When we published Gather’s new website in April, we eluded to the membership feature that will deepen connections for this community. We heard from our 2019 Gather Survey that you wanted help connecting with people and keeping up with the resources on the website. We’re thrilled to announce our new Gather Membership program that, as a Gather member, you can:
- Connect with an international group of community-minded journalists
- View the membership directory by region, job roles, and topics of interest
- Access to members-only content including Lightning Chats from the past three years
- Save favorite resources and create your collection in your profile
Because of our need to make this directory more useful to the community, we took the risk of starting anew. So, even if you signed up to our old platform, we’re asking you to sign-up and offer a bit more about yourself in our new process. It takes less than 10-minutes to Sign-Up and Join the Gather Community.
I’ll pause here to let you do that. Back? Great. Now that you’re a Gather member, I hope you’ll take a few more minutes to explore our members-only features on Gather! As with most communities, the more you contribute, the richer the experience for others can be. So here’s a detailed rundown on what to expect (the links below assume that you are a registered member and logged in):
You’ll now be able to see the full list of members and view them by regions (Far West, Great Lakes, Mideast, Europe, Asia, etc.), job roles (including media types and markets), and topics of interest (changing newsroom culture, collaborations, community participation, DEI, Impact/Metics, sustainability & revenue, etc.).
And yes, we will soon incorporate a search feature within the membership directory to make it easier for people to find names, organizations, and job titles.
- Mirroring the information you shared during the sign-up process, you can link directly to other members’ social feeds (Twitter, LinkedIn), get to know where they work and how they describe what they do.
- Once you start collecting your favorite Gather resources, you’ll notice the “Favorite ✩” in your profile. Click it for any member and you’ll see their personal collection. Find out more below.
- You can also contact other members through a form system right on Gather. Don’t worry. Your email address will never be shared with others on the platform. We believe this is useful for those who aren’t on Gather’s Slack workgroup, but obviously, Slack is another convenient way to get a hold of other members.
- What’s not available on Slack, however, is what motivates people. That’s why we added a second set of questions that we hope you’ll take time to answer. If you haven’t, please do consider doing so when you have a few minutes: Welcome to Gather. We didn’t want these additional questions to be a barrier for people to sign-up, but as you’ll discover, it is a great way for people to understand better why you’re here and what you hope to learn and share.
- One final thing about profile pages. You’ll also see members’ Engaged Journalism work if it’s been curated on Gather, including resources they’ve created, case studies and featured projects highlighting their work, and lightning chats that they’ve hosted. We hope that you’ll find the work this community is doing inspiring. We certainly do. And, of course, if there’s work that’s missing on the website, you can suggest a resource, a project we should feature, or a Lightning Chat you’d like to host.
This brings us to favorites. You can now collect the resources you’re most interested in by simply clicking on the “FAVORITED ✩” icon on any of the content listings pages. As a professor, this feature has been invaluable to me. The system also aggregates everyone’s favorites so you can also sort each of the listings pages (resources, case studies, featured projects, and Lightning Chats).
I appreciate Gather’s Advisory Committee, ModSquad and other early adopters for testing out the onboarding process and offering insights to improve it. What you see is the result of several weeks of tweaking, survey analysis, and collaboration with our technology partner Daniel Bachhuber of Hand Built.
Along with the search feature mentioned earlier that we’ll add soon, we hope to make membership more useful for you and your work. As always, we’d love to hear from you. If you find any bugs or any general suggestions, please email me or fill out this form. Thank YOU.
Published: June 30, 2020