A Crowd Gathers… But Not @ NGS

Look at this project organized by The New York Times
and ask yourself:

Why is a newspaper beating the National Geographic Society
to the punch when it comes to a photo project
fueled by a global community of photo enthusiasts?

From Crowdsourcing goes global: The NYT’s “Moment in Time,” by Megan Garber @ the Nieman Journalism Lab:

“A Moment in Time”… is aesthetically compelling and socially revealing. It also suggests the Times’ openness to exploring avenues of documentation and expression that don’t fall into the neat categories of traditional journalism….

Whether the feature represents journalism, or something more, or something less, the reaction it’s received from Times users offers a lesson for news organizations chasing after the holy grail-and-sometimes-white-whale that is reader engagement. If the project’s participatory outpouring is any indication, it has struck a nerve with Times users. In a good way. And the ‘why’ in that is instructive. The project involved an assignment with specific instructions; users weren’t merely being asked for something — a hazy invitation to contribute — but to provide something specific, and easily attainable. And to provide something, moreover, that would be part of a project with a clearly defined, but also inspiring, purpose: to document the world, via its many corners, at a particular moment. That mix of depth and breadth, of pragmatism and idealism, can be a potent incitement to action — a fact evidenced by the thousands of images currently blanketing the globe over at the Lens blog.

Robert Michael Murray: Call your office.

NO NEW POSTS will be published here after February 6, 2014. THIS IS WHY.