Sometime earlier this spring Shift Communications launched their Social Media Newsroom template. I missed the announcement but laughed to find that their first client was ironically the manufacturer of a neat tool I just bought (neatreceipts, more on my experience later but you can read about Todd Defren’s pitch here now).
I’m glad to see this finally in action because to date Google was really the only one marching forward with this idea. The main difference between the Google solution and everything else that had been unveiled thus far was that Google is using Blogger to create their newsrooms while other newsrooms were still being created by web designers who were simply incorporating social media tools.
Shift’s solution is a little better. It looks more like a Blog (friendlier for citizen and professional journalists). If you dig around you’ll see that they are using a CSS/HTML template called Mollio available from the Daemen Pty Ltd, something that more small businesses could take advantage of when building their newsrooms.
I still think there is an opportunity here to make this even simpler using standard blogging applications to create rooms like the one on Google which, BTW, has gotten much more sophisticated in the last 60 days. But even at Google where they own Blogger, it seems they haven’t fully grasped the idea of individuals are consumers of their own media (as opposed to the 1980s version where we waited for AP to tell us what was newsworthy). Notice that their news site (not the place where you look for today’s news but the place where you read about Google news) is still called a Press Center and not a News Room. How much longer do you think it will take before they drink their own KOOL-AID(R)?