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MSNBC is reporting that they have acquired "participatory journalism" site Newsvine. This is the news site’s first acquisition in its 11-year history and is a good fit for MSNBC.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and Newsvine will report directly to the Publisher/President of MSNBC.com.
It appears as Newsvine will move to the server farms of MSNBC.com to allow for greater reliability and expansion. The deal has been in the works since May.
I think this deal makes sense because it gives MSNBC a chance to reach into the social news category and perhaps bring some of the userbase of Newsvine over to MSNBC. It also provides a marriage between participatory journalism and mainstream journalism. I could see stories on MSNBC featuring widgets from Newsvine showing what others around the Net think about the topic at hand.
While the two sites claim they will remain independent and even though I am not sure I buy that over the long-term, immediately I would like to see a merge of the user systems. This will allow Newsvine to potentially grow quickly by not forcing MSNBC users to re-register to participate on Newsvine. Check out Newsvine CEO Mike Davidson’s slides from the Future of Web Apps.
Update: Mr. MacManus has a solid overview of the acquisition.
Mike Davidson from Newsvine was the last speaker of the afternoon. He was holding us back from making our way to the Google party so he had to be on his game. He was the only presenter who started with a story. I appreciated the ice breaker.
Here are some of his comments:
- With a user generated content site, much of the content that is created is crap
- Myspace does a great job of turning trash into treasure
- del.icio.us is great at extending your memory
- Second life game – talked about the importance of this game but that his machine is not fast enough to run the game
- Social sites must be able to scale to be effective
Some of his reasons why social networking works today but did not work 10 years ago:
- “Always on” factor, even more important than the speed
- Much easier to find and contribute
- Much better publishing tools
- Letting users do what they please – i.e. comments
- Keep comments on
- Dunbar number – which basically means that you should limit groups to 150
- Top user on Newsvine in August earned $400
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