Interest builds in the mysterious green web site promising users the chance to 'get smarter here'
I think this is one of the reasons I like this site so much, even though it's only been around less than a month - the design team isn't afraid to try out suggestions from the masses, they're not afraid to communicate with people - in fact, I heard Mike on an Inside The Net podcast just the other day talking about Newsvine - and the actual quality of content, both user-submitted and drawn from the AP wire - is of a fairly high quality.
There just doesn't seem to be as much clutter, with the interface lending itself to the Wire news but still giving pagespace to the seeded articles, the design team have managed to pull off a difficult stunt - mesh the community and the established together to create a hybrid-news site.
I look forward to seeing the community moderation features roll out in the future, something which is most certainly required for when the site moves out of private beta and into the public eye. Almost immediately we'll receive an influx of comment spammers, people who think this is just another Metafilter or Digg or those who just think that this is the right venue to tell the world about what their pet's done today... It's fundamentally-important to retain this high quality stream of news, and the same goes for the signal-to-noise ratio as I've heard it described. The joy of using this site is that it feels like the wheat has already been sorted from the chaff, and whilst some users are submitting articles which are arguably slightly less-than-newsworthy, most of the features to discuss or action moderation upon them are already in place (you still have to love the ability to discuss every single article, or even chat about it - all on the same page).
I get excited about this web site, which is something I haven't said about a web site for a long time. Thinking about the potential for social interaction on a new, more refined scale, with a focus not seen on other socially-contributed sites, makes me go all tingly. And that's got to be a good thing.
The one thing I miss is being able to contribute to keeping the quality of the site's spread of content as high as it is now... I feel that the only way to achieve this aim, especially when the site is fully-public and fielding thousands of users, is to create local groups of users who moderate the user-submitted contents and maybe action moderation on them, or at the very least move them to the bottom of the pile so they don't get precedence over the most worthy news articles... That'd be the trickiest thing to implement and get right, and there's bound to be problems, but it's got to be the way forward. There's no way a site like this can survive without more people stepping up to offer their assistance. If there ever comes a time when Moderation Teams are created, sign me up! As an original beta tester, I like to feel that I've been involved in some small way in the site moving from its nascent form to a more fully-fledged web service, and I look forward to continuing to help out by offering my time and skills in keeping the site as great as it is now - because I'd hate to see a good thing like this go to waste.
...I think my fears on that count are unfounded though, that'd never happen with as great a community as Newsvine has contributing to it.
Roll on Newsvine's 4-week anniversary!