the new msnbc.com since October 2013
Groups are key to elevated conversation and constructive dialogue on the new msnbc.com. Comments are organized by groups, allowing users to start discussions with the people, shows, or organizations they are most interested in connecting with. Users can create their own group and invite others from both within the msnbc community and their own external social networks.
- Over 14,000 group joins have occurred on the new msnbc.com since October 2013
The msnbc community members are opinionated. They want to make their voice heard and find out where their views fall amongst their peers. A new polling feature allows users to answer questions and receive instant results. Polls are placed in articles on every topic across the website as well as the custom Speak Out section dedicated to voting and discussion.
- 1,028 polls created since October 2013
- 455,000 unique votes on msnbc.com polls since October 2013
Sharing and Taking Action
We recognize that conversations occurring outside msnbc.com on social media platforms are crucial to our community and so, instead of separating that discussion, we created modules for viewers to monitor and participate in the live “watch parties” that happen nightly during their favorite live programming.
Share and comment buttons are prominent throughout the site on every piece of content– even the homepage. Users can share through Facebook, twitter, or email – and can vote up favorite stories, send content directly to a group for discussion, or save content to a personalized reading list for later reference.