January 31st, 2008
Publish2 is organizing a network of newsrooms, journalists, freelancers and network-affiliated bloggers to aggregate the best news coverage of the “Super Tuesday” February 5 U.S. primary elections, leading up to it and after. Publish2 is still in private beta, but we’re going to syndicate everything out via RSS feeds.
Publish2’s web-based bookmarking feature will aggregate bookmarks from all participants, which can then be published on their sites with headline links and brief descriptions. Think Digg + del.icio.us, syndicated, with a defined group of users, rather than an open free-for-all (which can be gamed).
There’s a huge opportunity to help voters find the best election coverage in the sea of election content. Yeah, you can do it by yourself — but on the web, the larger the network, the more influential the linking — time to break down those traditional media silos.
And, yes, February 5 is less than a week away — but news organizations can’t afford for innovation to have long lead times. As Yoni Greenabum wrote, “We need to be more nimble, more aggressive; we need to be quicker to act and even quicker to react.”
Jack Lail of jacklail.com and KnoxNews.com took the lead on this idea — we hammered out the technology requirements and he’s been recruiting folks in TN — all in the last 36 hours. I bounced it off Bill Densmore to do it with the New England News Forum, he called me back an hour later, and we were off to the races.
Here’s how it works for a newsroom:
- Round up a group a editors, journalists, and freelancers or affiliated bloggers (e.g. part of your blogger network — we’re aiming to balance left and right)
- Get them all to register for a free Publish2 account — http://publish2.com/register
- Get them to install our browser bookmarklet or toolbar — http://beta.publish2.com/install
- Agree on a common tag, e.g. KnoxNews.com is using “tnelection”
- Starting this weekend and running through next week, get everyone to bookmark interesting election coverage — from ANY source — for your state or from around the country
- Makes sure everyone uses the common tag on their bookmarks (along with any others)
- Publish2 generates feeds of headlines for each tag
Let me know if your newsroom is interested, and we’ll provide support — but you can just do it.
Jack Lail had a great way to describe this in brief — a group link blog.
Here’s Bill Densmore’s description for New England News Forum (if you’re in New England and want to participate through the NENF, you can register here):
Help create a comprehensive source of up-to-the-minute news and commentary on “Super Tuesday.” The New England News Forum is co-ordinating a network of serious news folks — MSM and online/blog/independent — to use Publish2’s online bookmarking tool to submit links to important news and posts leading up to and including Massachusetts and Connecticut “Super Tuesday” primaries. Publish2 will aggregate these links and create RSS feeds that you can then put on your site. Instant aggregation, without the fuss.
“No fuss.” That’s the idea.
You can also think of it as a form of Beat Blogging.
If you’re outside the U.S. covering the election, we’d LOVE to have an international perspective.
If you’re a journalist or freelancer covering politics, and want to participate on your own (perhaps to provide a demonstration for your newsroom), just register and do it. You can use the “2008 U.S. Elections” topic and any tags you want.
Will it work? I dunno. It’s an experiment. We’re in beta. I could have called a committee meeting to commission a study into whether it will work.
Instead we decided to JUST DO IT.
Could we have benefited from more time to plan this on our end? Probably. (Just remembered we need to get the “2008 U.S. Elections” topic in place!) But sometimes you’ve just got to act and lead by example (AKA eat your own dog food).
And we intend to learn from it, continue through the rest of the primary season, conventions, and hopefully keep it going right through November. So if you don’t have time to get involved for Tuesday, this will be ongoing.
Outside of the elections, if you’re interested in connecting your newsroom to the Publish2 network, let me know — it’s free! Email me at scott.karp (at) publish2 (dot) com
Here’s an overview of the concept: http://blog.publish2.com/editors-newsrooms/
And remember — on the web, the power is in the NETWORK.