If that’s the case, I’d have to say I’m a bit skepitcal. In the big picture, sites like NowPublic.com are still trying to find their sea legs. Nothing has really reached the critical mass necessary for another Wikipedia. Instead, we get stories that link to or generously quote mainstream news stories, stories written about the website itself, or “call to action” stories about someone’s injustice that his friend wrote about.
Wikipedia is great, but it’s not an original source for news. Wikinews, its open news sister site, is still not at the level it needs to be to be trusted as a news source.
Citizen media are useful for things. They can provide unfiltered eyewitness testimony, they can write interesting opinions, or they can get insider information. But we still need professional journalists, the people who are paid to spend an entire day in a courtroom, who can file a story in a half hour, who have the time and expertise to bring the news out.
So is this going to be a place where ordinary Montrealers can share information about what’s going on in their city that the mainstream media isn’t talking about, or is it going to end up like a substandard version of Montreal City Weblog? Or something else entirely?