Citizens’ journalism, that is to say – news reported by people on the street – is quite the rage today. From CNN’s “iReporters” feature to the contributors to Newsvine’s ever-growing stream, the internet and mobile technology have turned us all into roving reporters. AllVoices champions the “peoples’ media” concept in a way that is really garnering attention.
AllVoices has actually been around since 2007. Yet its look, functionality, and approach remain as fresh and intriguing as ever. Claiming to be the first of its kind, AllVoices is striving to create a global community of people who share news, videos, images and opinions tied to news events and people. Literally, anyone can report on anything from anywhere. Reader beware though, AllVoices is open about that fact that content is unedited (except by the submitter) and unmoderated. The concept is huge and its reach is growing rapidly as people from around the world join its ranks.
What goes on behind the scenes is what is most fascinating from an information professional’s standpoint. According to its site, AllVoices “takes your reported news event, organizes it by location, time and category, and creates context by bringing together relevant news stories, blogs, images and videos. It creates a place for the community to share and discuss news, by contributing related text, video and images and commenting – adding a voice.” Contributions this do not stand alone in a vaccuum and are made more meaningful by the way in which AllVoices presents them. We info-types know well the importance of context. It is exciting to see the AllVoices does as well.
At first glance, reading the news on AllVoices may seem a little daunting. The front page is busy to say the least. With so much coming in, though this is not surprising. However, once you get the swing of navigating it, using AllVoices is easy. Choose your news interests by topic or location and enjoy. It is also searchable. For the technology inclined, there is even a selection of e-goodies: RSS feeds, blog widgets, etc.
Clearly, AllVoices is doing something right. It’s popularity is growing and its user base is VERY active. If citizens’ media is the future of news reporting then AllVoices is a powerful look at where that future is taking us!