Choose your contributors carefully and set up communication channels
- Private messages, private subreddits, Slack channels, IRC, or other messengers are all options.
- Have enough contributors to keep the flow of information steady.
- If contributors to a potentially long-lived thread know they will need to leave, start selecting replacements early to ensure continuity.
Establish content ground rules
- Determine the scope of thread coverage. Having contributors go too far off-topic can be distracting and annoying to viewers.
- Decide whether NSFW content is allowed and what kind of warning should viewers receive.
- Discuss what sources are acceptable/unacceptable. Let your fellow contributors know if you discover a solid lead or find out that a source may be questionable. For every person actually on the scene, there's someone else just throwing trolling headlines on social media to see what sticks.
- Plan how to handle retractions and corrections. First reports are often inaccurate. It's okay to say "earlier report was a mistake" and remove it to prevent misinformation from spreading.
During the thread
- It may be helpful to assign information streams to particular contributors, such as having one user covering local news updates, one on social media, one on audio streams, etc.
- Check the thread comments for viewer feedback. Other users may suggest new updates to the thread or notice that previous posts have been changed or proven inaccurate.
- Consider security and safety. As much as it gets joked about, there have been incidents of suspects monitoring news and social media to track police movement. Police scanner feeds and amateur aerial footage can be great sources, but be careful about what you publicize.
- For an event with a finite duration, like a sporting event, have a plan on when and how to close down the thread. You may want to include some links to color commentary, celebrations, or other related content before signing off.
- For incidents like a natural disaster or other event with multiple phases, it may be best to create multiple threads for specific aspects of the response. Stick to your scope.
- If your original contributor team needs to leave, add others or close the thread down and let viewers know it has been closed.