Jon Stahl points us to a piece in the Seattle Times on the emerging local citizen journalism movement in Seattle. Notes a journalism educator in the article, "We're in a time when activist citizens and sometimes even the general public have an opportunity to be involved and create meaningful and easy-to-share journalism."
Now substitute the word "journalism" and think about the sharing notes and knowledge from conference. What can we learn from citizen journalism newsgathering techniques that might be useful to capturing collaborative knowledge from nonprofit conferences?
The article spotlights NewsCloud, a news-aggregator and discussion site developed by Jeff Reifman, a former software developer who worked at Microsoft. NewsCloud describes itself as a community Web site for progressives to share the news. (Jeff Reifman's other project is actionstudio
Here's how it works: NewsCloud readers submit stories as they browse news sites and blogs from around the Web. Other readers comment and vote on incoming stories. Highly regarded storise move to the top of the front page while others fall off over time.
Here's what I found interesting about their newsgathering process. They offer multiple strategies for readers to contribute news.
Firefox Bookmarklet: The site offers a bookmarklet that readers can use to add news to the site while browsing other sites.
Del.icio.us: The site offers "two-way synchronization" with Del.icio.us. This means that readers can automatically add stories to NewsCloud when posting to Del.icio.us.
Videos: The site also includes videos!
Bloglines: They offer a greasemonkey script that allows their readers to add stories to directly from Bloglines.
Tools for Bloggers: They offer automatic cross-posting of NewsCloud stories to reader's own blogs. They encourage bloggers to add a "Add to NewsCloud" button for their blogs.
I love the "two-way synchronization" and makes say "gee whiz" at the collaboration community filtering going on and makes me wonder about how and where the human editing or newsmastering comes into play. Is it all automated? NewsCloud is a fairly new community and will be interesting to where it goes.
It also makes me wonder which of these technical tools might be useful to conference reporting. Now, of course, depends on the level of technology savvy of your reporters .... and these tools might be better for ongoing newsgathering versus a short-term event. Maybe for a site that evolves out of a conference?
Just thinking outloud ...