Complaining about riding the bus is sport in San Francisco. So when we started Muni Diaries, a website documenting stories that happen on public transit, there was a high chance that our website could devolve into a cesspool of whining and bigoted rants.
But the exact opposite happened: For the last three-and-a-half years, our readers have contributed the majority of the content on our site, and we’ve turned a significant slice of the transit-riding population in San Francisco into our contributor base.
Our readers have helped us break news, be the first to tweet about accidents, and provide other useful information to San Franciscans who depend on public transit.
So how do you get the best from your readers? And how do you cultivate a focused audience that consistently shares ideas and contributes to conversations? Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way.
Listen to what people want to talk about. Read more