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.