The concept of crowdsourcing and community funded media has always interested me. Maybe it is my roots. I grew up in an environment where community-based projects were quite the norm, long before people got wired.
So SpotUs, a community-funded journalism project by David Cohn (of NewsAssignment.net) is one of the trends I think we will be seeing a lot of, as news media cut corners and outsource the story to people closest to it. For now, those pitching stories to us (basically asking for donations or micro-funding) are few, and limited to the Bay area.
Like this one, by Aaron Crowe, who plans to investigate the cost and benefit of installing solar power in a home. The site has raised $315, with goal of $1,000 to get the reporter off and running.
You could argue that times are tough, and people won’t pay for something they could get (or at least think they could) for free, anyway. But I am optimistic. We may cut back on our lattes, and even newspaper subscriptions, but as soon as a news aggregator of relevant, timely, local news is able to deliver it in a way we cannot get anywhere else, the price may be right. Just you watch!