After four weeks deep in designing and developing new ways to approach commenting and conversation around news, we have an interesting challenge. How do we show off our work? As we have discussed in previous posts, our goal for this project was to look at ways to improve the quality of conversation on news Web sites. We’ve developed three ways to facilitate conversation – Question & Answer style comments, short format, tweet-like comments, and Letters to the Editor. And we have built all of these systems to integrate with Facebook. Over the next couple weeks we will focus on polish, and more importantly, developing a way to demonstrate what we’ve built.
There are a few ways that we can show off. We could build a news Web site, host content and attract viewers to participate in our community. We could try to export our app by making it embeddable into other websites. We could release the code and let others use it in existing sites.
We will definitely release the source code, but we can’t rely on others to show off our stuff. So in light of our time constraints, we have decided to build a simple news website. Something with local Cedar Rapids news that will allow interested people interact and discuss the news with other readers and Facebook friends.
So what should our local news website look like? How should we apply our commenting systems? Short-format twitter comments on entertainment and sport stories? Letters to the Editor for hot button issues? Questions and Answers on investigative stories? Some combination of the three on all stories?
These are some of the questions we would like to answer this week.