An Epitaph for Newsvine

Today, the creation I am most proud to have brought into the world disappeared from the internet.

After 11 years and 7 months in service, Newsvine, a participatory news site I launched with four friends on March 1st, 2006 was officially sunsetted by NBCNews.

Although I’ve been away from the company and the service for five years now, today brings back a rush of memories and some perspective on how the problems Newsvine set out to solve over a decade ago are actually the opposite of the problems that most need solving today.

In 2005, I found myself five years into a stint at Disney, wondering what was next for news. We owned ESPN, ABCNews, and several other media properties, but most of the fresh new takes on news seemed to be coming from non-traditional sources. Neither Twitter nor the iPhone had been invented yet, and Facebook was still just a campus dating site, but blogs were sprouting up by the thousands and sites like Digg and Slashdot were becoming popular destinations.

There seemed to be this growing bifurcation between mainstream media and citizen journalism. Mainstream newsrooms didn’t want to share their platform with amateur writers, and a lot of amateur writers grew more distrustful of mainstream media. Our big idea with Newsvine was to license the same Associated Press feed of professional reporting that made up the majority of what you’d see on a site like CNN.com, publish it faster than any other site in the world, and enlist citizens from around the world to create original, paid journalism around and alongside it… and open up every single piece of content for threaded discussion as well.

In other words:

CNN = AP Wire stories + Professional Journalism
Newsvine = AP Wire stories + Citizen Journalism + Discussion

… and we could do it all with a staff of under 10 people.

We didn’t know for sure if it was going to work, but the day we decided we’d be happy to have tried it even if it failed was the day we ended up quitting our jobs (incidentally, if you are thinking about leaving your job for a new risky thing, this is the acid test I recommend).

We spent about 6 months getting the company off the ground and the service into public beta, and it wasn’t long until extraordinary acts of journalism began appearing. Chris Thomas, one of our most prolific users, broke news of the Virginia Tech shootings on Newsvine before it appeared anywhere else. Jerry Firman, a 70 year old Newsviner from Ohio, got his name on the ballot for Congress and documented the process of running for office. Corey Spring, a student at Ohio State, scored an original interview with Dave Chappelle.

The design, tech, and operational work associated with growing Newsvine were fairly straightforward, but the one thing that seemed to get more and more difficult as the site grew was moderating and cultivating the community. Your first 1000 users are easy. People are just happy to be there. Then when you get to 10,000 you have a few fights here and there but nothing unmanageable. Even at 100,000, a small team of thoughtful people can stay on top of things. But when you hit 1 million, 10 million, and beyond, the community becomes much less intimate and more volatile.

Such was the case when we were acquired in 2007 by MSNBC.com (now NBCNews.com). Our site was already decently big but MSNBC’s was many times bigger… about 45 million people at the time. The post-acquisition work was twofold: 1) continue growing Newsvine as a standalone property, 2) use our technology to add registration, profiles, discussion threads, and other features to MSNBC.com. We also ended up powering all of the company’s blogs and some other things.

I ended up staying at MSNBC for about five years, and I would say the results of the experiment were mixed overall. On the upside, we provided technology that helped launch new editorial brands quickly and connect journalists to their audiences, but on the downside, “community” at that scale can be very messy. Additionally, with the eventual rise of Twitter and Facebook, Newsvine never grew to those usage levels. MSNBC.com was a great parent throughout though, and I have nothing but love for the people I worked with.

It’s interesting to compare Newsvine (and sites like it) to the now wildly successful fortunes of Facebook and Twitter. Newsvine at its core was a news site with a social network wrapped around it. Facebook at its core is a social network with news (and photos, and events, etc) wrapped around it. Twitter is probably structured more like Facebook in this regard as well, but its biggest challenge, in my opinion, has always been a lack of commitment to building those real-life social connections into the service.

