In the past several weeks, I’ve been playing with a new format that my friends at TopTenSources developed. We’ve seen the Citizen Journalist; this idea is the Citizen Editor. Several of us have been using a new bookmarklet-style tool that makes it very easy to tag a story when you’re reading it, provide a bit of analysis, and have it posted to a dedicated website on the topic. It’s in many ways what lots of bloggers do anyway. I remember Dave Winer showing me an aspect of Manila that renders a river of news and then lets you check off stories that you want to appear somewhere — dead simple and fun; this idea is in the same vein, only using different tools and with a different output.
The one I’ve been playing with, as part of a group of “citizen editors,” is tracking the Massachusetts Governor’s Race. It’s a ton of fun. (There are a variety of perspectives among the group as to whom we support, as with most group blogs, I suppose.) As I read the utterly amazing and surging group of bloggers/MSM commentators — for instance, Blue Mass Group, GOPNews, Boston.com, Adam Reilly at the Phoenix, Kimberly Atkins at the Herald, and several dozen other blogs and news sources each day — I tag some of the best, most relevant sources and pop them into the aggregator for others to see. I think it’s pretty novel. The idea is that someone who is interested in the race, but not spending so much time in the details and reading every blog post, can come to a one-stop shop and scan the Editor’s Picks. Over time, the idea is to use a combination of technical tools to pick the most important stories from the most important sources with an editor or group of editors able to over-ride, make decisions about placement, and provide some context and editorial color. I think it’s pretty neat.
(My disclosures: I am a founder, am chairman of the Board, and hold equity in Top Ten Media, Inc., in my extra-Harvard capacity. And I am supporting Chris Gabrieli for governor and Deborah Goldberg for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.)