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News or entertainment? What to make of “crowd-powered” sites like NowPublic and Truemors? 7/10/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Citizen journalism.
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A lot of hard-to-categorize news-related sites have been popping-up in the last couple of years. “Crowd-powered” NowPublic provides news from eyewitnesses using their own digital cameras and mobile phones. And now they’ve acquired Truemors, a year-old web site that tracks rumors and vouches for their credibility. NowPublic co-founder Len Brody boasts, “We are now the largest user-generated news website in the world.” But, “so what?” unless all this user-generated content occupies a monetizable niche of the news business. Does it?

My hunch is that sites like NowPublic, should they succeed, might fill two different niches in the news industry of the future — and in neither case will they compete head-on with more mainstream news sites. First, if put in terms of food, they will fill a news niche somewhere between a “main meal” providing full nourishment and a titillating “snack.” Second, they may provide a good source of material for those “main meal” news providers of the future — news aggregators. All in all, there should continue to be a stronger market for news sites that do the work readers would rather not do themselves — sort out the most important news, and deliver the highest quality productions of it. (H/T: Larry Hallas)

Comments»

1. 99fine - 3/17/09

You have people who write from all over the world at NowPublic. Beware, if you don’t wear a cute little crown and live in Canada your news might not be newsworthy. It’s a JOKE! They scold you like a child when you post a story that needs improvement. Then has someone with no editing skills tell you what you need to do to fix your story. PLEASE! They are all Jokes. Live Digital LD they shut down people remember them?


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