When we look at how the average person’s news and media diet has changed over the last decade or so, we can trace it directly back to the way these and other modern organizations have begun feeding us our news. Up until 10 or 15 years ago, we essentially drank a protein shake full of news. A good amount of fruits and vegetables, some grains, some dairy, some tofu, and then a little bit of sugar, all blended together. Maybe it wasn’t the tastiest thing in the world but it kept us healthy and reasonably informed. Then, with cable news we created a fruit-only shake for half the population and a vegetable-only shake for the other half. Then with internet news, we deconstructed the shake entirely and let you pick your ingredients, often to your own detriment. And finally, with peer-reinforced, social news networks, we’ve given you the illusion of a balanced diet, but it’s often packed with sugar, carcinogens, and other harmful substances without you ever knowing. And it all tastes great!

As someone who has created Newsvine, worked at Twitter, and had many discussions with people at Facebook, I can tell you that this sort of effect was never “part of the business plan”. However, maximizing engagement was and still is, and that has led to a world in which what appears on people’s screens is what is most likely to keep one’s attention, as opposed to what is actually most important to know and understand.

The solutions to these problems will not come easy. They aren’t as simple as banning some jerk from Twitter or improving bot detection on Facebook. We’ve trained people to get their news and information from the cookie jar, and since we now know exactly what that world looks like, we must begin the job of untraining them… or at least engineering a healthy cookie.

We probably got a lot of things wrong at Newsvine, but one thing I still feel we got absolutely right is our longstanding tagline:

Get Smarter Here.

That’s really the only promise we ever wanted the service to fulfill.

After 800,000 articles, 65 million comments, 11+ years, thousands of new friendships, and at least one marriage and child from the site that I’m aware of, I’m confident it has fulfilled its mission for at least some who roamed its jungles.

(Special thanks to the entire Newsvine community. Without the dedicated efforts of all of you, we would have never had this special corner of the internet to write, meet new people, and have our perspectives changed. Thanks also to my partners Calvin, Mark, Lance, Josh, Tom, Tyler, Sally, Luke, Todd, Bobby, Dave, Arun, Jim, Mike, Brenda, Carl, Charlie, Rex, and everyone else at MSNBC.com for making this all possible. Also, extra special thanks to Nick, one of our investors, for introducing me to my wife, who I would have never met were it not for this little chance we took. And finally, thanks to my wife who helped get me through everything back then and since.)

(This post also available on Medium.)

42 comments on “An Epitaph for Newsvine”. Leave your own?
  1. John Whittet says:

    Newsvine was great during its heyday. I never partook in the citizen journalism side of the equation, but took great pride in curating interesting submissions and the discussions that ensued. For at least one period at the end of 2008, when I was a senior in college, I was at the top of the leaderboard and harbored ambitions of moving to the west coast and working for Newsvine in technology. Alas.

    The discussion is what made Newsvine for me. It was friendly, well-informed, and Made Everyone Smarter. These days, I don’t even *think* about wading into the morass that is the comments section on news articles. I miss that, though it’s certainly tied to the size of the community—which itself is tied to the ability to moderate effectively. Much credit to Tyler and the team for keeping us on the rails.

  2. Mark Armstrong says:

    Newsvine was a big inspiration to me in terms of what’s possible with community + journalism (and a beautiful design). Congrats Mike on a pioneering product and a great run.

  3. Dennis Kemmerer says:

    I’ve seen many online forums come and go, from the early days of usenet to Prodigy, CompuServe, national BBS systems, and others. However, Newsvine was the site of my first published clip as an undergrad journalism major nearly nine years ago and will always have a special nostalgic place in my mind.

  4. KrazyKittyKat says:

    I stumbled onto the site by accident, but was quickly intrigued by the comments. Insightful, erratic, educational, inspirational. So funny at times that I was driven to fits of uncontrollable giggles. So sad and tragic at times that it bought tears to my eyes. Made some great friends, many of whom came from Huffington Post. Will miss the banter but I am grateful for the experience.

  5. I stumbled onto the site by finding your blog post on how to customize your MySpace page with CSS (there’s a statement for you). You had the most beautiful MySpace page in an arena that was usually horrendous. I love the look and feel of Newsvine. Even since then, a few of my sites have been inspired by your design.

    Newsvine was great. It definitely leaned liberal and agnostic. It wasn’t quite as welcoming as many who leaned that way thought it was, but it was about the best thing you could find on the internet for honest discussion that wasn’t too vitriolic.

    The MSNBC acquisition was the right move. They had of course done their due diligence in the traffic demographic and it fit within their core target. It also gave them a great advance in technology, as well as design.

