Daily Herald brings vibrant, interactive communities to its digital property with Viafoura

Many publishers experience challenges with enticing their digital readers to elevate their relationship from casual reader to actively engaged subscriber. The Daily Herald is a publisher zealously conquering this challenge.

The Daily Herald, suburban Chicago’s largest daily newspaper, provides up-to-date breaking local and national news. While they did offer commenting to their readers via Facebook, those comments appeared on Facebook.com and not DailyHerald.com – depriving the Daily Herald of building a dialogue between their staff and their readers. By moving commenting to their property, the Daily Herald now offers a healthy and vibrant environment that facilitates community interaction.

Mark Stallings, Manager of Digital Operations at the Daily Herald, discloses “we conducted several exhaustive rounds of analysis during our search to find a replacement for our current commenting platform. We had a list of must-haves for any new commenting platform, and Viafoura was among a small group of vendors that met or exceeded our criteria. First and foremost, we wanted a vendor that placed commenting and social engagement at the core of their business. They needed to be well established, with a proven track record of delivering best-in-class solutions with the following features: reader personalization, strong moderation, simple user management, comprehensible reporting and analysis, and easy integration. After narrowing the list, we talked to other publishing company staff and industry groups to help us make the final decision.’

With Viafoura’s Conversations, Live Blogs, Community Chat, Auto-Moderation, and Full-Service Moderation, the Daily Herald will be increasing subscriber revenue,  visitor’s time on site, the number of articles they read, and the number of times they return to engage with the content in a set interval.

Ensuring that the Daily Herald is successful and has an exceptional customer experience is Dalia Vainer, Viafoura’s Director of Customer Success. Dalia has the following comment regarding Viafoura’s newest partnership: “we’re excited that the Daily Herald has chosen Viafoura as its partner in community engagement! We’re looking forward to working together to create and grow a safe, moderated space that will provide peace of mind to internal teams and readers”.

Le site d’information français La Provence adopte la solution Conversations de Viafoura pour enrichir son expérience utilisateur

La Provence, le site d’information de presse quotidienne régionale couvrant les Bouches-du-Rhône, le Vaucluse et les Alpes de Haute Provence, s’est associé à Viafoura afin de lancer la solution Conversations sur sa plateforme. Tout en améliorant la modération des commentaires et la collecte de données sur le site du média français, Conversations permet à la communauté de La Provence de suivre les auteurs et sujets qui les interpellent, tout en produisant des notifications de navigateur et des badges personnalisés. De plus, le logiciel s’appuie sur un compteur de commentaires et un carrousel des conversations les plus populaires que les internautes peuvent rejoindre pour commenter les sujets les plus chauds de l’heure.

« L’équipe de La Provence a créé une belle expérience sur son site Web grâce au compteur de commentaires et aux alarmes de notifications situés dans l’en-tête du site Web. Ceux-ci sont attirants et essentiels à l’augmentation de l’engagement des lecteurs », affirme Dalia Vainer, directrice de l’expérience client de Viafoura.

Jusque-là, la modération des commentaires n’était pas satisfaisante, et l’équipe de La Provence souhaitait passer à un système plus performant et présentant plus de fonctionnalités, capable de recueillir davantage de données sur les utilisateurs du site.

« L’objectif était de pouvoir proposer à nouveau un espace de commentaires apaisé, modéré et de qualité », explique Mathieu Cochelin, Directeur des activités numériques, Groupe La Provence. Il ajoute que Viafoura a été choisie pour son équipe très réactive : « L’équipe de Viafoura a su répondre à nos attentes en termes de fonctionnalités. Elle a aussi su comprendre nos différentes contraintes et nous aider à y trouver des solutions. »

M. Cochelin se réjouit que l’expérience communautaire ait été améliorée et enrichie par de nombreuses nouvelles fonctionnalités interactives. Il se félicite également que la solution de Viafoura ait été implantée en mobilisant des ressources de manière hebdomadaire pour cadencer au mieux le lancement du projet.

