In class this Tuesday, a student in our class did a website analysis on the Spot.us site. (I may be a little slow but I just figured out what the sites’ domain name means. Pretty clever)
Anyway, I think this site is really cool. It allows readers in the Bay Area of California choose which stories they want reported on and help fund it. Similar to Kickstarter, the funding site responsible for helping the fund Occupy Wall Street paper, asks users to donate the cost it is to fund the reporting of the story. Essentially both sites have a similar model. If the goal cost isn’t met, the story doesn’t get written. Spot.us then returns the money to the donator in the form of credit which they are then able to use on future stories.
Other news sources are able to run the stories under one condition: if it puts up the largest percentage of the costs. Major news sources have already picked up many stories from the site.
As of now it is only geared toward the Bay Area but has plans on expanding to other major cities, including New York.
Spot.us is another way for readers to be involved in the news they want to read. It isn’t so much a transparent newsroom, when journalists take suggestions from readers about the direction of a story, but it is solely based on the readers interest and monetary help. At the end of the day, the readers are who you want to please first. Whatever they feel is necessary to read about especially issues affecting their communities is what serves as the integrity for sites such as Spot.us.