    You guys did really great work and you should be proud.

  6. Freewill says:

    Thanks to all of you who brought Newsvine into the world. I enjoyed every bit of the 8 plus years I spent there. Hell I think I was addicted, but fortunately the withdrawal symptoms appear to be fairly mild. Met many friends, had many deep discussions, and most of all Got Smarter There (as advertised).

    What a great idea it was, and I think still is, and I can tell you that in looking around for a substitute I have yet to find one as simple and elegant as Newsvine was. “AP Wire stories + Citizen Journalism + Discussion”, perfect! Certainly a model I’d like to see repeated. Any suggestions that might rival what we had at NV?

    Anyway, thanks again my friend, and to all of you who brought us Newsvine. There are thousands of us who will never forget our time there.

  7. Buzz of the Orient says:

    For many years I was a member and contributor to Newsvine, enjoyed posting photos, and opened and administered a group (this was pre-nation) called Classic Cinema. Made many internet friends on Newsvine, and because as an expat I live on the other side of the world from most users, it became for me a window to the rest of the world. Freewill has asked a question: “Any suggestions that might rival what we had on NV?” Sure. Just do what I did years ago and many are doing now, join Newstalkers.

  8. Chris Thompson says:

    Well Mike, Citizen Journalism makes for a nice platitude, however you left out the part where Newsvine became a Clearinghouse for Inbred Left Wing Dogma. That was one of the obvious takeaways. The other was exposing how sick the far left universe truly was.

    That’s not to say there weren’t times when we found common ground, just that they were too fleeting and ultimately the ghastly bias exhibited by its moderators became too much to bear. Fortunately, a few aquaintances from the Vine helped to reinforce the belief that the world wasn’t completely out of its gourd as it appeared to be on MSNBC.

    Nevertheless, I was overjoyed at the decision to pull the plug on the Vine. No more need be said.

  9. Spikegary says:

    Newsvine was my first view of a News Blog, I discovered it by clicking a link on a story on MSNBC.com. I really enjoyed my time there and became a daily contributor. It was also my first brush with some people that found the internet a way to satisfy ego needs that were not being satisfied elsewhere. I did feel like I got smarter there, though I was very disappointed when they moved to the ‘Nations’ format and the moderation fell away. It lost its attractiveness at that point for me and like Buzz of the Orient, I’ve found a new home at The Newstalkers.

  10. mocowgirl says:

    Thank you for having the vision and making it a reality.
    The Newsvine experience changed my life for the better.

  11. Charles says:

    All in all though, I am not really sad that it is gone. The community quality plummeted. It no longer became a place to learn and see things from the other side, but a circlejerk of pretentious like minded individuals.

  12. Wheel Barrow says:

    I was on the Vine for a little over 11 years. I loved a lot of the people I met and miss several of them who are no longer with us. I was expecting the site’s demise long before the announcement. I appreciated the fact that fair warning was given. I do have a question, what do I do with my “Seed Newsvine” button now? :)

  13. Sandra Paul says:

    I know very little about computers. On Newsvine I could read other
    peoples thoughts on different subjects. I sure will miss this site.

  14. Roger Black says:

    Newsvine was a mind-expanding venture. As far as I’m concerned it will always be a success because it changed the way I think about news. Forever.

  15. Devon Shaw says:

    I remember when you quit ESPN/Disney to build this and I remember all your posts around the time it launched. It was around that time I was deep in the political arena, and many of the people I knew and worked with had formed friendships through extremely high-level online discourse (even ones with polar opposite beliefs and viewpoints!). I was always on the lookout for anything that could push it forward, or new tools for the candidates and officials I was working for. I admired Newsvine as a principled concept, but it struck me as a bit of a quaint oddity with a difficult endgame, and my cursory participation was probably the result of my lack of conviction in the platform.