« À l’avenir, nous prévoyons une augmentation de l’acquisition de nouveaux utilisateurs, une augmentation de l’engagement et du temps passé par page, ainsi qu’une amélioration de la modération », conclut-il.

French news website La Provence launches Viafoura’s Conversations for an enriched user experience

La Provence, the news website covering the latest in politics, lifestyle, and sports for the French regions of Marseille, Aix, Avignon, Vaucluse and Alpes, has partnered with Viafoura to launch the Conversations solution on its platform. While enhancing comment moderation and data-gathering at La Provence, Conversations allows the media brand’s community to follow authors and topics, while enabling browser pushes, custom badges and comment counters, as well as a carousel of trending conversations, so they can jump in on the hottest topics of the moment.

“The team at La Provence have created a beautiful experience on their website,” says Dalia Vainer, Viafoura’s Director of Customer Experience, “using comment counts and notification bells in the header that look sharp and are critical to increasing reader engagement.”

Comments had previously been handled in-house at La Provence, and its team wished to upgrade to an automated system with more functionalities, while gathering more first-party data.

“The goal was to be able to relaunch a quality comment section that’s peaceful and well supervised,” explains Mathieu Cochelin, Digital Director at Groupe La Provence, adding that Viafoura was chosen for its very responsive team. “They were able to meet our expectations in terms of functionality. They were also able to understand our various constraints and help us find solutions.”

Cochelin is excited about the improved community experience, enriched by a wide array of new interactive features, and applauds Viafoura’s implementation at an ideal weekly rhythm.

Looking ahead, Cochelin says, “we anticipate increased user acquisition, increased engagement, and increased time-on-page, as well as improved moderation.”

Readers of Toledo’s The Blade just made first contact with Viafoura’s AI-moderated commenting platform

The Blade, Toledo’s Pulitzer prize-winning source for daily online news, has partnered with Viafoura to launch a full suite of engagement solutions designed to boost readers’ interactions with the website. These solutions include topic and author follows, comments moderated by both AI and Viafoura’s team of human moderators, live blogs to cover breaking events like elections or sports games, chats for community members, and trending conversations.

“We’re very proud to count The Blade as the newest customer to launch Viafoura on its website,” says Dalia Vainer, director of customer experience at Viafoura. “Like so many digital media companies, providing a safer, more engaging user experience is paramount to the folks at The Blade. We’re looking forward to seeing how Viafoura will help create a more civil community and provide actionable data to drive product decisions.”

The Blade partners with Viafoura

According to Jen Lyon, digital manager at The Blade, the news site was looking to reduce the amount of time staff spends moderating user content, while also increasing reader engagement in the comments section, and creating more ad revenue opportunities.

“We’re already seeing more civility in the comments, and more engagement,” says Lyon. “Readers can find stories that have active conversations quickly. As more tools roll out, I believe readers will appreciate the changes more.”

Lyon was also keen to implement Viafoura’s digital experience platform because of its full-service moderation, and its highly engaging Community Chat and Live Blogs, which allow readers to interact directly with journalists, subject matter experts or each other. 

“The onboarding team was quick to answer any questions we had in a timely fashion,” Lyon says. “It was great to have developers on the call so issues could be discussed immediately…the launch of Viafoura went smoothly.”

Mastering Live Blogs: Strategies That Drive Positive Results


  • With the right features and applications, live blogs can help publishers enhance their content strategies. 
  • ClickOnDetroit created a Vaccine Hunter live blog that generated a significant amount of engagement: 50,000 views, over four million impressions and positive user feedback.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s live sports blog pulled Tweets in from several staff members to attract digital visitors to its site. 
  • The National Post provided a safe, trusted place to share important election information through various post formats.
  • The Morning Call’s COVID-19 blog featured short updates, which pointed to longer in-depth articles.
  • The Online News Association hosted a live blog to share key event takeaways for attendees. 

