Wired.com reports that many Gannett newspapers are applying the concept of "crowdsourcing" to obtain input for local news stories from the public via blog posts, cell phone calls, and email.
The value is in gathering more input, more quickly and more dynamically than is possible with traditional reporting methods -- especially important for delivering breaking stories on a newspaper's web site.
As a copywriter, you've probably been practicing crowdsourcing as part of your daily work:
- Water cooler conversations with product managers and sales people
- Interviews with customers for case studies
- Reviewing customer feedback in blogs, surveys, and other forums
- Reading analyst reports and press coverage of your product, competitors, and technology trends
But just like a newspaper needs a good editor to ensure that published stories follow standards for accuracy, completeness, and objectivity, so too will you need to apply critical judgment to all of the input you receive, regardless of its source.
Who makes up your crowd? What are the techniques you use for gathering and evaluating input? How are new communications media such as blogs, user forums, and Twitter changing your input and feedback processes?