    In a way, we’d already blown it from a journalistic standpoint back in 1998 when virtually every self-respectable journalist threw ethics to the wind to cover the Lewinsky scandal (Marvin Kalb wrote an excellent book about this). I wasn’t sure how we could gain this ground back without considerable editorial oversight, something Newsvine specifically eschewed in exchange for removing the more traditional barriers of entry. Crowdsourced journalism can provide a fantastic opportunity for people with the tact and discipline to wield their power responsibly, but as we’ve discovered in the last ten years, the trends were definitely against you. The metrics being measured and valued (and later firmly reinforced by Facebook and Twitter) placed undue emphasis on immediacy at the expense of accuracy. Desire to create a sensational impact replaced the wisdom of thoughtfulness, because, after all, there’s nothing dramatic in advocating everyone taking a step back for a moment to consider the facts. There are no romantic crusades for people seeking truth, consensus and enlightenment. Newsvine didn’t fail to deliver to the people, we simply failed to maintain a world in which it would thrive.

    On the bright side, you had a really fun time building a new house.

  16. Marsha T, Meyer says:

    I will be forever grateful to Newsvine for the many friends I made!

  17. moshawn says:

    I liked newsvine and was there for about 4 years in a row. Unfortunately things went downhill when we started to get moderators who were biased in favor of a certain group of people and started to kill news stories and banning people simply for the articles posted against killing of innocent civilians in middle-east, specifically the people who were victims of aggression of a super power in the region. I left posting on newsvine and worked successfully elsewhere through other channels.

  18. onefan51 says:

    Thanks for creating the concept that became known as Newsvine. It was definitely a one of a kind creation that enabled each and everyone to get out of it exactly what they sincerely put into it. If any individual or individuals wanted to “Get Smarter” and honestly participate in Newsvine discussions with an open mind, everyone had an equal opportunity. The seven years I spent on Newsvine cultivating friendships and memories will be everlasting.
    The only bitter taste left in my mouth resulting from the closure of Newsvine is the treatment of its longtime loyal users by NBC in how the plug was pulled. Throughout NBC’s ownership, its actions regarding oversight and maintenance were uncaring as well as unprofessional. Especially during the last eight months of Newsvine’s existence, and specifically regarding how notification was provided that Newsvine would actually end.
    Again, thank you for being one of the brilliant minds who created Newsvine, and provided those like me with enjoyment and pleasurable experiences throughout the years.

  19. chloe (formerly cl, then cl1) says:

    I had a comment before, but it is gone now after adding my email addy. I’d like to say that Nv was the best thing that happened to me, and I’ll miss it more than I can say. Your write-up was excellent, and I wish you and the others the best of everything that life has to offer… the very, very best.
    Hope to find where you are now or join Mike Industries.

  20. Ksilvers59 says:

    News vine was great. I will miss the many discussions I had from both pro and con. Is there another venue in which people can participate?

  21. Patrick N. Harris says:

    Conservative “Trolls” and garden variety “Look at me” members began eroding the enthusiasm I originally felt for Newsvine to the point it degraded into just another free-for-all hate-filled message board for nutty right wing trolls. I stopped visiting the site a few years ago and was disappointed to see it’s gone. A great site at first, but degraded by Conservatopia. Like the America we once knew, ruined by Conservative extremism. R.I.P. Newsvine and the once great American Middle Class. We once were young and happy, but no more.

  22. Well, I was with Newsvine from about eight months after it went live until the end, although at the end I was not publishing that much. However, I DID publish nearly 500 originally-written, illustrated articles to the site. I collected a total of $1,115 via PayPal along the way, all of which I would gladly return to access those articles today. Unfortunately, I only got word about the closure a couple of days prior, and was only able to retrieve maybe thirty articles. What brought Newsvine down was changing Mike and Calvin’s original concept for something that just didn’t work. This was no fault of theirs. Those two, in my book, are genius-level. I have been able to retrieve a few additional articles (without the pictures) via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, but it is a shame anyway I can never get the remainder back.

  23. Robert Blevins, I find myself in the same boat. I am heartbroken. I feel as if I have been robbed. There is no reason why they could not have provided a way for us to retrieve our content for a longer period. They simply did not want to do so.

