Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is this marriage going to work?

By now you probably have heard. MSNBC purchased Newsvine, one of the better citizen journalism sites in the U.S.

It wasn’t that long ago when citizen journalism and user generated content were all the rage. After all, OhmyNews in Seoul helped elect the country’s president and had more than 40,000 citizen reporters.

But now, we hear that OhmyNews traffic is down. Here in the U.S., the Backfence citizen sites have stopped operating and many media organizations are learning that citizen generated pictures of babies and pets really don’t draw that big a crowd.

Which brings us back to Newsvine. The site seems to do a nice job aggregating stories from many sources. Taking a page from Digg, the stories are then ranked by site users, who can comment or even write their own columns. To date, the results have been promising with a reported 1.2 million unique users per month.

So far so good. But will the marriage to MSNBC work? Will MSNBC learn and benefit from its new acquisition or will they screw it up? What do you think?

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