It’s been a while since I’ve posted about News Mixer, and since then the intertubes seem to have taken a liking to our little project. I’m delighted that our code might live on in other projects.
Steal this code!
Like I explained in my interview with Kristen Taylor at Knight Pulse, the code is free.
So take it, and make cool stuff. Please!
Using News Mixer right now
I was delighted to learn that the Populous Project decided to adopt News Mixer. Anthony Pesce’s post at Media Shift Idea Lab,Populous Is Adopting News Mixer (And More), covers the details.
Initially we were planning on building similar features into Populous, but our original vision was to create a whole separate network on our own site to handle it. That plan had a few problems, but two in particular were too large to ignore: Facebook is ubiquitous on college campuses and it does social networking better than we ever could, and new readers would have to join a whole new network which is an unacceptable impediment.
We realized that using Facebook Connect as a way of authentication for the site, and as a way of giving our readers a robust social networking experience, would almost work better than making the whole thing on our own from scratch. Facebook, we think, will also help drive additional traffic to our site because people who aren’t already on our network will still be exposed to content when their friends interact with it.
Patrick Beeson wrote a very thoughtful post about News Mixer in December (and I’m dying to know what he’s got up his sleeve…): Medill’s News Mixer remixes story comments
Although News Mixer [doesn’t] change the traditional story format — stories are still stories that don’t work as well online as they do in print — I think their radical take on user participation is a great step forward for news sites.
And because News Mixer is built in Django, I plan on using their open-sourced code for my own project very soon, in fact.
And be sure to check out Rich Gordon’s comprehensive post about how news organizations might use News Mixer: News Mixer Options: Launch a Site, Use the Code or Be Inspired
This past week, e-Me Ventures (a Chicago-based technology firm affiliated with Gazette Communications, which sponsored the class that developed News Mixer) announced it had deployed a portion of the News Mixer code as an add-in to a test site, powered by WordPress.
“The News Mixer idea was huge. I was really blown away by the work that [the students] did,” said Abe Abreu, CEO of e-Me. “We wanted to be the first to do something with it.”
With these new developments, it seems like a good time to lay out some of the ways News Mixer — and/or its functionality — might be implemented on a production Web site.
News Mixer in the news
Finally, if you’re interested in reading more about the press we’ve received, check out Rich’s excellent roundup, keep an eye on my newsmixer tag on delicious, and follow along on Twitter.