Posted by: ARNoack | October 28, 2012

Jalopnik: Crowdsourced Journalism Meets Car Culture

“…A recurring theme that emerges from talking to those involved in these [crowdsourced journalism] projects is that the crowd contributes because it has sufficient passion or interest in an issue, or perhaps, adequate stake in it. ‘They have an interest to do it because they are passionate. These folks take great pride in volunteering and lending their very specific expertise,’ Wells says of…Team Watchdog.” Reading this passage in Muthukumaraswamy’s article “When the media meet crowds of wisdom” reminded me of my favorite automotive blog/news site Jalopnik.com, part of the Gawker network.

Jalopnik is a car enthusiast site “obsessed with the cult of cars” that covers car culture, motorsport and the automobile industry. Staff writers on the site are former car magazines writers, car company employees and bloggers with great enthusiasm for everything automotive. However, much of the content on Jalopnik originates from reader tips and comments. The crowd that contributes to Jalopnik is passionate with very specific expertise – car knowledge, in this case. One example of how readers share their expertise is a regular feature on the site, called “Question of the Day”, that asks a car-related question. The following day, “Answers of the Day” features the ten best reader submitted responses. The site is so popular among car enthusiasts that automotive manufacturers beg Jalopnik to review their cars, which the writers often do. Unlike most car magazines, Jalopnik is not supported by advertising revenue and will unceremoniously pan a new car if it’s warranted.

How are crowdsourced journalism and online discussion platforms like the Gawker network joining forces to alter the ways we create and consume news?

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