Viafoura’s live blog tools trigger increased content consumption, audience satisfaction and brand loyalty.

What kind of content experience will keep consumers informed and engaged online? That’s the million-dollar question that practically every publisher struggles with. 

Luckily, media companies have begun to notice that the live blog format can be a dependable way to share critical content and maximize the time audiences spend on publisher properties.

[2020] reminded publishers how valuable live news, updates and analysis can be to readers,” writes Digiday Senior Editor Max Willens. “The relentless bombardment of big stories gave publishers a fresh chance every month to break down what was going on for readers in areas ranging from public health to politics to sports to business.”

There’s no doubt that live blogs are loaded with perks. You just need to figure out what kind of live blog works best for your organization — and how your editorial team can implement it successfully. 

Get some inspiration to enhance your company’s content strategy by checking out some effective live blogs below.

ClickOnDetroit’s Vaccine Hunter Live Blog

When Ken Haddad, a digital content manager for a ClickOnDetroit, realized that thousands of people couldn’t find vaccine appointments, he launched a live blog to help. 

Haddad’s Vaccine Hunter-style live blog acted as a single place people could turn to in Michigan for critical vaccine updates and appointment openings. 

In addition, essential information was pinned to the top of the live blog to ensure that it stood out to page visitors. 

Haddad’s posts also engaged visitors by allowing audience members to upvote, downvote and share updates across platforms to their networks of friends and family.   

Since the project’s inception, ClickOnDetroit’s live blog has earned an incredible amount of attention, including over 150,000 views, four million impressions to Haddad’s Twitter account and positive visitor feedback.

The Baltimore Sun’s Live Sports Blog

Many journalists already Tweet regularly to keep their followers updated as newsworthy events and sports games unfold. So why not move that content away from the misinformation and social media trolls and ingest it right onto your company’s digital properties?

That’s precisely what The Baltimore Sun did. 

To give audience members real-time commentary and updates on a major football game in early 2021, The Baltimore Sun pulled in Tweets from several staffers into its live blog

As a result, the media company was able to attract and engage sports fans right on its website in return for ongoing, accurate recaps and content on the game.

National Post’s Election Live Blog

No national election is complete without an overwhelming amount of information and aggressive opinions on social media. And since 80% of people will turn away from news coverage near toxic content, posting live election updates on social media is counterproductive for any media company hoping to build a reputation as a trusted resource. 

For these reasons, the National Post ran a live blog to provide audiences with a reliable, safe space to follow the 2019 Canadian election.

The National Post also used Viafoura’s live blogging tool during the election, which gave them the ability to cover the event thoroughly using a combination of updates, social media posts and images.

The Morning Call’s COVID-19 Live Blog

In the spring of 2020, The Morning Call launched a live blog to help Pennsylvanians monitor COVID-19 and related restrictions in their region.

The media company cleverly used the live blog as a way to push readers to longer content pieces. This meant that writers didn’t need to continuously recap old information in new content since all background information could be accessed on the live blog. Plus, they could keep their updates concise, highlighting only vital information. 

The short updates, which can touch on a story from several different perspectives or angles, gives readers a good snapshot of a publisher’s breadth of coverage,” Willens explains.

ONA’s Live Event Blog

With many businesses hosting events to grow revenue or audiences, there’s a tremendous opportunity to engage people before, during and after these events online. And some organizations are now seeing the live blog as an appealing tool to build audience interest around their events.

The Online News Association (ONA), for instance, decided to leverage Viafoura’s live blog to engage attendees during ONA NYC, an event for media professionals. 

ONA published noteworthy takeaways from ONA NYC, offering attendees one place to return to for essential highlights and information. 

With the support of live blogs, publishers can satisfy audiences, boost content consumption, and encourage visitors to spend more time viewing and relying on their coverage. 

If you’re interested in learning about Viafoura’s live blogging tool, you can access a complete list of its features here.

