(Just as a trivia-question aside : the ejaculation ‘Oh my god!’ is one that you hear almost constantly here in Korea. It was the tagline of a popular comedian a while back, and even young Koreans who don’t speak any English other than the always-useful ‘OK!’ and perennial favorite ‘Do you like kimchi?’ know it and use it with grating regularity. I assume the URL is a reference to that, although I might well be wrong. It happens.)
Well, OhMyNews is pretty neat, sure, and apparently did have some influence in the election of Noh Moo Hyun recently (which is a whole other story), but I don’t think it’s either quite as democratic or as elegant as it’s being chalked up to be. The basic gist of the Korean boilerplate at the site (according to my wife) states that you can send them an article anywhere up to ten ‘pages’, for which you are held personally (and legally) responsible in terms of veracity. If it’s acceptable, they edit it and pay you for it. Discussions are hung off the individual pieces that make it to the site. It doesn’t seem as if there is any reputation system or moderation beyond once-off editorial filtering and smoothing of language.
So not quite as groundbreaking as has been suggested, perhaps. More like a less-sophisticated kuro5hin.org for the Korean non-geeknoscenti, in my humble. Interesting, but more as a concept than a reality. And the concept is a pretty cool one.
We – the few, the involuted, the snarky! – at Metafilter got all hot and bothered about the idea few months back, and spent a good while trying to figure out how to build our own and entirely too much time talking about what to call the thing. Even so, prototypes were made, discussions were held (since disappeared from the server where they were hosted, sadly), thoughts were thunk, a corner of the MeFi Wiki was reserved, and then the two (much beloved, but nonetheless daunting) 800-pound gorillas in our metamidst, Rusty from kuro5hin.org and Matt from Mefi itself revealed that they were planning to build their own version of a collaborative journalism site, and in spite of their exhortations to us to carry on without their direct involvement and just keep bashing away at our plans, the enthusiasm of our little ad-hocracy kinda dissipated. After all, if there are two people out there who have the experience and know-how in the granular details of building and finely balancing the vagaries and conflicting tidal pulls of large online communities, it’s them.
Matt recently mentioned in an unrelated thread in Metatalk that they were hoping to have something to show the world by July 1st. I hope this is not a premature outing, and that I’m not pissing him off too much by talking about it now, but I really want to see this thing, and the comments he and rusty have made about it are a matter of public record, so you heard it here first, folks.
Unless you read Metatalk, of course. Then you heard it here second.
Ohmynews? Bah. I’m waiting to see the real thing.