Community-edited news aggregator

Topix is a news aggregation site that is mostly controlled by citizen editors.

Topix is a news aggregation service that pulls local news from a variety of local source and gives a large amount of control to citizen editors. On Topix.com, users apply for the job of editor for a topic or a community and once approved (as with Citizendium, it's not automatic), they can add stories, move stories around on the page, and remove the stories that the Topix "roboblogger" has added (the roboblogger does the necessary service of keeping alive pages that have no editors, or lazy ones). Designated editors also can write their own stories for a topic, and even submit them from a mobile phone.

Noneditors can comment on stories and submit them to a topic's editors for later inclusion. In this way it's more like USA Today than Digg, and I think users will appreciate the resulting editorial oversight. But all these details don't really capture the essence of Topix. It's a local news site that gets it right. The service is well-designed and what it does is obvious from the start. The home page and news pages are extremely clear. But rich community and very detailed editing functions (including a Wikipedia-like revision tracker) are close at hand should you want to check them out.

Our only complaint with Topix is that the community isn't granular enough. There's an active Topix community on San Francisco, for example, but there's no clear way to drill into just the news and talk about our neighborhood. Still, we like Topix a great deal. Of the many citizen journalism sites out there, we think this one does a better job than most at getting the balance right between editorially driven and automated news, and between simplicity and richness. It looks like a very useful site for people in a community and for those thinking about moving into one.

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