The internet does a fantastic job allowing individuals from everywhere connect. Whether it be online marketplaces like Craigslist and eBay, or networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the internet allows individuals miles apart to meet in accessible mediums. Understanding this fact, as well as the profitability of this idea, news agencies have begun allowing news viewers to become news contributors through this same idea.
MSNBC has FirstPerson, CNN has iReport, and CBS News has…. well nothing. In fact, CBS News doesn’t really seem to solicit any amount of CrowdSourcing at all from its viewership. They don’t even seem that interested in hearing comments from their viewers. The comment bar is a click-through button at the bottom of each page.
There is the bar, and in size. Nothing eye-grabbing, interesting, or inviting. This specific bar comes from their feature article of the day on running the war in Afghanistan ten years after its inception. Number of comments? 18. 18 comments on one of, if not the biggest, longest running stories of the decade.
They do have some other options here as well. Like emailing the story, or Facebooking it, Tweeting it, etc. But these links are equally as small as the comment option.
Granted, CBS News is generally associated with an older readership, making their online site a formality of keeping up with times. It is certainly surprising, however, that they aren’t even making an attempt to keep with other news providers, like CNN or MSNBC, and attempting to integrate the useful tools the internet offers.
Yes, the internet allows for a great business model like iReport to be used. But just because it is a good model, doesn’t mean that everyone will follow it. Remembering how competition works in economics, though, proves that CBS is going to have to evolve or fail.