2009 Editorial & Design Awards: Use of Social Media

11/18/2009

Winner: BusinessWeek, B-Schools Channel

One of the oldest magazine-branded online communities remains one of the best. For years, current and prospective b-school students have joined with alumni to create a brain trust at BusinessWeek Online that addresses not only professional education but all economic and management topics.

This is a model of community evolving into a major content enterprise. The editorial staff helps contribute to and shape the user-generated content into real resources for the visitor. A portfolio of 28 staff-written blogs, video shows and multimedia slideshows complement and direct the community-driven conversations. This is a unique space online where budding entrepreneurs who are contemplating the right b-school can hear from students who are experiencing the school now as well as alumni who have leveraged their education in numerous ways.

In 2008, this area of the BW site increased its focus on b-school graduates with special reports on how the recession was affecting education and new graduates. The channel also became more integrated with BW’s own Business Exchange social media hub so 40 of the top schools could have officials and students post new material into the network and connect with others. BW Online’s B-Schools channel demonstrated how community online becomes a content and a service when shaped by a strong sense of editorial mission. We’re sure new owner Bloomberg LP will only encourage the brand’s leading-edge social media strategies.
Learn more about this winner.

Honorable Mentions
Entertainment Weekly – EW.com’s Tony Awards Live Blog: EW made its Tony Awards blog genuinely interactive by including snap polls and results that kept users engaged with the site and with one another. This is real-time community that enhances other media.
Meredith Corp. – MixingBowl.com: This model for combining content and community into a unique new flavor of site turns the foodie genre into a kind of kitchen club. Users not only share and rank recipes here but infect one another with their enthusiasm and good ideas.
InStyle.com – Social Media/Twitter: InStyle became a quick Twitter winner this year (1.3 million followers) by creating a new and live channel between the loyal readers and the magazine’s fashion editors and red carpet reporters. InStyle committed itself to real and real-time conversations with its readers that paid off in loyalty and site traffic.
TechWeb/Internet Evolution – youSpeak/youChat: The best collection of the smartest Internet minds supercharges the user experience with a youSpeak tool that lets visitors drop immediately into topic-specific forums, and youChat, which lets users initiate an immediate chat with the site’s editors. Interactivity on both tools has increased exponentially.
Time.com – Time Social Media: Using Twitter, this weekly newsmagazine successfully morphed into a real-time wire service. More than 1.3 million followers now track news but also get from readers content for its “10 Questions” franchise of interviews with leaders and celebrities.