The best news isn’t up to the minute, it’s up to you. That’s the slogan at the new Knewsroom, an online experiment from Kluster.com, that calls itself “a community-directed news publication where not only do you have a voice—you get paid to use it.”
How does it differ from other sites that pay for content? By sharing advertising revenue not only with contributors but with participants. Active members accumulate “watts,” which they can invest in what they think the Knewsroom should cover the following day.
Just like on Wall Street, your return on investment is determined by the risk you take. You can invest in Topics—which are kind of like mutual funds (lower risk/lower return), or you can bet on Stories—which you can think of as individual stocks (higher risk/higher return). Of course, you can diversify and do both.
A site algorithm determines the top five topics and top five stories of the day. If you’ve “invested” in a winner, you get a cut of the ad revenue generated that day. I haven’t tracked it long enough to see what kinds of stories regularly make news on the site, but today’s big lead story is about a new MP3 format; there’s a tech heavy list of submissions for tomorrow’s edition; and the topic area with the most watts invested is–surprise–technology.
Most of the general news stories appear to be from mainstream news sites, and many are from non-US sources. The top three stories under politics, for example, are from the Chinese news agency Xinhua, datelined Beirut, Brussels and Beijing. Not sure what all of this adds up to, but it’s an experiment worth watching.