Online Journalism Blog

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A DIGG CLONE OR A NEW BEING?

One of my news feeds brought me upon a journalism site known as Newsvine. Keeping in line with the growing wave of citizen journalism, Newsvine combines reader output with traditional news stories from regular sources such as the Associated Press. And like digg.com, it allows readers to comment on and rank stories to show what this piece calls "community interest and individual preference."

But it appears that site founder Calvin Tang's got an even bigger idea in mind. By analyzing a user's IP address to see what kind of news stories he or she is interested in or has voted on, Tang's focused on turning Newsvine toward the direction of individually customized news, giving specific users articles on those topics and other pieces with similar subjects involved (i.e. a secondary element in the story). The aforementioned piece also contains an interview with Tang that was conducted by the Online Journalism Review's Sandeep Junnarkar that should explain his motives and his opinions better than I can.

I decided to try out this 'daily me' concept for myself. After clicking on an article in Newsvine's sports section that detailed Ferrari's current lead in Formula 1 testing at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, I noted that it had a bit of a social networking look in that the post was done by one 'Chris Forte', who had tags for his articles as well as his 'friends' on Newsvine. Click on one of the tags and you get a whole cadre of articles from the wires and from Newsvine members. The site also contains a merit system of sorts known as Vineacity. Everyone gets a 'vine' and as you do more and more things on the site (comment, vote, contributing links), you get 'stems'. Each stem means something, giving you an incentive - or at least a reputation. Overall, this definitely covers the citizen journalism part of the site and I have to guess that this is what they mean by the 'daily me' concept. Just click on one of the tags and BANG! - instant coverage from experts and amateurs.

It's definitely a very-well done site and has very good intentions. Citizen media is going to play a role in what the future holds for journalism and sites like these will have their say. But with all honesty, I was expecting something else entirely for this 'analyzing behavior' style of news...I mean, don't we already have this at the bottom of articles in Yahoo! News? Or maybe I've missed the point entirely. Either way, I'd definitely recommend for you to partake of the grapes from this Vine and see what you think.

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