There are many schools of thought on how to improve commenting on the internet, most of which focus on trying to convince commenters to be more civil. But ReadrBoard turns that idea on its head, asking commenters to be more specific. And doing that, it found a whole new way of looking at the process. Co-created by Porter Bayne, Tyler Brock and Eric Chaves, ReadrBoard aims to change the face of online conversation as we know it. After a successful beta test on news site Hypervocal and (full disclosure) Latoya Peterson’s site, Racialicious, Bayne, Brock and Chavs decided to revamp the overall design and user interface in 2012. Here Bayne explains the concept behind ReadrBoard, discusses redesign on the fly, and shares a visual history of ReadrBoard’s evolution.
What was the main idea behind ReadrBoard? How did you and your cofounder come up with the concept?
At ReadrBoard, we all think that all reader engagement — a share, a Like, a comment, a bookmark, a copy-paste, anything — is preceded by some emotion or thought: “That’s funny,” or “no way,” or “really?” or “my friend would love this,” and so on and so on. And we’re sure that far more readers have a reaction to content than are currently Liking, commenting, etc.
So, ReadrBoard is working to make it simple for readers to do that: react to content, with just a click. Sort of like a Like button … but any emotion or thought. And you can react to the whole page, or any part of a page.
Correction: This post originally referred to the player as the “Infinity Player” — the error has been corrected.
Great doesn’t always have to be complicated. Recently, NPR’s digital team caused major buzz with the release of its Infinite Player on Nov. 14. The quick little web-based application geared toward distracted listening combined the best of Pandora and old-school radio by creating a smart-streaming experience that personalized news, without creating an echo chamber.
ONA took a few minutes to talk to Michael Yoch, Director, Product for NPR, to figure out the genesis for the player, project inspirations and creating small concept-focused products in a major organization.
Al Jazeera English was looking for a fresh take on global issues and culture, with a decidedly modern spin. After a year or so of incubation, the Doha-based network launched The Stream, a web-integrated show based completely around user-generated tips and feedback, across platforms like Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and Google+. Here’s an average day at office.
MORNING PITCH MEETING
This is the monster pitch session, where all staffers come in with news they are following. Demographics are fairly evenly split — seven women and seven men are in attendance this morning.
Topics proposed: Coca-Cola using gamification on Japanese vending machines; Kenyan University Strike; Jawbone’s motion sensor bracelet; African rural radio broadcasters get a social network called Barza.
Members of the team provide justification for selecting stories. In general, The Stream prefers stories that are relevant to an international audience, covered enough to be buzz-worthy but not necessarily in the mainstream media. Direct requests from viewers are highly ranked.
After the market crash of 2008, the Great Recession has been debated by pundits and policy wonks while journalists try to document the unfolding tales of the newly unemployed. Financial experts note that Americans are technically out of the recession, while most citizens are still reeling from the effects of a tanked economy, with no end in sight.
Yahoo! News decided to step into the fray with an experimental project, harnessing crowdsourcing, Tumblr and traditional storytelling techniques to illuminate the toll of long-term unemployment. The project, Down, But Not Out: Stories from the Long Term Unemployed (DBNO for short) is sobering reading, putting a face to the seemingly endless economic free fall. The stories shared are simultaneously painful and poignant, underscoring the stark economic headlines with tales of personal expectations, shattered dreams and a mountain of obstacles to overcome.