By tyler on Newsvine Blog

  • New Newsvine Has A Launch Date: February 7th!

    We're almost there! Newsvine is preparing to undergo its biggest change since its founding. We're really excited here at Newsvine Global Headquarters, and we are ready to help you through a big transition to a great upgrade.

    Here's what you need to know:

    Wednesday, February 6th is the last full day of Newsvine as we've come to know it. On Thursday, February 7th, Newsvine will look very different. 

    There's an extensive Knowledge Base here that we're continuing to update. If you've got a question that needs answering post-launch, you can begin discussions both publicly and privately here. Staff will be responding every day.

    Here are some things you can do to prepare:

    Take a look at your group memberships if you have them. All groups will become Nations, an entirely new construct on Newsvine that improves both discussions and publishing. We're moving beyond global discussion threads that sometimes feature thousands of comments to discussions in these Nations - community spaces that you create, grow, and make your own unique Newsvine experience.

    Check out the Knowledge Base. While it will make a lot more sense when you can use and experiment with the new site, we've answered a lot of questions asked by users, many without Beta access, so if you want to study a little bit, that's the best place to start.

    Get ready to try something new. This is easier written than done. It's also easier if you've been working with the new version of the site for many months, as the developers have. Newsvine's been good, and it's been one of the more enduring sites of its type on the internet. We're changing because we want it to be even better.

    Most folks reading this will be doing so because they know and like Newsvine. We're changing some very important fundamentals of the site, and we'd love for it to fulfill everyone's fantasy of what a news discussion site is. [Everyone has fantasies about that, right? It's not just us?] We recognize that Newsvine is nothing without Newsviners. So please, try the new Newsvine. Create Nations, publish content, mouse over everything. Tell us what you think in the discussion forum.

    February 7th is going to be a big day, but it's also the first day. Thank you for your continued support, participation, and feedback - we can't wait to continue growing with you. 

  • On Nations, Intimacy, and the Future

    I'm looking at New Newsvine's tour page today. That means it's getting close. I'm excited and anxious.

    There's an essay that web entrepreneur Anil Dash (NSFW language, right in the headline) wrote in 2011 that I keep coming back to as we prepare to launch. I gravitate to this paragraph:

    I realized that one of the reasons people don't understand how I've had such a wonderful response from all of you over the years is because they simply don't believe great conversations can happen on the web. Fortunately, I have seen so much proof to the contrary.

    So have I. I've had a wonderful time here, and I've met great folks through this site. I learn as much from discussions as from articles.

    Dash, later in the essay:

    When you engage with a community online in a constructive way, it can be one of the most meaningful experiences of your life. It doesn't have to be polite, or neat and tidy, or full of everyone agreeing with each other. It just has to not be hateful and destructive.

    From Mike D's initial email to Beta testers:

    Communities, like trees, don't grow to the sky.

    A cocktail party with five close friends is a great time. A luncheon with 100 acquaintances is a great time. Even an event with 500 colleagues can be a great time. But an event with 50,000 or more people is no longer a social gathering at all. It's just a big glob of people talking past each other.

    For this reason, we've come to the realization that for Newsvine to continue growing but at the same time regain the intimacy it was once lauded for, we need to stop treating Newsvine as one community of 40 million people and start creating thousands of communities of much fewer people.

    To help realize this goal, we're creating an entirely new construct on Newsvine that we call "Newsvine Nations". From now on, all of your activity on Newsvine, whether it be writing articles, seeding links, or participating in discussion threads will be done within the scope of what Nations you are a part of. In other words, the concept of a global discussion thread where everyone on Newsvine can talk past each other is being de-emphasized. When you discuss things on the site, you will now be discussing them with a much more familiar set of community members: the community members who choose to be in the same Nations you choose to be in.

    Bolding's mine. There's a lot changing in New Newsvine, but this is the biggest change. To grow, we must convene differently. I'm convinced that Nations presents that opportunity.

  • A Guide to A Guide: Newsvine Support

    Newsvine's current Help section is one of the oldest pages on Newsvine. When the new site is launched, it'll be replaced by

    Newsvine Support's a big improvement on our customer service solution. Actually, our 'customer service solution' before was mostly Newsviners teaching each other how Newsvine worked, and staff replying to emails individually. If you visit the site, you'll automatically create an account and be able to create private or public discussions with staff and fellow users.

    It's pretty. Take a look around.

    With Newsvine Support, we're going to maintain and update a thorough and helpful Knowledge Base - a FAQ, basically - and have lots of discussions about Newsvine.

    We also hope that a lot of the meta discussions there can turn into features.

    The site's currently called 'Newsvine Beta Support', and the available content reflects that: some of these articles won't make a lot of sense if you don't have access to the Beta. We're looking forward to removing the 'Beta' qualifier soon.