March 08, 2012

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Fixing the News

News can largely be broken down into two parts: the means and process of gathering information, and the means and process of distributing it. Prior to the internet, all technological innovations provided new ways to distribute and present the news (radio, TV) but very little as far as new ways to gather it. The internet provides the capability to transform both sides of the equation.

For all that, news organizations have been tremedously slow on the uptake, mostly transfering their tried-and-true newspaper formats to the web. Two things have prevented any serious competition from spawning: the cost of quality reporting, and the collapsed value of news due to it's internet-wide reach. Blog sites have attempted to fill the gap, but generally have no editorial or quality standards and are built on advertising revenue and pageviews, leading to attention-grabbing headlines, excessive and annoying internal linking, and low-quality content.

s0rce is an attempt to tranform news along multiple directions and correct the issues we see in the news-media, new and old.


Information Display:

Time Scale - Rather than the short-term time frame of most news, we aim to cover issues/events from the time they start, to provide context and depth.

Graphical Emphasis - Visual information is generally underutilized and inflexible given the capabilities of the web. We want to provide readers the ability to manipulate relevant visual data freely; for now, we display what we can in charts and maps to provide quick perspective on issues/events.

Meta-Information - Readers don't have time to research the authors of everything they read or always check the quality of the publications they run across. We aim to provide information on both through hover bubbles, so that the credentials or standard perspectives of either are at your fingertips.

Single Page Format - No need to click through paginated content designed to get you to see more adds.

Fact/Data Based - We want to provide a baseline for reasonable discussion, rather than push certain perspectives.

Community Interaction/Information Gathering:

User Contributions - By going with an "update" rather than a "new content" model, we make it possible for users to contribute easily.

Corrections - Corrections are mostly useless in traditional news, as they show up long after the article being corrected has faded in importance. An update model makes corrections much more useful and likely to be seen.

Content Control - We maintain full control over the content published on s0rce and write it ourselves, ensuring consistant quality (as opposed to a wikipedia-type model).


Business Structure:

Subscriptions - The only way to ensure we aim to please our users rather than our advertisers.

Freemium Model - We want everyone to have access to our product, but with extra features and special focus on our monetary supporters.


Try out the site and tell us what you think!


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