If you are reading this -- then you are familiar with social news sites like Digg, Netscape and of course, the Vine. I've been a social bookmarker for, gosh, almost 2 years now. I love it. I sincerely believe the democratization of media is a beautiful thing.
However long you've been participating, you know something. And that knowledge should be shared.
How and where, you ask?
Assignment Zero is covering the emergence of the social news site -- but we are reporting on this topic in a new way with Wired.com. We are trying to do networked journalism -- anything you contribute will be like notes on a reporters notebook. Everything is licensed under the creative commons -- and a Wired magazine writer, Jeff Howe, will produce a large feature using this reporting. If he uses anything you produced, he will link back and give you credit. He may even quote you -- who knows.
In addition to research, we also have writing assignments -- and Wired has agreed that any writing assignments that meet their editorial standards could get published on Wired news, so it might be a neat way to become a writer for Wired. You can contribute in 10 minutes -- or if you have more time, you can pick up a writing assignment.
And one of the topics that we are covering is "Social News Sites: The Crowd is the Editor, Duking it Out Over the Day's Top Stories." It's an interesting story no? Editors used to decide what the most important news of the day was. Now, collectively we decide - and we can decide by whatever measures we want.
It's real easy to contribute -- Just visit this page and click join the team: http://zero.newassignment.net/assignmentzero/social_news_sites
The editor of this page is Christine Riedel, a senior news producer at AOL. And there are already people who have signed up to be members of the team.
If social news sites aren't your thing, we have other topics (from music, to cars, science and film). You can see the entire story shaping up from the homepage just under the latest blog post, or you can search by your interest here: http://assignmentzero.com/desk
So what are we looking for? We have specific assignments. Questions about weaving together a timeline of Digg, or looking for other examples of social news sites, explaining what Netscape's meta-journalism is -- Anything is helpful Including personal accounts of Newsvine Use. Were you an early viner? Do you remember what it was like when it started? You can even just re-submit old blog posts that you have written as filed reporting.
Why? Not only to get your name in Wired (or any other blog or news organization that also dives into our reporting) -- the real reason why to do it -- because we are trying to figure something out. Social news sites proved that people want to engage with the news -- directly. Well, here is a way to engage in it too -- by helping to produce it.
And if you have a blog -- why not invite your readers to help you out too? It's an interesting way to engage your readers in a new way. Instead of telling them what's important, you will be inviting them to join you in an ongoing investigation. It will be a challenge in some sense, can you and your readers come together to tackle a specific subject together? You will meet them on a new playing field -- and I bet they'll appreciate that.
Anyways. If you have questions or concerns or anything of that nature -- don't hesitate to email me: david.newassignment AT gmail DOT com
This is a project I really believe in (and I know it can work) -- and as someone that has been swept into social bookmarking for the same reason -- I think you might find some value in it too.