The NewsiT Blog

Bringing people together around interests and circumstances they share with people they trust. Create, collaborate and connect on the NewsiT mobile platform.

Visit us at: www.newsit.net
Twitter: @newsitnews | @NewsiT_editor | @younewsit
Facebook: Facebook.com/newsitnews

  1. On the Outside Looking In: Where are Dogs Allowed?

    NewsiT’s running story on businesses that will and won’t allow access to dogs continues to evolve. Check out the Latest News on our web site for details.

    We welcome you to join us on this story. In one day, one afternoon or one hour, how many places of business can you bring your dog in? Snap a pic or send us a report from your town and add to the crowd-sourced news story.

  2. Whooping Cough Epidemic Showcases Shortcomings in System

    A question posted to NewsiT’s sister site, www.askyourlawmaker.com, about requiring the CDC to notify the general public in the case of an epidemic led to a NewsiT story about a whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic in Washington State.

    Have you or anyone in your family had whooping cough? Did you know your childhood vaccine against the disease has probably worn off?  Join the story and help us continue to report on the dangers of pertussis.


  3. A Message From Melinda

    What does ‘news’ mean to you?

    Is it a fleeting headline, saturation cable coverage or broken-telephone online aggregation of all the same sources? Is it studio-bound pundits trading ideological invectives at high decibel? Maybe it’s a tweet from a friend.

    The “news” in the NewsiT name means something very different to us.

    News to us is social – a conversation about an issue of shared interest – evolving over time, weaving in more and more voices and perspectives, and separating fact from opinion – to give people relevant new information they can trust and use to improve their lives and communities.

    We want NewsiT to be a place to discover facts and friends around topic threads that matter most to you, a place where you can set the agenda, share information, and make an impact.

    It’s very early days for NewsiT and its driving us crazy that our site and iPhone app are still so far from our exciting vision.

    We’re working hard to dramatically improve your experience, and I wanted to bring you up to speed on where we are going and some of the changes you will start to see.

    We want our stories to evolve over time, letting you interact at any point in a story thread, and improving with each new interaction or collaboration. You may simply want to see what’s trending or catch up with friends; you may have a tip, a photo or video to share; perhaps you want to dig deep into a specific story branch, find out who’s contributed what, comment, rate or connect.

    Our next iPhone release will fix some of the most, well, irritating things about the app - simplifying workflows, improving navigation, fixing broken ‘trending’ functionality so you can see others’ contributions in real time, and more. And coming soon too:  Full social functionality via integration with Twitter and Facebook, and ways to find and connect with friends on the NewsiT platform. We’ll also be eliminating what seems an artificial and antiquated dividing line between ‘assignments’ and ‘latest news’ by combining the two into threads, organized by topics and tagging. You’ll be able to rate, rank, share, collaborate - and did I mention the app will start to actually look beautiful? We love elegant, minimalist, crisp and engaging design.

    Yes, there is a lot to do, and as we do it we’d love your input, suggestions, comments and participation as we implement all the great feedback we have had out in the ‘real world’.

    Every two weeks from now you will see changes and improvements. Let us know if you want to be part of our usability testing, or whether you just have a specific thought about design or functionality you need us to hear. And please keep participating and uploading content. We do hope you’ll take the chance to help shape this young new company - and thank you for helping to make NewsiT all it can be!

    NewsiT was founded by CEO Melinda Wittstock. Melinda is an award-winning journalist, serial entrepreneur and an evangelist on all things socially-networked and ‘gamified’. She is passionate about improving the quality and relevance of news and information, and has learned in her long journalistic career that there is more expertise outside the newsroom than in it.

  4. Ask Your Lawmaker

    Have you seen NewsiT’s sister site, Ask Your Lawmaker? If you could ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid any question, what would it be? What would you ask Sen. McCain? Speaker Boehner? Or Minority Leader Pelosi? If you had a microphone and a media pass at the U.S. Capitol, what would you ask your lawmaker? Now you can help hold your elected representatives to account: where do they stand on the important issues? What do they do all day?

    NewsiT gets your questions answered. Our reporters trawl the corridors and committee rooms of Congress, microphone in hand, asking Senators and Representatives what YOU want to ask. We want to make sure lawmakers know what issues matter most to you, your family, your community.

