By ANDRES CORREA
Social media have forever changed the world by allowing people to experience events as a community.
As journalists, it is important to find new ways to capitalize on this phenomenon with innovations of our own. For the Republican and Democratic conventions The Washington Post decided to go “all in” on the idea of making the news a social experience.
“The Grid” is a special layout that was used by The Washington Post to cover the conventions. The Grid consisted of a stream of articles, photos, tweets, and videos from the events as they happened. The Grid is accompanied by analysis from writers at the Post, but also offered its users a stream of articles and tweets from writers at other news organizations.
Another feature offered to the users was the ability to filter out content. Users of The Grid could choose to filter the content type so at one moment they would only be seeing the tweets about the events and the next moment they could be seeing all of the live video coming out of the conventions.
The Washington Post also offered people the ability to filter content by special groups including politicians, delegates, and news organizations. Perhaps the most important part of The Grid is that it was fully functional on smartphones. This offered users the ability to experience the conventions from their phones in the same way they would be able to experience at home on their desktop.
News organizations are moving towards using more programs like The Grid to cover live events. However, this technology is still very new, which means that there are still many innovative features that could make it possible to connect the world even more in the future. For now, it should be very interesting to see how The Washington Post is able to improve on The Grid in their coverage of the next big live event.