A new citizen media site called Citizenbay.com aims to create local Internet-based news sites with stories written by the viewers, and then voted on (in a digg-like fashion) to choose the best — which will then be paid. In an interview with the blog Tech Address, Citizenbay founder Oleg Tscheltzoff said the site was self-funded but would seek investors soon, and added:
“Citizenbay.com offe(r(s) a program to pay the top 10 articles in each city covered everyday ( 80 city in USA and France at launch). So it means that 800 articles will be rewarded with money every day. The readers decide by their votes which articles deserve the reward. Rewards goes from 1$ if it’s a seeded news to 15 $ if its an original article.”
Parlez-vous Francais? Because I found a podcast with Tscheltzoff in la belle langue. I feel very poorly today and can’t muster the energy to do much more than point at this development and say: look. But a couple of things strike me even in my fluish stupor.
Citizenbay, and its founding trajectory, from France to the New World, seems remarkably similar to the Creative Reporter citizen media effort that I mentioned at least once before. Like Citizenbay, Creative Reporter was started by a European (Torsten Jacobi). I recall that Jacobi had moved his startup from Germany to Palo Alto. When I looked at Creative Reporter today it looked very much like a series of user-generated trade magazines rather than a series of local e-zines. But again I can’t recall if Creative Reporter started local and switched its focus to virtual communities of interest, or was a hybrid from the start and simply found that the virtual communities were easier to tend.
Citizenbay will also compete with the well-funded and well conected Backfence (here is a post about that effort). I also wrote about Backfence when it aquired Dan Gillmor’s Bayosphere.
I learned about Citizenbay through an e-mail from Jessica Elk of Connors Communications who also mentioned that new media bigwig Jeff Jarvis has got some potent backers for some sort of newsy startup called Daylife. See also this skeptical comment by Susan Mernit.
While I’m on the topic of local news sites, let me remind anyone who has missed about a very interesting grant competition with a December 1 deadline. I am hoping to pull together a team and a proposal in this realm. If you’ve been thinking and dreaming along these lines — or doing as is the case with Citizenbay — this contest may be for you.