Citizen Journalism Projects Powered by Drupal

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Source Title:
A Citizen Journalism Breakthrough
Story Text:

Dan Gilmor points out Steve Yelvington's project, Bluffton Today, a community newspaper that's done away with the traditional idea of online newspapers and is billed as "a grand experiment in citizen journalism". It's actually not a new idea at all though really...

Here's what they're incorporating into the project:

  • Everyone gets a blog. Not just staffers, but everyone in the community. LeMonde (France) and the Mail and Guardian (South Africa) are doing this, too. I don't know of others but would appreciate pointers.
  • Everyone gets a photo gallery.
  • Everyone can contribute events to a shared public community calendar.
  • Everyone can contribute recipes to a community cookbook.
  • RSS feeds are everywhere -- all the blogs collectively, all the blogs individually, classified ad search results and so forth.
  • For people with Windows XP, we're giving away BT Reader, a branded, customized RSS application that fully supports podcasting. It comes preloaded with RSS feeds from BlufftonToday.com and SavannahNow.com.

It's kind of funny to follow the conversations on citizen journalism because it's always billed as something cutting edge, and bright and shiny new, but the idea of communities collaborating to produce websites, news websites or any other kind, really isn't new at all. Even in the comments on Steve's post we see that Urban Vancouver has been doing the same thing for a year now, also using Drupal.org as it's backend - just the same as Threadwatch.

The concept may be old, but the trendiness of it is certainly new, and as blogger bloodlust for "MSM" or main stream media rises, the bandwagon rolls on.

What's interesting to me personally is the use of Drupal, i've been banging on about this stuff for a couple of years now, if you're doing anything community related, or even just looking for a simple CMS with nice SE friendly urls it's the dogs bollocks.

Comments

Amen ...

What is cool about this .. is the fact that they're using Drupal. Finally a win over Mambo (which I like.. but am getting tired of, primarily due to various attitudes involved).

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