A project I’ve been working on for the past nine months is being launched to world today – n0tice.com has come out of it’s invite-only phase .
This ‘baby’ carries with it the usual hopes and fears of early-days initiatives so I’m expecting to be watching over these first steps with that strange post-launch mixture of anxiety, pride, excitement and over-protectiveness before everything becomes established.
But I thought I’d use my blog to highlight some of the features which can help journalists going about their work. There’s plenty of other things going on in there eg. revenue share on ads, community noticeboards, self-serve events listings etc. (more details on those at the n0tice blog), but here I’ll just pull out three useful tools for journalists and bloggers who might be new to it.
Each report, or news posting, has the ability to add updates as and when required making liveblogging easier – or even simply taking notes at a live event. Updates can be a mixture of media eg. pictures, tweets, videos etc. so it’s possible to create a liveblog which is a mixture of content from a variety of sources and intersperse with direct reporting. In this way n0tice can be used a bit like storify to curate others’ activity. Adding the other media doesn’t require any embed coding, simply the URL so, in the case of tweets, just the timestamp detail is enough to include the full tweet in it’s attributable context. Same drill for youtube, flickr etc. – there’s no need to rummage around for the embed code.
2. Collborative story gathering
Because the updates can be made by any user, not just the report’s originator, there’s a great potential for collaboration here. This could stem from simply being in the same place. n0tice works around proximity to place so, even if you do not know other notice users, this location based aspect means you can easily discover who is nearby. Imagine a scenario where a major event is happening eg. a protest. The first person at the scene may have simply reported that fact however, others in the area can quickly add pictures, video, tweets or whatever to quickly build up the story.
Away from live events, the platform makes crowdsourcing from multiple locations around the world easy too. Having a noticeboard for a project with it’s own URL means that contributors can easily post their items from wherever they are. The Guardian Music noticeboard is a good example of this approach, taking submitted reviews from across the UK, but it could also be used to gather evidence for investigative work too.
3. Mobile reporting
There is already a mobile site for quick reporting which is built in html5 and so will be compatible with any phones. It’s a pared down version of the complete site and makes it easy to post a report from a location without having to worry about all the additional features until you get back to base. In the next few weeks we will also launch an iPhone app which will bring a whole new experience to the mobile reporting – watch this space!