A profile page, friends, and dugg stories for many presidential candidates. On Digg. Wow. (And yes, Ron Paul has close to double the friends of the the guy in 2nd place.)
Scott Karp and friends (and those are some pretty smart friends) are up to something interesting, but I sure as heck can’t tell what it is based on a rambling post at the new publish2.com.
Whatever it is that Scott’s up to, while I was trying to figure it out, an idea popped into my head. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, because I feel like I heard this idea passed through the filter of something like New Assignment at some point:
I want to know what journalists are writing.
Right, right, I know, I can scan Google News and read the papers and all that, but what I mean is I want to see trends develop on a large scale across the country (and yes, world) by tracking what stories journalists are working on.
And then I want the people formerly known as the audience to have a space to vote for what they wish journalists were working on.
Picture it as a mashup of Twitter and Digg, where reporters are constantly answering the question “What are you working on?” in a broad way so as not to tip off their competition — or editors. 😉
For example, I might post something like “Organic certification” without much detail about who I was pulling FOIAs on and what hunches I had about what I would find.
The algorithm (which someone else would program, eh?) would find common terms in other journalists’ posts and move topics up the list on the homepage a la Digg based on the number of reporters working on a topic:
::::::23 journalists are working on stories about organic certification.::::::
With space for comments, folks to add links, reporters to talk to each other about past stories, non-reporters to add information, etc. Suddenly there’s a thread of conversation built up for everyone working on a given topic to play with.
On the other half of the homepage, everyone answers a question like “What’s missing from your news?” to basically request coverage on a certain topic or issue.
And yes, users vote topics up and down the page, add comments and links and conversation a la Digg.
Fact is, there are a million little aggregators out there for the news that already exists, to filter information and bring the good/important/weird/salient stuff to the surface.
I don’t need another filter — I need a sounding board and a request line.
If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll pursue this a little further down the line, or maybe you’ll just point me to the place where this already exists. Either way, I think it’s an idea worth chasing down — even if it were just internally at a newspaper company.
How would that be – a network of news organizations full of journalists that actually talk to each other! Ha!
If you still need someone to explain how social bookmarking and news sites work (like Digg), this Wall Street Journal article has got your back. The WSJ links out to the profiles of users they mention, which is cool.
Pligg can now import RSS feeds – could be REALLY interesting if you let it import all your newspaper’s story and blog feeds and then let readers vote and comment on their favorites…
Mighty, mighty interesting stuff from Jimbo Wales of Wikipedia fame. Free, hosted wikis with Digg-like voting on articles, plus all the ad revenue you can generate, yours to keep.
A few familiar social bookmarking icons can now be spotted on stories at NYTimes.com. Just look for the Share heading in the Article Tools box. Click on it, and Digg, Facebook, and Newsvine buttons drop down, along with an all-important Permalink option that issues a linkrot-proof way to blog about the story in question, no trip to the RSS feed or old Link Generator page necessary.
Daniel Sato, online editor of the Spartan Daily student newspaper at San Jose State University, is trying to come up with a way to let readers vote their own stories up the charts, to tackle the twin problems of there being little sense of community at SJSU (online OR off, in my opinion) and organizations constantly complaining that the school paper ignores them.
He’s talking about using Pligg to build a site where clubs and teams can essentially submit links to their own stories, and then the readers can vote on them as they please, a la Digg.
Will it work?
I’m skeptical, but then again, the first time Daniel pointed me to Digg, I wrote the site off as a bunch of losers who didn’t know anything about the stories they were voting on.
What do you think? Would you give your readers a “Submit This” button and then let them vote stories up and down a user-generated-content page?
The video discussion among Howard Owens, Mindy McAdams, and others, is notable because the question is no longer IF newspapers should be running video online (Yes) or HOW they should be presenting it online (Flash), but How they should be gathering it, Who should be doing the shooting, and What sort of video should they be offering viewers?
On a theoretical note, this could be an indication that newspaper video has taken a step out of the early adoption phase and toward take-up — but that’s not what my thesis is about.
My thesis (still in the way-early stages of paperwork and preliminary data gathering) is about the adoption of interactivity.
A quick primer:
- Multimedia journalism uses more than one communication medium to tell a story. (Go figure.)
- Interactivity in a technical/graphical sense gives your readers buttons to push and click to navigate their way through a story.
- Interactivity in a participatory sense gives your readers/viewers/users a space to talk back to the newspaper and each other.
On the online news e-mail discussion list that Jay Small pointed to, there’s a mention of Slashdot-style comment moderation, and I’ll speak to that by pointing my colleagues over to Digg, where they’ll find a variation on Slashdot’s moderation points theme.
Pick a post on the front page of Digg and click on the comments link:
Now take a look at those little thumbs up and down on the right of each comment.
Readers participate in comment moderation by “digging” or burying comments. You can only do this when registered and logged in.
No need to assign points, moderate the moderators, or worry about coming off as censors.
Instead, you let the readers most authoritative and passionate about the topic (registered users bothering to click through to the comments on a particular story/message board posting/blog entry) do the work for you.
They’ll be happier, and you’ll be happier.
I’m planning on taking a closer look at Pligg, an open-source CMS tool based largely on the Digg interface.
What are some other ways we can harness the wisdom of the crowd without muzzling it?
digg for developers.
In his column in the Guardian, Jeff Jarvis does his “scary blogboy dance” (his words, not mine – but I do identify) for the CUNY J-School faculty, including a number on Digg, the social bookmarking site that makes Slashdot look like a quaint relic dug up from the vaults of Usenet.
The concept behind Digg is disarmingly simple: when members find stories of interest – so far, mostly about tech – they recommend the articles to others at the site. The members get credit for being the first to find stories, which means that you have 150,000 editors fighting to find the good stuff fast, and that makes Digg a great source for timely tech news. Once the articles appear on Digg, members click to check them out, sending huge traffic to each article; this is known as “the Digg effect”. If the articles pass muster, members vote them onto the front page – they “digg” the stories, get it? And so the community creates the front page. We are the editor. Imagine if there were a parallel front page to this paper, edited by you and the smart community that gathers here. (Not a bad idea, eh?)
If your knees just jerked off the ground and the words “popularity contest” came to mind, you’ll have to read Jarvis’ column to learn why it doesn’t work that way.