The question is no longer just a hypothetical one. With increasing convergence between social media and traditional content, what is known as a traditional news website might not exist in the coming years.
Perhaps a revealing example is the creation of Facebook applications by a Seattle-based aggregator, NewsCloud, which received a grant from the Knight Foundation to study how young people receive their news through social networks.
With developer Jeff Reifman leading the way, NewsCloud has developed three applications (Hot Dish, Minnesota Daily and Seattle In:Site) that engage users in news content through linking to stories by providing a headline, photo and blurb. The applications also allow them to blog, post links themselves and much more – all while getting points for completing “challenges” that can be redeemed for prizes, which works as an incentive to stay engaged. Prizes include everything from t-shirts to tickets to a baseball game to a MacBook. Some of these challenges are online ones (sharing a story, commenting on content, blogging, etc.) and others are offline challenges (attend a marketing event, write a letter to the editor). Continue reading