In his “the people formerly known as the audience“, Jay Rosen pursues the idea of how modern technologies have shifted the balance between audience and the traditional producers of news. A modern newsroom has to be built around the notion that the public WILL get involved in the process of gathering the news. Such was the insight offered by Mohamed Nanabhay from Al Jazeera when talking about their most popular stories. So, the most important collaborator in a newsroom today is THE AUDIENCE.
So, to build around the audience as an active participant, I’ve put together a few design directives for my video dashboard project, using the advice from Oliver himself (“The user interface doesn’t connect eye with screen, it links head and hand”):
- The video dashboard should be able to process videos elsewhere, simply by subscribing to a RSS feed. Ideally the feeds will be machine-tagged so intellectual property rights are obeyed when finding the videos. After all, the videos will be subject to a massive transformation in order to be usable within the dashboard.
- The curation process should be with the audience. Open access to the contents of a given stream would allow those interested in specific topics to get raw access to the library and influence which videos get more attention throughout the process.
- To police content, we need a community-driven approach, one that requires little effort for the community to enforce and requires a lot of energy for trolls to game. Every user gets to flag inappropriate content with a single action, but only the community as a group gets to push content up in relevance, by actually watching the content.
- We need to provide clear indication of which content is fresher within the stream, as it is more likely to be important. This aligns with the “breaking news” culture in newsrooms everywhere.
- To keep the interface simple, only basic gestures will be used: swipe to move around the dashboard, single click/tap to watch content.
Release a dashboard to the audience and see it transform under their control, revealing the snippets of content that will shape the next story.