For those people who don’t want to read the whole thing until the end:
SoPo is an interactive news platform designed for independent journalism.
If you are interested in this platform do Sign up for our Beta. Now, for those who didn’t leave and want to know in detail what SoPo is and who we are, I will try to make this read worth your time.
SoPo- A name that doesn’t sound the way traditional media houses sound-
The New York Times, The Hindu, The Times of India, The Guardian, The Indian Express, etc. The common thread running in all these names is the use of the word “The”, which to me symbolizes an entity that is one of a kind and easily identifiable (for example- The Beatles). Putting media houses on a pedestal did make sense before the Internet because these media houses had the power which no one had: the power of distribution or power to reach large masses under a geographical boundary. After the advent of the Internet and particularly social media, everyone got a chance to reach a lot of people, that too without any geographical barriers. So “The” power or authority is not the same anymore. Now, I know SoPo doesn’t make sense of the way BuzzFeed or Huffpost or even ScoopWhoop do.
So and Po are 2 different words with no meaning that’s it, they are just 2 different similar sounding words used together.
News is essentially conversations that a community gets involved in and journalists make sure that this conversation remains rooted in reality and well-informed. However, making an informed opinion takes a bit of hard work and nowadays with the increasing fake news it has become harder. So a lot of people choose their facts to support their opinions in conversations.
We are working towards designing systems that enable users to be part of the news that matters to them. Our first attempt is with the storytelling device called diPoll. Reporters will be required to design a diPoll (poll with 2 options) around their stories in which, users will get 24 hours to vote.
Polls won’t be a side dish the way comments are on any news website, they will be a part of the whole story.
At the end of each news story, the users would be voting on one of the 2 options. Once they vote they’ll get to see the public opinion and most importantly the motivation behind people who voted differently in the form of a Thread and they can also mention theirs (just like Twitter threads). After 24 hours, Once the diPoll has ended, it will become read-only and the users can go through- what happened (the news event), how people reacted to it (the public opinion) and form an informed opinion by understanding the motivation behind the people who voted differently. So forming an opinion will be a 3 step process:
1. Read a news story
2. Vote or voice your opinion
3. Engage with the people who voted differently
Users on SoPo won’t be just relying on the journalists to be informed but also on each other. We know this is easier said than done but as mentioned above news is a conversation that a community involves in and we are just building a better system of enabling conversation among people with different views.
We aim to build a publishing platform for independent journalists. Currently, independent journalists face a lot of hassle in getting a story out. As evident as it is, the main issue that they face is: getting paid on time. We aim to pay the journalists according to the engagement with their news stories.
This will not just help them in getting a constant income but also help in building their audience. The exponential rise of influencer culture has shown us how powerful having your own audience can be.
We are currently in our Beta phase with a handful of users on Android. If you think you could help us make this platform better do Sign up!