Awhile back Dirty Scottsdale morphed into nationwide The Dirty.com, and its main content is cell phone pictures of maybe hot babes or hunky guys, with captions like, "I have seen some far away pics not bad but looking straight at her she isn’t as hot as she thinks she is" with host Nik responding. "Why does she have Fling-V lips? Must be a tough recruitment year for Tempe 2.- nik."
While The Dirty is still popular, two other sites prove you don't need pictures, although cartoons are available on one. And they are the, um, epitome? of reader involvement and engagement.
In fmylife.com, you can tell what you did and viewers comment and vote on whether your life sucks or if you deserved the fate. They even turn some into cartoon representations. Recent tame example: "Today, I was at my boyfriends house, meeting his family for the first time. We were all standing in the kitchen when suddenly a small white and brown mouse ran by. As a natural instinct, I stomped on it. Turns out, it was his little sister's pet mouse that had gotten out of its cage earlier. FML" (The vote on that, BTW, was, when we peeked, 'sucks' 3309 to 'deserved' 9714.)
Textsfromlastnight.com usually runs pretty raunchy, and you can search by your favorite area code. A tame but fun entry: "(231): Those 2 guys from the sonic commercial will be virgins for life." But most usually center on waking up the next morning, like on the kitchen floor with a phonebook for a pillow. And viewers comment and vote if the text means good night or bad night.
News is so personal. All this reflects why the most earnest efforts of community sites aren't always the earning-est.
But that won't stop us from trying. Check out what Connecticut Consumer Watchdog Geoge Gombossy says about making a success of his site after the Hartford Courant kicked him to the curb after a 40-year career with the paper.
Read the story at Jilted Journalists and continue the discussion by commenting back here (click link below).