Publish2 or yet another social news site aiming to change the world

August 16, 2007

Today was the day the blogosphere – well, at least a small part of it – talked about Publish2, a site that has not launched yet (why do people keep doing that?) but that, in the words Scott Karp (the founder), it “will create the ultimate consumer news service by networking journalists’ news intelligence“.

You cannot blame Scott for making such statement. What would you want him to say? We’re going to give it a shot and see what happens? Well, perhaps. Yours truly is a believer that the hype that really works is the one that comes from the consumers. But that’s not really important.

What caught my attention was that at some point Scott is presenting his project as yet another “solution” to the “problems” surrounding Digg. Does that ring the bell? Thoof, coRank, Spotplex, to-be-launched Streamy and a ton of other sites have, at some point or another put on the table the same proposition

Scott ‘s had some sour grapes with Digg, or better said, with Digg’s hype. And he’s not alone. But what’s wrong with Digg anyway that everyone’s trying to “fix” the model? I’ll tell you. There’s nothing wrong with it. It serves its community quite well. Yes, people cry about a pictures section and what not, but we’re talking about the model here, not bells and whistles.

Now, if you’re not part of that community bu would love to get your wonderful story or project in the front page, then you struggle and start to see “problems”. But you see? Those are your problems, not those of the people who genuinely use and enjoy Digg every day.

Anyway, let’s talk some more about that some other day. Back to Scott’s words, he claims that Publish2 will extend the “social news” model to “every topic and every niche“. Somehow I don’t think it will (bear in mind I’m only going for what’s been written about it). The only models that I see doing that are Topix.net and the likes of Drupal, Pligg and coRank.

Why? First, Topix brings the news and let people democratize them, at any imaginable level. Just look at this. If that doesn’t cover topics and niches, I don’t know what does!

And coRank/Pligg/Drupal, although geeks tend to talk them down as stupid Digg clones, they let people create their own social news space about, quoting Scott, “every topic and every niche”. Now, to me, that’s social.

Will Publish2 succeed? It might, why not? Will it deliver on the promises being made now. Unlikely. Not only it needs to attract enough quality journalists, it then needs to appeal to the masses. Two hurdles that aren’t easy to overcome. We’ll be watching.

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One Response to “Publish2 or yet another social news site aiming to change the world”

  1. Eric Eldon Says:

    I see what you’re saying. As a very tiny part of the blogosphere, I’d personally say that – at least on its face — Scott is targeting a real problem that journalists have in gathering information. From what I’ve read, and from talking to him, I don’t think it is directly comparable to Digg, Delicious, etc.

    I’ll be covering his effort more — feel free to keep critiquing it (and me)!
    :)


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