Crowdsourcing Conflict

Posted on February 12, 2008. Filed under: independent journalism, international journalism | Tags: , , , , , |

In what seems like sort of a risky move, Jason Haber, who blogs for open-source journalism pioneer has promised a site called iConflict by March 2008 (or in some places February 2008 and others just 2008). But just because deadlines to launch new initiatives can be oh-so-hard to meet doesn’t detract from the substance of what he’s trying to achieve. Which serendipitously seems to try to answer the question that ended my last post, is it possible that our watchdogs and truthtellers culd be everywhere at once?


iConflict, says the About page on the companion blog Blogflict, “is dedicated to empowering people to share information, and discuss conflicts and crises, wherever they arise.” Simple enough, but what’s more inspired, and what, inexplicably doesn’t yet exist (though we’re also working on something here) is the site’s mission to aggregate the experiences of not only people who cover conflict but also those who are affected by it, including activists, first responders, relief workers, volunteers, and even citizens living with it, by providing them space to keep blogs and document the so-called situation on the ground with images and video.’s The Hub started something similar last year, providing a space on its website for user-provided video documenting human rights abuses. Global Voices is another go-to platform for international (though not necessarily in conflict) voices via blogs. iConflict appears to want to expand on these models by including originally produced—and then YouTube and iTunes syndicated—newscasts from offices in New York and Washington, DC, as well as interactive, mashed-up content that until now is more often found among the multimedia content of sites like the New York Times and partnering with other networked platforms.

I’ve emailed Haber, one of the site’s creators, to ask about how the site will be funded and moderated as well as what technology will be incorporated in the initial stages. If the creators are able to convert their vision into a workable model, it could help change the way we see the world. In the meantime, they’ve invited anyone interested to join their Facebook group. Pay a visit and maybe you can help them get their lofty goals off the ground.


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2 Responses to “Crowdsourcing Conflict”

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[…] was intimated to iConflict from a post on the excellent unpegged blog (which by the way has some of the most compelling writing I have […]

Help may be a bit of an understatement. I suspect they need divine intervention to make this initiative actually work.

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