  24. Go to Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and enter your Newsvine user address in the search box. This was mine: www (dot) adventurebooks.newsvine (dot) com

  25. Nansi A Taggart says:

    I loved Newsvine. I found it at a time in my life when I had sustained a severe head injury, resulting in subsequent post surgery complications, was home alone, and never able to work again. It kept me connected, literally assisted in the recovery of my verbal skills, and ability to take in, and analyze information. I formed friendships all over the world, some I still have contact with.
    I wrote some articles, had several groups while private groups were still allowed, and it was the high point of many days for years. Thank you, for giving me Newsvine………..Rescue Dogs

  26. Ian Walter says:

    Newsvine was doomed because its designers and owners failed to protect its integrity by treating it like dispensable whore rather than a cherished and worthy love. Rather than remaining dedicated to the integrity of the site by regulating new users in a meaningful and thoughtful way, they threw the doors wide open and let trolls–liberal and conservative–rampage wildly through the place, allowing them to defecate all over rational discourse and thoughtful debate.

    But, hey….the owners did make some coin along the way. Which was the point. Still…it is both curious and humorous that they would now feign befuddled nostalgic caring long after they so openly and blatantly conspired to subject Our Good Lady Newsvine to being savaged by as many idiots as they could squeeze through the door.

  27. I would say that the founders of Newsvine were not responsible for what happened later, since they were no longer running things there. The negative changes to the site came later. You have to admit it was a concept far ahead of its time that has never really been duplicated.

  28. Add-on to my above comment: Can you believe a news website that encouraged ordinary folks to contribute? And then paid them 90% of the ad revenue that came into the site? Some of the people who contributed to Newsvine went on to become famous, or at least semi-famous, as a result of their participation. It was brilliant. It was GENIUS.

    It was a shooting star across the internet, that for a while was rated in the top 100 of websites in America. I’m not romanticizing it by saying that at its height it was actually becoming a force to be reckoned with on the internet. When you do this, corporate entities will notice and they will try to gain control of it, or to squash it. Newsvine was destined from the start to make its mark, and then disappear. The people who founded it should be proud. They brought attention and sensibility to the internet at a time when no one had ever done what they had done.

    After Newsvine closed, other sites tried to pick up where they left off, but none of them ever reached the sophistication, the participation, or the organization that was once…..Newsvine. If you were a part of all that, you should be proud and hope that someday another Tang or Davidson will have the courage and the will to do what THEY did. Here we are all these years later, and their efforts have never been matched.

  29. Patrick Harris says:

    The moderators of Newsvine faced a tough choice: Ban repeated abusers ( Mostly ConservativeTrolls of every stripe ) and be tagged as a bastion of LIBRUL bias, or allow their interference to stand. Pretty much a no-win situation, which mirrors the reality of societal discourse today. Personally, I think Newsvine should have warned then banned the mostly Conservative Trolls, and that most likely would have kept Newsvine an attractive place known for it’s tag of “Get smarter here.” American society currently finds itself in the same no-win situation. Eventually, I believe society will soon tire of the smirking lies, the dishonesty of Conservatopia in general, and will toss the bastards out on their collective asses.

  30. Freewill says:

    Patrick Harris,

    First of all, early on the moderators DID ban repeated abusers of the CoH, and the site was tagged by some as a bastion of “Librul bias”. So what? But that had nothing to do with the compensation for thoughtful contribution being removed and the eventual reduction/near elimination of the moderation when the site was taken over by MSNBC. It was MSNBC that dismantled everything that was attractive about Newsvine. Certainly anyone who had been there over the long haul would know this.

    So there really never was a “difficult choice” faced by the moderators at any point in the timeline, and the “conservative trolls” had nothing to do with the demise of or attractiveness of that venue. The moderators certainly never faced a choice between “allowing their interference to stand” and being tagged with “a bastion of Librul bias”. That tag would have come from those you label Conservative Trolls anyway, so why would they have cared? They just needed to do their jobs without bias and warn/ban those who violated the CoH or User Agreement without prejudice. No choice involved other than to do one’s job or don’t.

