Scribblesheet launches citizen journalism site

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Scribblesheet, a citizen journalism portal, goes live today. The London-based self-funded startup from co-founders John Ndege and Brian Oula, is a brave attempt to reproduce the success of OhMyNews or Newsvine. I fear they will get nowhere near those sites, but let’s hear them out.


Ndege says: “Our strategy is to create a site where people can write their opinion on something they care about and get valued feedback through voting and commenting.” He admits it is similar to a blogging platform, but insists it will not take the same commitment from a user as a blog, and will aim at users who “see no point in starting a blog if they will write something 6 times a year. So they write on ScribbleSheet.”

The site will derive revenues from advertising matched against its user generated content. Heard that somewhere before?

What’s the team like? Ndege (22) previously worked as an IT consultant for Accenture, while Oula (22) has an IT consulting background.

Now for the problems.

Surely those anyone writing on ScribbleSheet can just as easily go get an account on the much bigger Newsvine or NowPublic?

Plus ABCTales is the UK site to beat in this ‘occasional writing’ space. However, despite the similarity, Ndege insists ScibbleSheet will focus on reporting opinions and news, rather than fiction. In which case I hope they have been reading up on their UK libel law.

Ndege tells me: “You only have to count the number of dead blogs on the web. This is the need that ScribbleSheet addresses. I dont believe any other UGC site addresses this need sufficiently.”

Personally, I’d be worried if my main competition was ‘dead blogs.’

I wish them well. They are a young team and have a way to go in this space. Perhaps ScribbleSheet can confound my tired, goutish scepticism. I do hope so.

  • ScribbleSheet

    Hey Mike,

    A couple of responses

    Firstly throwing your article on Newsvine is unlikey to help the writer as the site is dominated by articles from Associated Press and other news wire services. Thus we are different to Newsvine. We are however similar to Nowpublic.

    Secondly our main competition is not “dead blogs”. Rather ScribbleSheet will turn people away from starting blogs they are only going to run for a couple weeks then bin.

    Our competitors may be giants, but we believe by trying to create something great rather than gigantic we will be a bigger success.

    Perhaps when I have time I will write full article response on ScribbleSheet. How about that!

  • Mike Butcher

    John/Scribblesheet – It’s a noble cause, giving people the opportunity to ‘sound off’ on any topic. I just wonder if – in this incarnation at least – it’s a business.

  • Jay Adair

    Sounds a little naive, but good luck all the same.

  • Kyle MacRae

    Good luck with this. Don’t forget to incentivise your users, which might be as simple as giving them a ‘space’ and a warm, fuzzy feeling when they see their words published on the site — and might not.

  • TechCrunch UK » Blog Archive » ScribbleSheet writes its own obituary

    […] a brave, but I’m afraid naive, attempt to reproduce the success of OhMyNews or Newsvine. As I wrote on their launch “I fear they will get nowhere near those sites”. Ndege told me then that Scribblesheet […]

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