Thursday, June 02, 2011
CNN iReport roundtable: Thursdays at 3 p.m. ET

Hey iReporters!

 

For those who don’t know me, my name is Carly Costello, and I will be working with CNN iReport for the next month.

 

I hope you will join me and the rest of the iReport team today at 3 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion here on the iReport blog. This week, we'll be discussing CNN’s Home and Away project, which is an interactive memorial to the thousands of coalition troops worldwide who have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

 

Team iReport is currently brainstorming ways to continue spreading the word about Home and Away and share the stories of these brave men and women with the CNN community. We would love to hear input from the iReport community.

 

Today’s roundtable will also be a good opportunity for you to meet other CNN iReporters, and for the iReport staff to answer any questions you may have about what's going on in the community.

 

We'll open comments at 3 p.m. ET and begin the conversation. In the meantime, please feel free to explore the Home and Away interactive and think of any questions you might have about the project.

67 Comments
June 2, 2011
Click to view BetteBoomer's profile

Something along the AIDS traveling memorial quilt that captured the imagination in this country but expand it to include all coalition troop names. Or a Christ-like gigantic environmental art project like his wrapping of the Reichstag, Central Park Gates, 24 mile running fence in CA - but a black ribbon with names+bios of each. It could become a permanent memorial somewhere.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Hello iReporters!

June 2, 2011
Click to view GHung's profile

Hi, Carly Costello!  I have already replied to your Home and Away Assignment.

Greetings during the CNN iReport Round-table To All!

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

Hi everyone, I hope you're all doing well.

 

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Welcome @BetteBoomer, those are great ideas, but I think we are looking for something that we can do through CNN.com and with our iReporters. An example could be something like a photo gallery highlighting some of the Home and Away submission.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Hey @GHung! I saw the photos from the memorial. Did you do one on a fallen service member too?

June 2, 2011
Click to view Patricia0117's profile

Hi David.....hiiiiiiii fellow iReporters...  :)

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Hi Patricia0117!

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

Before we get to far along, I want to introduce Carly, or ccostello3, to everyone. She's been working with us as an intern and a freelancer for quite a while.

 

She's going to be filling in for me for a couple of weeks while I'm out of town. You can go to her with any questions or issues you would normally come to me about.

 

And as always, anyone on the iReport staff will be happy to do what they can to help you.

 

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

Hi BetteBoomer -- I wanted to share a link to the Home and Away interactive so you can take a look at it. http://cnn.com/homeandaway

 

It has information on ever U.S. service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and shows their hometowns and where they were killed.

 

It also gives people who knew them a chance to post personal tributes to the individual troops.

 

 

June 2, 2011
Click to view GHung's profile

The Illinois Veterans Memorial Sundial displays all the names of fallen service soldiers inscribed on black marble slabs which include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Home and Away has been a great way to honor those killed in action. Our goal is to have a tribute posted for every fallen service member, so we need to get the word out about it to as many people as possible.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

This is where we could use some input from our community!

June 2, 2011
Click to view rebelleader's profile

rebelleader here, greetings folks

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Hello rebelleader!

June 2, 2011
Click to view BetteBoomer's profile

Ok, I get it. Have reporters in each location of the fallen take a picture of a grave marker, a photo that represents the town or picture of the house where the fallen grew up - something personal for a start.

June 2, 2011
Click to view Patricia0117's profile

Hi ccostello3 ...nice to meet you!!! :)

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Hi Patricia0117! Nice to meet you too!

June 2, 2011
Click to view BetteBoomer's profile

Yes, did see the Home and Away interactive. Only saw name & town of each fallen pop up. Hello everyone.

June 2, 2011
Click to view metacouture's profile

Greetings All!

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

@BetteBoomer -- I like the way you're thinking. Our goal is always to find was to drill down into every story we cover to find personal angles.

We've heard so many touching stories about these men and women.

 

June 2, 2011
Click to view hhanks's profile

what ho all

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

Here's the big question we have. We want the friends and loved ones of fallen troops to know about this because we think they'll want to participate.

 

We don't want to spam them or be intrusive.

 

Does anybody have any thoughts on how we can reach folks without being a nuisance?

June 2, 2011
Click to view rebelleader's profile

I have a story about anti Gaddafi postings on the CNN forums at the bottom of stories vanishing across the board. Not just to some but anyone who says something against Gaddafi. It seemed to intensify at the beginning of this week. Sometimes it works fine. Then at certain hours everything vanishes. Unlike any other CNN board. But it has been going on for over a month. It is an interesting study. It could be anti-Obama trying to ruin his effort, it could be pro Gaddafi, or it could even be the Rebels trying to fain victim. I have no idea who. To test you need an account that CNN might ban because it gets messy. Do not use your current account. Say a few things against Gaddafi and test this for several days, it will go away. I have been banned from the board, although I do not think I violated any rules. I was putting my postings back once removed. But the alternative is to leave all pro Ghadafi postings up and do nothing. I was somewhat moderate. The worst I called him was a joker.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Hey BetteBoomer. If you click on a hometown on the map, it will pull up the service member from that town. From there you can view their profile by clicking on Share memories and messages. You can also search for specific members in the search bar in the top right corner of the interactive.