    Second, within the boundaries of the CoH, it is not a moderator’s position, and definitely not another user’s place, to determine which voices are those of “interference”, or which are to be silenced simply to preserve the subjective “attractiveness” of a platform. When we silence the opinions of others, or worse yet encourage those in a position of power to do so, THAT is when we create the no-win situation. There were plenty of “smirking lies” and “dishonesty” on Newsvine from all ends of the political spectrum, just as there is today in our society. The beauty of Newsvine was the open platform it provided to counter such crap with logic, reason, and at times heated debate. It gave both you and me the opportunity to counter such propaganda or dishonesty in an open forum for many to see. That is the only way in my opinion that truth is discovered and minds are opened to other viewpoints or other means of “getting smarter”. The difference is that I relished the opportunity for such discussion, while it appears you prefer to label people (“Conservatopia in general”) and “toss the bastards out on their asses” rather than use the platform that Newsvine gave you to confront them, make your case, teach them, or God forbid to learn from them. If one thinks he/she see lies and dishonesty then one should confront it in the open, not call for those who one feels are liars or dishonest to be silenced or be cast out. That is a no-win situation, especially when one considers that someday a mob may feel that you are the dishonest liar.

    Let’s say you get your way and those you call “Conservative Trolls” or “Conservatopia in general” are tossed out on their asses. Where do you think they are going to go? What if they gain control/power in some other way? Would you want them silencing your voice the way that you suggest they be silenced?

    If the users at Newsvine had spent more time discussing/debating important topics rather than concerning themselves with who was a troll and who wasn’t and jockey for the moderators to hit the ban button, perhaps it would have been more of an “attractive place known for it’s tag of “Get smarter here.”” The key to embracing the First Amendment is to simply ignore those whom you think are unrecoverable trolls (they will eventually go away of their own volition), and appeal to others with whom you simply disagree with logical, rational discourse. The worst you can do is lump the latter in with the former and suggest they all be silenced by the powers that be.

    The Readers Digest condensed version of this screed out on paperback next week. (-:

  31. Ian Walter says:

    A curious discussion, one which loses itself in the weeds of theoretical hopefulness over practicality. There were moderators who had a simple mission. They had no where near the sufficient numbers to be successful in that mission, nor did they have the simple clarity of authority and impartial confidence to mete out justice swiftly and savagely. They failed because they lacked vision and fortitude. It was a failure of the creators and of ownership, who were either ignorant of the obvious rapid demise of of the site, or were simply indifferent to that demise. I very plainly recall one of them saying, “It’s just a website.” Which is hardly a philosophy of even minimal reverence.
    This matter of “Ignoring trolls” is sheer nonsense. Those who are allowed to shout and scream without repercussion during debate are ipso facto in control of that debate. The only reasonable act is to ban trolls from civil discourse altogether. Otherwise, it is not at all civil. Nor is it discourse. It is tantrum.

  32. Freewill says:

    Ian Walter,

    You said, “This matter of “Ignoring trolls” is sheer nonsense”.

    I beg to differ. There was actually an IGNORE button on Newsvine that allowed one to physically blot out any comments from any other Viner if one thought they were trolls. So for those who could not muster the will to simply ignore or pass over that which one felt was trollish behavior or irrelevant content, the creators of Newsvine provided a mechanism that would do it for you. I believe I used it only once, but honestly never felt the need for it.

    The “sheer nonsense” as I see it is that rather than using their own will power to ignore, or better yet confront, that which runs counter to their world view, or use the fricken tool that would have done it for them, many spent all their time and energy on Newsvine trying to get those they didn’t wish to hear banned for good. THEY were the ones throwing the “tantrums” more often than not!

    Is that how free speech and open forums work? Let’s just silence any voice we don’t wish to hear? If that is what you see as “practical” then I’ll stick with my “theoretical hopefulness” any day of the week and twice on Sundays. To me, it isn’t at all practical to expect those in a position of power to silence others with whom one disagrees, especially when one has the cognitive and physical tools to either confront or ignore it and simply chooses not to use them.

    Lastly, do not confuse “civil discourse” with that of an echo chamber. I witnessed this often from those Viners who were the loudest proponents of banning those with whom they disagreed, from both political extremes. If the discussion involved anything slightly at odds with their world view, civility went out the window quickly and sometimes devolved into a crusade to lump another Viner into a pool targeted for banning. No theory involved there, I saw it plain as day. Civil discourse can still be heated and can be informative and helpful to all those viewing or participating in it. Echo chambers, good for inciting a mob, but not all that helpful to those looking to expand their world view.

