Social media is fast becoming an integral force in engaging online communities, AOL's HuffPost Media Group's Rob Fishman told a packed audience at Toronto's mesh conference.
At the mesh conference in downtown Toronto, Fishman discussed the various tools available for readers to engage with HuffingtonPost.com content.
Fishman is the social media editor of AOL’s HuffPost Media Group. He oversees distribution and publication across social networks, works on product development and strategic partnerships, and leads HuffPost’s editorial social team. He tends to take a more macro approach to social media strategies at HuffPost, saying there are more than 100 editors curating content for social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon.
"Information wants to be exchanged not just delivered," he declared.
Search engines and social media are the lifeblood of Huffington Post, Fishman said, and each article has a wide variety of tools to keep readers sharing content. For instance, a Twitter widget lays out how many times the piece has been shared but that's just the basics, he points out. They include a Twitter widget that adds expert commentary from other Twitter users, all related to the topic of the article.
Every page editor for Huffington Post (Entertainment, Media, Divorce, etc) is responsible for their own social media pages. "An editor here is a social media editor," Fishman said. The main @HuggingtonPost Twitter feed curates content from those editors.
What about the four million comments the site receives every month? Fishman said not only do more than 30 human editors manage comments but a "machine-based system whose algorithm we call Julia" helps filter out improper language. It's smart, too: it can tell the difference between "kill Obama!" and "those polls can really kill Obama and his chances at another presidency."
When asked if AOL buying Huffington Post has changed the social media culture at the site, Fishman shook his head and said it's all been business as usual. "I"m really happy with our relationship with AOL so far," he concluded.
Digital Journal will be livetweeting select sessions at mesh via @digitaljournal today and tomorrow