The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
There's an interesting conversation happening on a story called "Fire in Highlands of Scotland ." When it was first uploaded, it scored high ratings, but pretty soon after the iReport.com community used the comments area to call attention to the fact that it may not be what it's described to be.
It's a good example of how the comments can work on a story to add additional info, ask more questions and help get to the bottom of what really happened. Hats off to the folks who spotted it and told the rest of us.
We reached a milestone today -- a hundred pages of iReport contributors. That's more than 1200 participants on a site that's barely two weeks old. Glad you're here! Take a look at every last one on the iReporters page , where you can view by alphabet , sign-up date , who's on CNN and who's a Superstar .
We took the site down for a few minutes this morning to send out a new version of the software. A few of the notable fixes:
* No more lost comments!
* The "Latest" and "Most Commented" sorts on the homepage and iReports page will now display the newest and most commented stories IN ORDER!
* Photo views fixed on IE6 (we used to have trouble displaying more than 6 images on IE6, but no more)
As always, drop us a line if you see anything out of whack, or have an idea about how to make the site better.
If you've visited the iReport.com homepage more than once in the past few days, you've probably seen a lot of Marcus Harun . We love Marcus Harun. He's a 16-year-old iReport phenom from Hamden, Connecticut, who files detailed political analysis of debates and primary results, and even shoots video reports about the occasional Nor'easter.
His Situation Room-style video book report about the "Lord of the Flies" was at the top of our homepage for days, since it outscored all the other contenders in our "newsiest" calculation. That formula combines ratings, pageviews, comments and freshness to put the most newsworthy stories out front.
Trouble is, that book report, as much as we love it, is by now old news. So we tweaked the formula a bit to give some other stories a ride at the top. What do you think? Are the stories at the top of the newsiest list the most newsworthy ones on the site?
Are you on Facebook? Well, so are we. Come join our brand new fan page: http://www.facebook.com/ireport . You'll notice it's a little bare at the moment (hey, it's new!). What would you like to see there? Post a comment to let us know.
Great news -- we just released a new patch to the iReport.com software that fixes a few things that were bugging us. My personal favorite, the truncated story headlines you used to see on story pages. Before the fix went out, the headline on the story page would get chopped down to just the first line, which resulted in some fairly silly stuff: "BREAKING NEWS Ketchup" instead of "BREAKING NEWS Ketchup assassinated," etc. Actually, that one's still pretty silly even with the full headline, but you get the idea. Also, we added in ellipses to homepage headlines that get shortened to fit in tight spaces.
We have more fixes coming in future releases. Here are a few of the big ones:
* Comments that disappear
* "Most commented" sort on main page not always right
* Posted time not always accurate on stories
* Stories with multiple photos not displaying on IE 6
What's missing? Please tell us! Leave a comment below, or fill out a comment card by clicking on the "Feedback" link near the iReport.com logo at the top of every page.
In the week or so since we rolled out the beta site, many of you have taken the time to send us your thoughts through the feedback links found throughout the site. We really appreciate it! Thanks to everyone who has given us some insight into how we can improve this site and make it more useful and user-friendly for everyone (and please keep it coming!).
Many of you have told us that you found the beta site engaging, visually appealing, easy to use, and that you'd even recommend it to your friends (thanks, we hope you do!). You also told us you were able to find what you were looking for easily, and that you enjoyed rating, sharing, and commenting on iReports. We're paying special attention to your feature requests. Soon, you'll be able to utilize RSS feeds, embed iReport videos into your own blogs and sites, and have the ability to edit your story after it has been submitted. If any part of your experience on the site was less than ideal today, please let us know about it so that we can fix it -- your input is invaluable to us as we keep working to get it right during the beta period.
Have some feedback for us? We welcome anything from compliments to complaints, and we read it all. Look for the Feedback link next to the iReport logo on all pages, and let us know your thoughts. We'll do our best to address your input.
The iReport.com beta is less than a week old, and already your stories are being used in CNN's global news coverage. I just wanted to share a few examples with you:
* iReporter jackieingles snapped images from a memorial for students slain in a tragic campus shooting at Southern Illinois University on February 16. Her photos were part of a CNN.com photo gallery .
* And DanMcDermott holds a special place in iReport.com's early history. Dan's audio slideshow from the Virginia Primary elections became the first iReport since the beta launch to be incorporated into CNN's news coverage on CNN.com Live.
How will you know if a story on iReport.com has been used by CNN? Look for the "On CNN" stamp. You can see them all right here .
Man, what a day! The beta site went live to the world around 7 a.m. ET this morning and it's already filling up with amazing stories.
We had a minor technical hiccup this afternoon that caused the site to go down for about 20 minutes. All's fine now, but we're sorry for the outage. (I hope it didn't keep you from uploading a big story! Head here if you've got one.) We were making some upgrades to the iReporter page and hit an unexpected snag. We're learning a lot every minute, and the fixes we make today will make the site better tomorrow.
So! The good news is that the iReporter page works a little better now than it did this morning. And it's filling up fast with brand new iReporters. (Shout-out to first-time iReport contributor DanMcDermott , who has all the signs of a Superstar in the making. His video interviews of Virginia primary voters are worth watching.)
When we launched iReport on CNN a year and a half ago, we uncovered a burning passion our audience had for capturing, sharing, and reporting the news. That passion -- which resulted in tens of thousands of videos and pictures sent to CNN -- inspired us and got us thinking. What if we built an entirely different news platform filled and organized exclusively by our users? What if we turned this site over to you? What if we allowed people to post raw video and tell stories you’d never see on CNN? What if it had politically-incorrect speech? What if it didn't matter if the stories were balanced? What if, instead of us confirming every nuance, we trusted you to determine what was and what wasn't accurate?
What if we created a site where the community -- not CNN -- became the “Most Trusted Name in News?”
And so, we developed iReport.com. Don’t kid yourselves. This content is not pre-vetted or pre-read by CNN. This is your platform. In some journalisitic circles, this is considered disruptive, even controversial! But we know the news universe is changing. We know that even here, at CNN, we can't be everywhere, all the time following all the stories you care about. So, we give you iReport.com. You will program it, you will police it; you will decide what’s important, what's interesting, what’s news.
So come take iReport.com for a test drive. We’ll be doing the same. And when we see something we think is terrific, we’ll highlight and feature your contributions on CNN and CNN.com! How great is that? In time, we hope this site will be the place people come to share their news with others who care about it. We hope what you contribute raises the bar on the dancing monkeys and cute cats and dogs you see on some other user-generated sites (not that we don't want stories about amazing animals, as well!). Maybe it will; maybe it won’t. That will be entirely up to you. We hope you enjoy it.
The views and content on this site are solely those of the iReport.com contributors. CNN makes no guarantees about the content or the coverage on iReport.com.