Innovation That Matters

News site lets users pick stories & share in revenues

Publishing & Media

Earlier this year we wrote about Kluster, the crowdsourcing platform designed to help crowds develop new concepts. As proof of its own concept, the Vermont-based site has just launched Knewsroom, a community-directed news publication where readers not only have a voice, but they get paid to use it. Now in beta, Knewsroom publishes the “Knews” every morning, featuring the previous day’s top stories in politics, business, technology, design, sports and entertainment. Which stories rank as most important is decided by the audience of readers, in Digg-like fashion. Going far beyond Digg, though, Knewsroom rewards contributors with a portion of 20 percent of every dollar it earns in advertising revenue. Members of the Knewsroom community can participate by proposing topics for the next day, submitting syndicated or original stories, and voting on favourites. As with Kluster, active members earn “watts”—the official community currency—for their contributions, and they can invest them to varying degrees in the stories they think have the most merit. Investing watts in topics is like investing in mutual funds on Wall Street, Knewsroom explains, offering a lower risk but lower rate of return; betting on stories, on the other hand, is more like investing in individual stocks, with a higher risk but a higher potential return. Whichever way they choose to invest, readers get rewarded each day at deadline, when Knewsroom runs its matrix algorithm to determine the Top 5 topics and the Top 5 stories in each section. Contributors who bet on a winner get a share of all the watts that were invested in that winner along with a cut of the ad revenue generated that day, which gets credited to their Knewsroom MasterCard. Contributors of original content can earn an extra USD 150 for their submissions as well. There seems to be no doubt that citizen journalism is here to stay, but how it will reshape the news landscape is still being decided. Between Digg, Reddit, Newsvine and others, the race is on to decide what tomorrow’s newspaper will look like. Will Knewsroom take hold? Only time will tell. In the meantime, one to test out! Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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