Thinking Aloud

There’s a lot to be said for this working in the open business. Now that I’m actually trying to make things that explain what I’m working on, I’m finding that by trying to communicate, I can at least start a discussion with myself. The upshot of this is that I now understand what I’m doing much better. It’s all starting to make sense and come together. Hopefully, I’ll soon be telling that story that Jesse James Garrett talked about.

This is a sketch of what would be the central pillar of my project. It's the page where all articles are written and compiled. It replaces both the journalist's tools and the existing comment system. It integrates with external social identity systems and incorporates basic semantic tools.

And here's how an article might be presented. The site's branding is there, irrespective of who the author is and there are a number of features designed to encourage personal exploration of the news rather than following the traditional prescriptive model.

There are a few different routes that will bring the user to a list of articles that may be of interest. This is all about exploration. The articles in this list need not even be locally hosted but may belong to other news or social sites.

One way to encourage engagement by users is to provide them with different ways of interracting. Not everyone is a writer. This is an interface for hoarders to compile their collections of news and present them to the world, or just share them with friends. Ideally, it would be fully featured enough even the site's homepage could be made this way.

While my ambition hasn’t waned, and the difficulty of implementing something like this is still daunting, what is beginning to take shape is a single, consistent concept which, I hope, people will understand well enough to respond to in some way.

There are a handful of core ideas which can be seen, to some extent, in every slide. Most notable is the desire to give the professionals greater credibility by giving them minimal advantage over the amateurs. When everyone is using the same tools, the quality of the work really shines through. That’s where trust come from.


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