Here’s Why Live Blogs Are Critical for Covering Civil Unrest

From the storming of Capitol Hill to the protests in 2020 against police brutality, tensions between civilians and authorities have led to dangerous clashes recently. And although it’s unfortunate, civil unrest has been and will continue to be part of the world we live in. 

Media companies are now pursuing new, effective ways to deliver critical information and updates in these types of disturbances to keep news readers informed and engaged. That’s why live blogs are quickly becoming the content publishing format of choice for organizations that want to cover civil unrest thoroughly. 

Not only do live blogs give newsrooms a way to share quick updates and lengthier articles, but they also encourage readers to stay on publishers’ digital properties for longer. 

Max Willens, a senior reporter at Digiday, highlights how “live blogs, live update or briefing pages,… drive more content consumption, deliver stronger subscriber conversion, and tend to play an important role in subscriber retention.” 

Gain a deeper understanding of how live blogs are vital for strengthening your company’s news coverage and digital community around civil unrest below.

One Trusted Place To Gather Trusted Information

There’s nothing more convenient for newsreaders in times of crisis than having all the available news and information on a page that’s easy-to-access and navigate. 

Take the National Post, for example.

The National Post ran a live blog in February of 2020 to help people make sense of how COVID-19 was quickly changing the world around them. This news hub was used to deliver key facts on public safety, real-time updates and related longer-form content. 

Just as the National Post relied on a live blog to share ongoing information about the pandemic in a quick and accessible way, live blogs can help guide people through any crisis. 

With live blogs, you can encourage readers to return to your trusted content for accurate updates instead of social media, which is littered with misinformation.

Provide Live Updates From Mobile Devices

When media organizations cover civil unrest, the most urgent content often comes from journalists that are in the field, reporting on the events as they happen.

Many journalists already share their play-by-plays at protests and riots directly on Twitter to get critical information out as fast as possible. But as mentioned above, Twitter isn’t a trusted space for news. 

Media organizations shouldn’t have to worry about having their trusted content be associated with all the misinformation on social media. 

As a brand-safe alternative, live blogs give your journalists a way to instantly post updates to the public on your own, reliable platform. 

“The people who are actively tweeting are already halfway there to covering things live,” states Marc Lacey, assistant managing editor of live at The New York Times. 

Lacey adds that running the live update format on the Times’ platform will elevate its digital property.

“It’s more a sense of, we can reach a whole lot more people than you can on your Twitter account,” Lacey says.

Allow People To Interact and Engage With Information

Engaging your audience on your website or app is an effective way to encourage people to return to your website, build relationships with other audience members and eventually pay for a subscription. 

At The Philadelphia Inquirer, live blogs proved to have double the conversion rate of traditional articles. 

“We hadn’t developed the habit you need to get people to come back and make us a part of their every day,” explains Patrick Kerkstra, managing editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer. “The live blog has helped with that.”

You can enhance your live blog by allowing your audience members to follow your updates and interact with others. That way, you’ll be able to persuade your visitors to remain on your digital properties for trusted information and a satisfying on-site experience.

A Safe Platform To Voice Opinions

During any period of civil unrest, people are bound to have strong, conflicting opinions. Media organizations can provide a safe social space for people to discuss their thoughts, questions and concerns by allowing comments on their live blogs.

Keep in mind that organizations can leverage a sophisticated moderation system to protect conversation quality by detecting and blocking toxic user behavior. 

“[Without moderation], trolls quickly become the vocal minority, and can quickly overtake and drown out more relevant conversation,” says Leigh Adams, the director of moderation solutions at Viafoura. 

Live blogs with moderated social spaces give organizations, journalists and audience members the opportunity to connect through meaningful and productive discussions. You can also position your live blog to be a safe space for minority groups to voice their thoughts. 

In a nutshell, live blogs are powerful reporting tools that can capture your audience’s attention and keep readers engaged around trusted content when it matters most. And since the past few months have been remarkably unpredictable and chaotic, it’s important to start preparing your organization now for unexpected civil disturbances.

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