  5. NewsiT Brings Gamification to Citizen Journalism

    NewsiT was featured on the Gamification Blog. Click the image below to read the article and feel free to post your thoughts here.

  6. Students arrested at Sallie Mae during college loan protest

    Check out the latest report from NewsiT.

  7. #NYC12 - CMA NYC

    The Spring College Media Convention, presented by the College Media Association. 1,200 college journalists and their advisers will attend 250-plus sessions. NewsiT will be there as well, speaking about crowd sourced citizen journalism.

    We look forward to our first CMA NYC event! Join us Monday at 2:30 in presidential suite for a discussion about crowd-reporting news on college campuses (and learn about our just-released app, too)!

    Tweet us at @newsitnews or @younewsit if you are there.

    Look for us at the Sheraton New York,
    811 Seventh Ave at 52nd Street

  8. iPad contest - earn 50 points now!

    NewsiT users,

    We’re excited to announce two quick updates to our SxSW iPad contest:

           - All content uploaded through Saturday is eligible for points toward the iPad. Maybe you couldn’t upload from Austin because of connectivity issues, or didn’t have time.  Take another look now at the assignments, find one that interests you, and upload text, photos or video. 

           - Earn 50 extra points now just by liking NewsiT on Facebook!  Not only do you get the extra points, but you can keep up with all our updates and the latest news stories and assignments.

    Thanks - and good luck!

  9. How to Cover SXSW with NewsiT

    NewsiT is a mobile crowd reporting platform for creating & sharing news. Now you can report on the stories that matter to you right from your laptop or iPhone. It’s fun too. As a NewsiT correspondent, you can earn points and badges for your contributions. Best of all, you get to be a part of the action.

    SXSW
    There are several interesting and fun news assignments open at NewsiT.net including our coverage of South By Southwest in Austin, TX this month. If you are attending, or your company will have a presence there, we would love for you to help out with the SXSW story.

    Here’s an example of a few of the questions/tasks:

    • What’s your marketing plan? How will you measure success?
    • How are you preparing for SxSW? What do you want to accomplish?
    • How’d you cut through the clutter at SxSW?

    So how do you contribute to a NewsiT assignment?

    It’s very easy. Just go to www.newsit.net/assignments and sign in. You’ll see all of the open assignments and you can click on any of them to see the associated tasks. NewsiT breaks down each assignment into simple, manageable tasks. You might be asked to answer a question or upload a photo or video. Choose whatever tasks interest you, and do as many as you want.

    Or, simply download the free iPhone app and you can be a NewsiT corespondent right from your iPhone. Access assignments, upload photos, video and text for tasks and go mobile with your reporting!

    NewsiT has revolutionized the news gathering process by making it social. By “crowd-sourcing” each story, NewsiT gets a wide variety of perspectives and angles on a topic. The result is a deep, insightful and compelling news story reported by real people; those intimately involved with the issues and folks who are just observing… the more perspectives, the better. Anyone can contribute.

    The last step is also a very important one. Spread the word! Tell your friends, tweet the link and reach out to people who might be interested in a particular topic.

    For more information visit www.newsit.net
    Follow us on Twitter: @YouNewsiT
    Facebook.com/newsitnews

  10. NewsiT Founder a Featured Female Entrepreneur at NYCwomen.connect

    Newsit Founder & CEO Melinda Wittstock will be one of the featured speakers/companies at the NYCwomen.connect event in New York on Thursday, March 22, 2012.

    NYCwomen.connect is an intimate forum and networking series designed to showcase female entrepreneurs from an array of industries before an audience of 100 to 150 male and female investors, business leaders, and other service professionals committed to promoting and supporting women in business. 

    Melinda is not only revolutionizing the news gathering process with NewsiT, the new crowd-sourcing news platform, but she is also setting an example for women entrepreneurs everywhere.

    As usual, it’s a busy and exciting month for Melinda. NewsiT is also one of the finalists this year at the HATCH Pitch competition at South By Southwest in Austin, TX.

    The NYCwomen.connect event is at:

    5 – 9 p.m.
    The Offices of Hodgson Russ LLP
    1540 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, NY
    (Entrance on 45th Street, East of Broadway)

    For more info or to register, visit NYCwomen.connect