Matthew Keys is getting back into the news game. He previewed the beta of his new, paid-subscription worldwide breaking beta news site Matthewkeyslive.com tonight, but has since taken it down. The site focuses on delivering facts fast, and features Keys pulling in news from Twitter, App.net, local news affiliates, and video feeds while adding his commentary.
Keys famously was fired from his social media editor job at Reuters after allegedly assisting hackers to attack the Los Angeles’ Time website. He was indicted on federal criminal charges on March 14.
Keys apparently plans to fully launch the site at a later date, but opened it temporarily to handle news on the collapse of a building in Philadelphia that killed six people.
The site was up for about an hour, but now requires admin login credentials for access.
[Update 8:20pm PST 6/7/2013: Keys has temporarily opened the site to the public again to cover a press conference regarding a Santa Monica shooting spree.]
The site is built on WordPress hosting site ZippyKid, which powers Reuters, too.
The beta version of the site’s interface uses a reverse chronological, real-time stream of updates written and curated by Keys. He began posting on the site on June 3, and has covered the Bradley Manning trial extensively, embedding primary documents and offering them for download.
For an example of the content you’ll see on MatthewKeysLive, he broke down this local NBC affiliate’s news site post in a quick summary:
Fast facts: Philadelphia building collapse
Incident happened around 10:45 a.m. local time (ET)
Address: 2140 Market Street (corner of 22nd and Market)
Four-story building collapsed on top of two-story Salvation Army thrift store
Four dead, 13 people rescued from rubble [TC Note: Death toll has since risen to 6]
One deceased identified as 35-year-old woman
Over 130 fire personnel responded to the scene
Crews expect to work over the next 12 to 24 hours
The site seems tailored to the Twitter era, where people want real-time, first-hand accounts and summaries of news rather than long-winded articles. Some ask why they should consider Keys worthy of their attention, or call him a hacker or a troll. After all, he’s been accused of spreading false information through a Larry Page parody account and tweeting erroneous details about the Boston bombings suspects. But Keys has built up considerable curation skills. His site takes a somewhat novel and modern approach to journalism, wherein Keys doesn’t need to do original reporting, but can still offer significant value by combining disparate sources in an easily digested format.
When I asked Keys what his intentions for the site were, he told me in an appropriately brief tweet, “Still building out features, but core will be connecting journalists and news consumers with real-time updates & raw content.”
In a series of direct messages, he explains the site’s business model, which will allow it to stay uncluttered with ads. “When (if) the site comes out of beta, a subscription fee will be charged. It will be significantly less than subscribing to a wire. The goal isn’t to get rich. The goal is to get this in front of as many news professionals and news consumers as possible.”