Open Letter to Newsvine Community

October 7th, 2007

newsvine_logo.jpg

Newsvine has been acquired by MSNBC, and I personally would like to thank all Newsvine users who have helped make Newsvine what it is – the most vibrant and active community of users on the digital news media landscape. In addition to being one of the most powerful and unique publishing platforms on the web – the open dialogues, the free and creative expression of ideas and the genuine manner in which all of you participate on the site are some of the foremost reasons that msnbc.com found Newsvine to be an attractive company to partner with. As Newsvine.com has developed and grown, so too have you users gelled into a community that can (and does) stand alongside professional journalists and the mainstream media. This has been the objective all along, to give citizens a platform to share their ideas, experiences and access to events – by delivering their stories to the greatest number of people – all the while allowing readers to decide what makes it to the Top of the Vine.

I know that there are many Newsvine members who have questions relating to the future of Newsvine, so I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and respond to your concerns. Of course, I won’t be able to answer every single question, since we ourselves may not yet have the answers. But, I will do my best to address each person’s concerns to the best of my ability.

In anticipation of your collective concerns, here are a few things I’d like to make clear, right off the bat:

  • You (still) own your own content. Copyright to the articles you write and publish to Newsvine will remain yours. This is the way it’s been, and will continue to be.
  • The revenue sharing arrangement we have with users will continue in its present form for the time being. Though, and completely unrelated to the acquisition by msnbc.com, we have been considering making an adjustment to the way contributors are compensated based on suggestions from users.
  • Newsvine’s editorial functions will continue to be carried out by a blend of collective, democratic user behavior (voting, comments, etc.) and automation.
  • One of the first things I plan to do once the dust has settled is to begin working with the bright minds over at msnbc.com to develop ways in which Newsvine’s best content can make its way to a significantly larger audience. There are many factors to consider in this regard, but one of the primary incentives for doing this deal was that the outcome would result in more readership and opportunity for our best contributors – thus making the Newsvine brand something the average news consumer will be familiar with and eventually even come to depend on.
  • The Newsvine Team you’re familiar with will continue to be here. While we’ll expand the staff a bit, we don’t plan to change the formula that allows us to improve the site at breakneck speed. The relationship with msnbc.com will allow us to be freed up of some responsibilities that are inherent in running a startup company, which will allow us to focus on projects that are of greater significance to all of you.

I have met with the top executives at msnbc.com, and my biggest takeaway from those conversations is that everyone over there is extremely sensitive to altering the very properties that make Newsvine what it is. They have conveyed to the staff, emphatically, that things are to continue running as they have been. Of course, the potential synergy is tremendous, but we will proceed with integrating Newsvine’s best attributes with those of msnbc.com and vice versa, with great care and thoughtful consideration. The first (and probably only) thing you’ll notice right away is more people coming to Newsvine!

Entry Filed under: Newsvine

2 Comments

Add your own

  • 1
    Joss Delage
    October 8th, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Congrats Calvin, this must feel great after all the hard work.

  • 2
    caroaber
    October 21st, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Well, I can only guess what the Vine was like before the acquisition.
    I joined over a month later, but now we are in October 2008 and this is still one of my favorite sites.
    I like what I’ve seen over the last 11 months. Thanks for creating this interactive community.

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