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.

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Twitter: @newsitnews | @NewsiT_editor | @younewsit

  1. Attention Vacationers and Travel Bloggers!

    Here is a little more information about OE Travel Blogs, a travel site that is encouraging their readers to participate in NewsIT’s running story rating airline seats. OE Travel Blogs is a site that offers first hand travel experience from like-minded travellers. If you are venturing out on vacation or an adventure, be sure to check them out. If you are a travel blogger, OE Travel Blogs welcomes guest blogs and reviews as well.
    (See below for more.)

     If you are taking a trip this summer, be sure to download our iPhone app and let us know how your airplane seats were.

  2. A Message From Melinda

    Keen to share our progress!
    The new iPhone release is just days away now - improved workflows, display of contributor ‘raw’ content, design tweaks, and integration with Facebook and Twitter. We can hardly wait to share it with you - and get your feedback as we iterate and improve our web and mobile user experience ahead over the summer.

    Here are some of the things you will see in the coming weeks and months:

    • Enhanced social functionality will include the ability to follow and friends within the NewsiT community, the beginnings of user collaboration around story threads and contributions
    • Story threads will combine ‘assignments’ and ‘latest news’ - we are building feedback loops in which you can find relevant information to you as well as people and sources you can trust around information that is important and relevant to you
    • Reorganization of the site and app around specific topics or ‘communities of interest’
    • Enhanced UI around game layer
    • And more!

    We hope to work to a tight two-week iteration and delivery schedule so you will start seeing changes and improvements. Keep letting us know how we are doing!

    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.

  3. Sunny Days or Stormy Weather?

    NewsiT & AccuWeather team up for this Community Weather Report.

    Many areas of the country have had an early spring and summer… following an unusually warm winter. High temperatures, thunderstorms, tornadoes and drought have been in the news. AccuWeather predicts in its summer forecast that some relief may be in sight.

    But what signs have you seen of an early summer? Join other citizen reporters around the country and help us with this evolving story. Sign up, accept a task and help NewsiT and AccuWeather report on the weather in your area. Then follow the results at

    Anyone can be a NewsiT correspondent. It’s fun, social and rewarding. If you can snap a photo, ask a question, shoot a video, search for data or write a short report — or if you simply have a great idea you want others in the NewsiT community to investigate - you’re a valued member of our community.

  4. A Sneak Peek at NewsiT’s iPhone Release

    Your Crowd; Your Story

    The NewsiT team has been hard at work improving the design and user experience on the iPhone app for release later this month. We’re excited to share our progress and unveil the beginnings of our new look. We’re planning two Apple releases: the first with some much needed fixes and updates, the next with full social functionality. Tell us what you think of the new design direction!

  5. Noteworthy Newsmaker: Henrietta Morrison

    UK based Lily’s Kitchen makes delicious organic and holistic pet food for dogs and cats. Henrietta Morrison, Founder and MD of Lily’s Kitchen Pet Food, is a respected entrepreneur, leader in the canine community and quite simply a dog lover. That’s why we are delighted that she has joined in the latest NewsiT story; Don’t Lock the Dogs Out!

    In cities and towns everywhere, stores and businesses have different policies about dogs. Some allow only service dogs inside; some don’t allow dogs at all and some welcome pooches with open arms. (or paws.)

    Henrietta is leading her London-based friends and fans on the NewsiT assignment to see what the story is in her neck of the woods. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as the story evolves.

    In one afternoon or one hour, how many places of business can you bring your dog in?
    Are you a dog lover, professional or leader in the doggie community? We hope you’ll take a page out of Henrietta ‘s book and report what you find from your neighborhood… and see what your friends and followers can find out too. How many businesses can you (
    Details here.)

    About Lily’s Kitchen:
    Henrietta began cooking for her dog Lily after she realized that many dogs food contained strange ingredients that gave her dog various health problems, like itchy ears and skin.

    After a few weeks, Henrietta was delighted by the improvements in Lily’s health, she decided that someone needed to produce really healthy, proper food that would make a real difference to pets - and owners. So that’s how Lily’s Kitchen was born.

    Lily’s Kitchen natural pet food is made with real meat, organic grains, organic vegetables, organic fruit and herbs. They don’t use any colorings, flavorings, sweeteners or artificial preservatives.

    Lily’s Kitchen believes pet food should be made from proper ingredients - delicious, recognizable ones that you would love to dish up every day for your best friend.

    For more information, please visit their website:

     Henrietta Morrison and Lily

  6. Whooping Cough Epidemic Showcases Shortcomings in System

    A question posted to NewsiT’s sister site,, 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Where can you take your dog? Some stores allow dogs in and others say no. What’s the story in your neck of the woods?

    NewsiT asks you, the citizen reporter, to contribute to the story.

    Join the coverage at or download our free iPhone app. It’s as easy as snapping a picture, shooting a video or asking someone a couple of questions. Your input, plus that of our other “mobile reporters” will build an amazing story. Watch it unfold at