  33. I think the bottom line is that Newsvine was genius, historical, but also like a meteor that finally burned itself out in the atmosphere. At one point, it was the 17th most popular website in the United States. They actually DID pay 90% of a personal site’s revenue back to the creator. I received exactly $1,110 dollars (or so) via PayPal during its heydey. I have fond memories of those 500+ illustrated articles I did for them, which I would have done for nothing.

    For at least three full years, (and that’s a LONG time on the internet) they were the go-to place for citizen journalism, and they haven’t been matched since. If I could meet Calvin Tang or Mike Davidson in person, I would shake their hands.

  34. klconsiders says:

    newsvine is gone due to capitalist insight and if you don’t understand that then you will never see anything like it again. Just ask msnbc and the maker of the russian warehouse that identified its usefullness.
    its gone because it was exactly what gave us voice.

  35. It was strictly business. What is too bad is that someone else doesn’t step up and do a format exactly like NV was in its best form…the original before the bean counters came along and compartmentalized the whole thing.

    My old man used to tell me: “Don’t mess with success.” Newsvine became so popular that it also became a threat to news traffic for the Big Boys, and the Big Boys couldn’t stand it. So they bought it…changed it…and then closed it. Without talented individuals behind it anymore, it was doomed. But for a while it was great. I still miss the place. When I heard about the closure that was coming, that happened only a day prior to the closure. I was able to get some of my better articles copied and saved. The good thing is that you can go to the Internet Archive and use their Wayback Machine to recover these things if you wish, although a lot of the images will be gone. But at least the text of articles can be found.

  36. Freewill says:

    Mr. Blevins,

    Most of my content was carefully researched and well-cited responses to other articles or seeds. Much harder to recover. But I had saved some of the best stuff on my hard drive, as I found myself needing to reuse it time and again for those who spread the same or similar misinformation/disinformation repeatedly, sometimes the very same authors/seeders.

    I miss the place too and still have found no satisfactory substitute elsewhere on the web. I have tried Google +, Minds.com, MeWe, Newstalkers, Disqus, but none of them seem to offer a forum for good citizen journalism with adequate readership and the good healthy debate that follows. All good things eventually come to an end I suppose.

  37. I think you hit the nail on the head. The money via PayPal was a nice touch, but I’m sure I would have participated even without it. Some articles I wrote went into six figures on the views and were linked out all over the internet. ‘It Wasn’t the Fuel Line – How the Buddy Holly Crash Really Happened,’ ‘Ten Good Reasons to Stop Executing People in the United States,’ etc were good ones. Over 500 illustrated articles on all manner of subjects before it was all over. To be honest though, after they compartmentalized Newsvine and dropped the payments, I was not visiting there much. They messed with success.

    I still think when the site was sold to MSNBC, the real goal was to shut it down eventually, not improve it, promote it, or make it better. And you are right when you say that to date…no substitute for Newsvine has emerged, which is a supreme bummer. If Calvin Tang and Mike Davidson wanted, they could do another startup just like Newsvine, maybe give it a slightly different name, but with the same format. And it would be the same result. It would be a powerhouse and a force for maybe three or four years…and then they would receive offers to sell it that no sane person would refuse. But at least it would be back for a while, and once again give the Big Boys a run for their money.

  38. Ksilvers59 says:

    Many of us miss newsvine. I even miss some of the people I often disagreed with.

  39. Ksilvers59 says:

    I too miss newsvine. I even miss the people I often disagreed with. Don’t miss the trolls.

  40. bore says:

    Greetings to all newsiners, wherever they may roam! This is bore-head007. I hope I find everyone in good health, and good spirits.
    I miss the place, and I’m sure I’m not alone. It is ironic today, that I would see this today. I am writing about the beginnings of fisherynation and the migration of the group to a new home. We had unfinished business. We created fisherynation.com. Today, we posted an archive article that we posted on newsvine Aug. 5th, 2011. I’m going to link this to the post for other former newsviners in the news like Wicked Tuna’s Dave Marciano! Come visit, Lets chat!

  41. bore says:

    From the newsvine archives! F/V Endurance- Foto Friday, Fri Aug 5, 2011
    http://fisherynation.com/archives/84493

  42. Ksilvers59 says:

    I miss the venue were people from both side of the political spectrum can express themselves. We have more in common than we often express.

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