June 2, 2011
Click to view metacouture's profile

Exposure for the page is going to be pretty simple; announce it on CNN... (not being cheeky)... To get people to utilize it, the most honest way I know is to interview someone who lost someone; using the interface, and or find someone on Facebook or Twitter to personalize it.

~ Stefan

June 2, 2011
Click to view GHung's profile

The Veterans Administration would help in the Home and Away Assignment.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Hey metacouture! We actually did that on Memorial Day and it was really successful. We are still trying to find other outlets to get the friends and family members, who might not be avid CNN readers/watchers, aware of what we are doing.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

That's a good idea GHung! I will look into that as well as other Veterans groups.

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

Hi rebelleader,

There was a lot of abusive behavior by both pro- and anti-Gadaffi commenters.

These comments violated the CNN.com community guidelines, so they were removed.

We also ended up having to ban a lot of people on both sides of the issue because of their behavior.

Hopefully, that will take care of a lot of the problem.

 

The people involved were posting off-topic attacks on each other instead of talking about the issues raised in the story.

 

 

June 2, 2011
Click to view BetteBoomer's profile

Similar to the cultural census, maybe drill down through the Home and Away for details and focus on a state or region and reposition each fallen's story in that state or region elsewhere on CNN or ? Then move on to the global.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

That is also a great idea, BetteBoomer! Maybe we can take it a state or a region at a time. Thanks!

June 2, 2011
Click to view metacouture's profile

1. The VA has it's hands full; this is part of the reason the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) was created.

 

2. One way to get exposure would be small scale targeted advertising on CNN.

 

3. David makes an excellent point about not imposing. It is one of the fanciest grave markers ever. One that should be adopted as an honor to those who have fallen, not "released" like a movie.

 

It is a beautiful tribute.

~ Stefan

June 2, 2011
Click to view 3Ggid's profile

hi everyone

June 2, 2011
Click to view rebelleader's profile

@davidw I might suggest a sign in area to provide some privacy, although you are in the news business, there is probably some hesitancy on the part of people to send family details onto the web. And then perhaps to limit the review of family names to a first name only being visible. And then perhaps to have multiple choice of options where a poster can select or de-select items, some of which they might find tasteful or distasteful.

June 2, 2011
Click to view GHung's profile

It is a long-term project for Home and Away.

June 2, 2011
Click to view BetteBoomer's profile

Agree, GHung, Vet groups are extremely supportive and helpful.

June 2, 2011
Click to view metacouture's profile

@ccostello3 Awesome. I wasn't feeling original. I assumed that was the case.

 

It is a tricky situation. I love that you are posing the question here.

 

I have many more ideas, and it seems to be circling around a simple issue: It should have gone "viral" ~ short of that happening, there is a quandary; How does CNN get people aware of it without pushing it on people.

 

2. Above could include targeted advertising on Facebook as well.

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

That's an interesting idea rebelleader. We do have our moderators review every tribute and they keep an eye on comments for abuse.

It's really important to us that these submitters are treated respectfully.

 

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

@rebelleader, we have encountered some of those problems in the past, but we do our best to abide by the family members and the submitter's wishes. As we all know, this is a very delicate topic.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

@metacouture Maybe as a community we can reach out, personally, to those who know someone who was killed in action and who we think might be interested in this project.

June 2, 2011
Click to view rebelleader's profile

@davidw, I think I started out being creative and then after a while of things vanishing, it is either re-post or leave. But the feeling is that someone hacked into DISCUS backend and was chopping people out left and right. This I think has to do with an auto delete feature where is several people hit the REPORT ABUSE button they can delete listings, because there is no live moderator. It gets complex and I do not have a solution for it.

June 2, 2011
Click to view metacouture's profile

Ok. I have an idea.

 

@Rebelleader is onto something: the interface is lacking buy in.

 

Make a feature so loved ones can upload a video to honor their Friend or Family member that is at the place where people are "drilling" into.

 

It is a great idea that I think @Rebelleader has pinpointed why people haven't engaged it, they don't have to.

 

~ Stefan

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

There was no hacking.

I have had to go in several times and remove a lot of comments, but that's because they were abusive or violated the terms of use.

I know other moderators have had this problem as well.

It has nothing to do with ideology.

I read every comment that I pulled and only pulled the ones that violated terms.

June 2, 2011
Click to view metacouture's profile

@DavidW

 

Argh on having to delete abusive comments.

 

Compassion

 

~ Stefan

June 2, 2011
Click to view BetteBoomer's profile

Each branch of the service has a casualty assistance office. Not sure how this could link in.

June 2, 2011
Click to view GHung's profile

Check with military bases.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

@BetteBoomer, that is definitely good idea. We just need to think of a way to promote it but not be intrusive while doing it.

