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Thoof.com Mixes Digg with Wikipedia

The NYT continues to impress me with their coverage of search and social media, this time reporting on the invite-only launch of Thoof.com. Thoof is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Ian Clarke and appears to offer a news submission and voting site similar to Digg, but with the ability for users to edit the submissions and update the content, a la Wikipedia.

Mr. Clarke expects that a small percentage of the site’s users will contribute links to articles, while most readers will come to the site because it will match articles with their interests.

Active members of the Thoof community will be able to alter the contributions of other users, changing headlines and even substituting a link to a better article on the same subject. The community will then vote on the changes.

It’s certainly a nice spin on Digg. I’ve always found it frustrating to keep up with the comments on anything submitted. One user may add a link to a better resource, while another will point out something incorrect – all nicely buried deep in the comments section. Still, offering the ability to edit the submissions has its risks…

The challenge, he said, was that in turning editorial functions over to the consumer of news, these sites were both taking advantage of the wisdom of crowds and running the risk that people will try to game the system.

You can bet that Digg’s Kevin Rose will be watching Thoof closely to see if the consumer editing aspect works or not.

UPDATE: Techcrunch has more details and screenshots.

  • http://www.seoish.com SEOish

    Looks interesting, thanks for putting that out.

    The site is actually down right now though. I look forward to checking it out.

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  • http://www.lff.com Fitness

    Is the site actually down or do you just have to be a member to access it?

  • http://www.thevanblog.com/ Steven Bradley

    Thoof sounds like a good idea, but I have to say I hate the name.

  • http://www.lff.com Fitness

    I received an email immediately with an invitation so it’s not down.

  • OneCrew

    Nothing’s going to “kill” Digg by confronting it at the same level. And just spinning the concept doesn’t bring a site to a different level. Well, the thing is, nobody’s going to kill Digg. At least, not a site that’s announced as a “Digg killer” the day they launch.

    What makes Digg work (good or bad, that’s not the point) is the community built around it. Give them a different service that might “solve” some of Digg’s problems, and they won’t switch. A few might, but it wouldn’t be noticeable.

    If you like to go to a bar, where all your friends go too, where the beer may not be the best, but you’re used to it, where the bartender can call you SOB and you don’t get offended – would you go to that other new bar simply because the beer is a bit better?

    I don’t know if Kevin Rose will be watching Thoof closely, he might, but I don’t think he has much to worry about.

    Out of all these supposedly “Digg killers” that have been announced lately, there’s only one in this space I see doing interesting stuff, and that’s probably because unlike the others, I don’t see it competing against Digg at all (that’s corank.com btw). I mean, the song’s always the same “this is like Flickr but…”, “this is like MySpace but…”, “This is like Digg but…”. Digg has problems, it isn’t perfect, but launching a site that supposedly fixes some of them doesn’t automatically tansform it into a threat.

  • http://horisly.blogspot.com horisly

    see the reaction of digg.com

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  • http://www.thepapr.com Ravi

    You should also check out thepapr.com. It mixes Digg with social news/citizen journalism. Although you can’t edit other people’s submissions, you can vote them up or down thereby moving them in or out of Top Story status. Moreover, you can post anonymously (no registration required) or register and get famous as a “Hot” reporter.

  • http://www.thepapr.com thepaprguy

    that name is weird. check our news site, raw, real