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Mix Twitter, Digg and Your Favorite Reporter

Yesterday on this site I put up a little widget entitled “What I’m Thinking About,” it’s really a Twitter widget adapted for use here. I got the idea after David Cohn referred me to Ryan Sholin at Invisible Inkling. He writes at one of his posts:

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.

He adds:

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.

I love this idea, and of course, it would work perfectly for a Representative Journalism community with everyone having the ability to add to the Representative Journalist’s body of knowledge and source base, and, of course, to their own. Thanks David for the tip. Keep them coming.  

6 Responses to “Mix Twitter, Digg and Your Favorite Reporter”

  1. Ryan Sholin Says:

    Thanks, Len.

    There are a few other ideas cooking with a similar, if not identical, endgame.

    Scott Karp & friends are putting together something called Publish2, which sounds like a social network and profile/portfolio system for reporters.

    ReporTwitters showed up on my screen a couple days ago, and it looks like they’re definitely working this angle in the way you’re proposing: Follow your favorite (or local, or least favorite) journalist on Twitter as they tweet about what they’re working on.

    My “What are you reporting on?” pitch falls somewhere in between: Its first function is really to help journalists working on the same beat find each other easily. Second function is to act as a barometer measuring what is and isn’t getting enough attention, based on how reader requests for “More” look next to reporter answers to the eponymous question.

  2. Leonard Witt Says:

    I have taken a look at Publish2 and think it needs to be demystified. As you did, I had a little trouble figuring out its plan. Maybe I can get a comment here from the Publish2 folks. Ditto from ReporTwitters, which seems to have just launched.

    Here is their pitch:

    Reportwitters are reporters with a twist; like everyone else, we work for newspapers, agencies, magazines and trade press around the globe. But as we engage in the reporting process, we invite everyone involved to stay tuned to our endeavors. Using technology, we inform our audience as and when developments are taking place in pitching, covering and writing the story.This way we build an audience that gets a reality-style impression of what we’re doing.

  3. David Cohn Says:

    Happy to give a tip.

    I like the space that you are creating here on Representative Journalism.

    I agree – Pub2 needs to be demystified. Right now I have an idea of what they are building, but I can’t tell how much of it is me reading too much into their vague description.

    Repotertwitter is new to me. I’ll look into it.

  4. Scott Karp Says:


    Thanks for inviting me to explain more about Publish2. The Beta will be open in a few weeks, so you will be able to see for yourself. Feel free to sign up if you’re interested: — we would love to have you involved.

    In the meantime, here is an overview of what you can do as a journalist on Publish2:

    * Manage your professional identity as a journalist on the Web with a social networking profile designed for journalists — and designed to be the top search result for your name
    * Help sources and readers find you by showcasing your best clips and recent articles, indexed by topic, and by highlighting the topics you’re currently reporting on
    * Connect with other journalists reporting on the same topic (in a non-competitive context) to share sources, references, background, and tips
    * Connect with sources via the Publish2 network, vet and rate source reliability and credibility, manage your communication channels with different sources
    * Increase your productivity with web-based bookmarks and notes — access them from any computer, organize them by topic or assignment, search them
    * Share with readers what you’re reading and help them filter the Web — show off your subject matter expertise
    * Be part of Publish2’s journalist-driven news aggregator — help build a better filter for your areas of professional interest, influence what people read, raise your digital media profile, help make journalism more collaborative and web-savvy
    * Build your personal brand and boost your Web-savviness to advance your journalism career

    Here’s a blog post that might also help shed some light on Publish2:

    Scott Karp
    CEO, Publish2

  5. Leonard Witt Says:

    Hi Scott:

    Thanks for the information. I will be signing up at the Publish2 for the Beta.

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