What's Next – Broowaha

Posted on 24. Oct, 2007 by in What's Next?

BrooWaha.com is a citizen newspaper which focuses on local community interests. Its purpose is to be a premium source of local news written by average people, who have the fastest access to information and who are unaffiliated with traditional media sources, which are often less interested in covering smaller stories of local significance. BrooWaha seeks to become a fresh way for people to get news and interact within their communities.

Started in Los Angeles in a makeshift bedroom office, BrooWaha is now in six cities, and several more editions are scheduled to launch soon. Five hundred authors from around the U.S. submit articles and BrooWaha gets over 100,000 page views per month. The site was featured on the cover of the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times as an example of the new face of citizen journalism in an article titled “Reporting’s Mass Appeal.”

The website contains many uniquely designed features which promote participation and interaction between users. For example, BrooWaha users have access to mailboxes, a messaging system, chat-rooms, and friend lists. Also, users can track their own articles with readership statistics, popularity rankings, etc… They can also rate other users’ articles, leave comments, and review them. The culture of mass participation is new to the news industry- authors not only write cutting-edge stories about happenings in their communities, they receive feedback and make friends who share an interest in the same local activities or issues. Readers follow up with authors for more information on topics of interest and meet other readers who comment on similar issues.

BrooWaha appeals to a mass audience. At its most grass-roots level, appeals to local citizens who want to get involved in their communities and read about local issues and happenings. However, the website also has a commercial aspect. Once further developed, it will appeal to media outlets who want to surf on the citizen media wave to test the pulse of local communities, local governments and organizations who want to get local issues and events publicized, advertisers who want to target local audiences, such as retailers of all sizes, and also to individuals who want to break into the publishing industry but who lack the means to pursue traditional methods. These groups will all benefit from BrooWaha because it is uniquely tailored to the needs of people with an interest for fast, relevant, local news.

The next step in the project will be to enable users to launch their own editions, invite their friends to write, and collect advertisement revenues on the traffic they generate. Also, I would like to create a customizable citizen journalism platform which would be licensable to small town newspapers, local governments, and organizations, for use in community outreach initiatives.

The project requires financing to maximize its potential. I am also open to having people join the project and help me take it to the next step. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in these opportunities.

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