June 2, 2011
Click to view metacouture's profile

@ccostello3

 

Regarding reaching out. I love the idea. I thought of it, and it is a sticky area with implied endorsement, how does CNN empower people to interact that directly while avoiding the issues @DavidW is dealing with?

June 2, 2011
Click to view rebelleader's profile

@ davidw, I did look at the map the other day. I just took another look at it. And think you link the individual to the area where they were killed. My first thought is retribution from people who might track a combatant to his home town and ?? While the interface is very impressive. You need to remember that unlike any other tribute it is in the middle of a war. And the people you are fighting seek revenge all the time. Now nothing may come of it. But perhaps to keep more personal details somewhat discreet. Or also to have a login to gain more details which leave more of a trail minimally.

June 2, 2011
Click to view BetteBoomer's profile

Perhaps the casualty assistance people could be the intermediaries (the link) thus negating the intrusiveness thing.

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

These are all good suggestions, thank you.

 

We've got a few minutes left.

Does anyone have any other questions or issues you want to talk about?

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Thanks again for all the suggestions, we really appreciate it!

June 2, 2011
Click to view GHung's profile

There is a lot to do.  Have a Good Week!  Got To Go!  Glad to connect with you during the roundtable.

June 2, 2011
Click to view BetteBoomer's profile

Thanks everyone.

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

Before we leave, I want to tell you about a fun assignment we launched today after we heard about the replacement of the food pyramid with the food plate.

We're asking you to draw what your food plate would look like

http://ireport.cnn.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=617166

I think it's going to be fun.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Before we leave today, we want to tell you about two assignments we have out. First is called "Airplanes for freedom" and it is part of our Freedom Project.

 

What we need you to do is make a paper airplane of your own. On one wing, write one of the three statistics above. On the other wing, write a message of hope for the victims in your own words. Then add your name.

 

Here is the link: http://ireport.cnn.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=615921

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Nice talking to you too, GHung!

June 2, 2011
Click to view rebelleader's profile

@ davidw I always think of worst case, and the worst case for that map is someone with problems gets it and finds an easy link to the close relatives to the person lost. So, I would design it in such a way so that it would not be a simple thing to find their relatives. Just as a precaution.  I think it is technically possible but you will need a few twists and turns when accessing the info.

June 2, 2011
Click to view davidw's profile

Thanks everyone,

Have a great week.

 

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

@rebelleader, all of the information is kept private. We do not release any additional information without permission of the family or submitter. The names of the submitters and family members are not released without permission either, and we use their iReport alias when we write producer notes. The only reason we would use names of the family members or submitters is if we were writing a story or blog post, and in that case, we would ask for permission to use their names. I hope this helps.

June 2, 2011
Click to view ccostello3's profile

Thanks again! I look forward to talking to you all next Thursday!

June 2, 2011
Click to view rebelleader's profile

@davidw the plate looks like fun, here is an idea. Make an application out of it and allow people to drop in food items to the plate which will then divide automatically and tell people how close they are to the target by the Gov.

June 3, 2011
Click to view TokyoSKC's profile

I'm a 22-year resident of Tokyo. I'm stunned by the "efforts" of the Japanese government to save electricity: it used to be called "cool biz": wearing cooler clothes in the summer and turning down the air conditioner. How ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that the Japanese consistently refuse even to consider daylight savings time: the only major industrialized country on Earth not to take advantage of it. The energy savings could be significant. It's complete daylight here before 5AM. Leave it to the Japanese government to piddle around with absurd public relations gimmicks.

June 6, 2011
Click to view Siddique's profile

I hope to join you next Thursday.

June 17, 2011
Click to view wenderbender's profile

I would love to see a couple requirements for all the reps/congress of our country. federal,state And city  1st. I think when times are so hard they have to lay off thousands of the "lower class" goverment workers, the first thing when they look at cuts should be the salaries of each "high class" worker. Why are we paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to one person when that same money would sustain many. 2nd (but should be 1st) I BELIEVE ANY ONE HOLDING OFFICE SHOULD HAVE TO LIVE FOR AT LEAST 3 MONTHS AT THE PAY THEY GIVE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABLED.I Don't mean to yell it but when I try to hold things together at a pay rate of 1000 monthly with one bedroom rates at 700 monthly and gas at 3.90 a gallon which $15 which translates to 2 times to the grocery store (I live in a rural area) and then I hear things like medicare medicaid, social security, all those things that keep us poor hardworkers that for no fault of his/her own has been unabled to work yet contributed to the system for a lifetime should be cut. The people cutting things are giving themselves raises, ignoring the fact that not one of them seem to understand what we "little" people are dealing with when they play their billion dollar games. I'd love to have just what they carry for pocket change. It would proably sustain me for a month.  I watch things like money that was geared for stimulating the job market. Around here they started building roads.. We had a iron works in town but for some strange reason the work went to canada.  a month later the ironworks here closed. workers here no longer work. what costs more unemployment or working in the usa?

June 20, 2011

On the surface, it seems IR has lost a great deal of its viewers. I wondered if the narrow content was going to hurt it. hmmm

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