Do online news sites need to reinvent uploading and editing tools to gather user-created content?
Steve Outing says no, making the case that YouTube, Google Video, and myriad third place finishers do the heavy lifting, hosting the video and spitting out the little block of code that a user can paste into a post in your community site’s forums.
That’s fine for a community page, and inappropriate posts can always be deleted as necessary, but would you open up a news site to this sort of unfiltered visual participation?
We considered that idea at the Spartan Daily last semester, but opted to ask readers to just send us their photos by e-mail instead. Why? Mostly to prevent anything obscene from making it to the online pages of the Daily, but also because it seemed easier for non-Web2.0-savvy readers to figure out.
Citizen Journalism sites are a great place to try this out, although the number of digital vandals in a narrow audience will probably always be smaller than those reading a major metropolitan newspaper’s site. The readers at a hyperlocal or topical site are there on purpose. The few rotten strawberries at a gazillion page view online news site might make work for moderators faster than you can say wikitorial.
What do you think? Would you let readers post video and photos, depending on moderators to weed out obscenity and libel?