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. 3, 2, 1 Blast Off! NewsiT 2.0 App Launches

    Today, NewsiT launches its 2.0 iPhone and iPad apps.

    We’ve worked hard this year to improve wildly on our original ‘minimum viable product’ - and for those of you who’ve been with us from the start, you’ll notice some very big differences. 

    A new ‘look and feel’, a complete re-think of the user experience, and improved architecture of what is now social, collaborative, interest-focused, and a full integration with Twitter and Facebook.

    At NewsiT people come together around interests they share with people they trust. Threads evolve and update over time, breaking the fleeting nature of traditional news. Our algorithms bring Tweets into the mix, appearing within original crowd-sourced NewsiT threads. These Tweets are being mined and sorted for hyper-relevance to each thread, and you will see functionality improve daily - as our technology platform is increasingly able to discern - in real time - the validity, authenticity, relevance and factual accuracy of each contributed element.

    A couple of notes for NewsiT members:

    For those of you downloaded NewsiT’s original iPhone app (versions 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2), you will not get the new app as an update. This is a long story about Apple rules, and relates to the fact this is a native iPhone app and we did not, when submitted last week to Apple, support the iPad. But as of today, we ARE on iPad too!

    To get the new app, you will have to download it again from the app store. It’s free and easy.   You can get it here:
     http://bit.ly/OrGh9Y

    One other difference: You will need to login using either Twitter or Facebook.

    You will also notice that the new website no longer supports content contribution. As more funds become available, this will change, but for the moment we have invested in iPhone and iPad, our powerful algorithms and we are hard at work on an API/SDK for our partners to use on their iPhones/iPads and websites. We will keep you posted.In the meantime, please ‘kick the tires’, contribute to threads, start threads, invite your friends, follow cool people … and tell us what you think. Ask your friends to check it out.

    And meantime, we want to use your feedback to shape current development iterations. We are working hard on improving the back end functionality (in particular making sure the Tweets aggregate properly within feeds), adding other aspects like rating/ranking, game layer and more.

    Watch out also for the 2.1 and 2.2 releases coming very soon - you will see continual improvements.

    Thanks again

    Melinda and our awesome team!

  2. Countdown to Apple Release

    We’re so excited to give everybody a sneak peek at our next generation iPhone app. We anticipate it’s going to be available from September 21, touch wood…

    Now you can discover facts and friends around interests you share with people you trust. You decide what interests you - and who you want to invite into your communities - and we make sure you have relevant, accurate ‘news you can use’ and trust. It’s fun, easy, and here’s what it looks like!

  3. Entrepreneur Stories Feature on Melinda Wittstock

    Start A Company to Avoid Boredom…NewsiT

    May 25, 2012 By - Melinda Wittstock has done it all in the news world: “Melinda is an award-winning journalist, serial entrepreneur and an evangelist on all things socially-networked, mobile and ‘gamified’.” Her latest startup, NewsiT, aims to reinvent the way news and information is sourced and verified.

    Click here to read the rest of the story.

  4. Rate Your Airline Seats!
    Join the NewsiT Crowd-Sourced News Story

    Is it just your imagination, or are airline seats smaller and tighter than ever? NewsiT, the source for crowd-reported news, is partnering with AirGuideOnline.com to report on the size and comfort of airplane seats and other amenities. Read our first story, about economy class seats, then sign up, accept a task and help us continue to report this developing story. http://newsit.net/assignments (Or download the free NewsiT app on your iPhone.)

  5. 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.

  6. 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: http://www.lilyskitchen.co.uk/

     Henrietta Morrison and Lily

  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. 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.

  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. IS THE GI BILL WORKING?

    Are you a student veteran? Is the Post-9/11 GI Bill working? If so, we’d like to hear from you.

    The latest NewsiT assignment is about the GI Bill.  We have several, simple tasks in this assignment. Please log in and contribute to the story. It’s quick and easy. And please pass this on to anyone else who might be interested. Details on this and all other all open assignments can be found at our web site.

    NewsiT is a mobile crowd-reporting platform for creating and sharing quality news of personal relevance. Our “correspondents” are people from all walks of life, like me and you, who love to contribute and be a part of the story.  The more people that add to the assignment, the better.  Join in and report on the news that matters to you!

    Follow us on Twitter at: @YouNewsiT