It occurred to me awhile ago that the commentariat here is among the best - we have such knowlegable and passionate writers, if only that power could be harnessed for good instead of… well, whatever it is we do here. So it got me thinking; what if we got a few people together and started our own blog. My vision is this; a collective of commenters cum bloggers who would commit to posting at least one thing a day in the categories of tech, politics, geek culture, or some other topic - not in the style of boingboing, but instead more Gizmodo/i09/gawker-like, with less Nick Denton and less sleezy, salacious, and slanderous articles. The site would be a true collective in the sense that it would be governed and managed by contributors, who would also earn a stake in the site and benefit if it was commercially successful,
I think I even posted this idea before - maybe it was just a private conversation. But I was reminded of it recently by @William_Holz who seemed to think it was a good idea as well. So I’m throwing this out to the world - is this something we could do? Who would we invite? What form would it take? What would the structure look like? What would we call it?
It’d mean sacrificing the ability to react quickly to breaking news, but if there was a requirement of a day’s (or even less) notice that one contributor was preparing an article for tomorrow on a certain subject, that should eliminate the double-post issue that BB sometimes has.
I like the idea of a peer review system; that is, it’s a community of equals, so there’s no “editor” approving the articles, but every article is reviewed by one (or two) other contributor(s) for clickbaiting, misreading the source article, typos, logical fallacies, etc. before being put up on the site.
Consensus is overrated; hive minds are blinded by their own biases. At least once a month, try to find two contributors who have differing views on a subject and have them debate it, with a third contributor acting as moderator. As a plus, it’d be showing a good example of how to disagree and debate in a civilized manner, which might encourage the commenters to do the same.
I’ve used many different commenting systems, and Discourse is among the best; I think that, absent a better idea, the comments there should use it as well.
I like the peer-review idea a lot. And I like the idea of having debates. I think the double-posting problem is one that can be solved with a little coordination - I don’t know how BB or other pubilcations do it, but it seems to me like if you have an idea for an article, you put a headline in the draft queue and then you’ve got “dibs” on it for a bit. Others who want to write on the same topic could contribute notes or links, though the OP would still be the primary editor. Sort of like at a Bar Camp (aka Unconference) when someone proposes a topic for a session and someone else has a similar idea, they have to work together to create it.
I wasn’t thinking this was all original writing without links. Just a blog in the original sense (web log) but with color and character that reflects us as a commenting body. And whatever opinion pieces people want to throw in. I dunno - the “voice” is something that will have to work itself out.
While I really don’t like Kinja, one really cool thing they do is allow for community sub-sites. For instance, there’s Oppositelock which is like a community version of Jalopnik. Trusted community members get to post stories and articles to Oppositelock and then every so often a particularly good quality or interesting story gets promoted to the Jalopnik site (and sometimes to other Gawker properties). It’s a really cool system.
Maybe BB could have something like this? I’m not saying that BB should have the ability for the community to create dozens of side sites, but it would be neat if there was a single BB “community” blog that trusted members could post to and this could be mined for the main site when there’s a really good posting.
I’d be tickled to maybe offer the occasional guest post, but my time and my imaginative resources are both assets of… unpredictable quantity and quality. Many of what I consider my better posts are reactive, rather than giving forth an original imaginative thought. And one never knows when I’m going to have anything worthwhile to say (if ever).
But I’ll help any way I can, and I’ll certainly read with avid interest! I think this is a swell idea.