There’s been an exodus from Newsvine.
Newsvine is like cerebral collective, but also like MSNBC and a forum, and a chat room, and facebook all wrapped into one. It was pretty cool. It looked ugly but it worked. And now here’s why it doesn’t.
The founder sold the private venture to MSNBC.
The website became ad-powered, and started to pay small sums to people to bring in the most users – which lead to degradation of discussion and editorial quality.
Half the site became about politics, a quarter about fuck all, and a quarter about what he said (or was it what she said)?
Oh, and in that fuck-all section are book reviews. Why a news site needs book reviews boggles the mind.
Any time you step back and look at what changed in the site, it makes you want to reenact that funny face people make when they get hit in the head by a big ball. Sort of scrunched up, not quite in pain yet, but bracing for it and at the same time, absolutely horrified. In slow motion, their face ripples. In real life, the ping of a big ball against the squishy skin makes a truly hilarious sound.
But if you blink, you miss it.
So what do you do with a broken readership/quality?
You leave it alone and try to fix what isn’t broken.
And even though millions of people agree that it is a little ugly, they all know how to play that site like a basoon. Except any manner of skill on Newsvine must be categorized, grouped, tagged, praised, discounted, and argued over until nobody remembers what the argument was about and the conversation devolves into line by line one-liners and tiny quotes where one person is obviously an idiot and according to the other person, the other person is obviously an idiot. If Newsviners were honest about their feelings, the entire site would be made up of idiots (except it’s not, and this is a scary realization).
And so if everybody is an idiot, then what are the idiots without their blindness, and what are the blind without being lead by the blind? There are two main shepherds of the blind (who are blind).
And they sold out.
They took a paycheck.
They sat around the water tank and decided something.