The opportunities for “citizen journalism” and “consumer nation” are there. Social and hyperlocal media sites like Yelp and Angie’s List have done more than OK. But mobile on-the-go apps are more than likely going to kick the roof off.
Citysearch has already seen this with its reviews. When people don’t have to wait to go home to submit something, they are many more times likely to submit a review, even with awkward thumb texting (unless, of course, they are home).
Now comes Fwix, a year-old news aggregator for 85 U.S. cities that sports “Real Time Local News” as its tagline. The site was founded by Darian Shirazi, a 22-year-old who has already put in time at Facebook and eBay. According to paidContent, the site has received some seed funding from BlueRun Ventures.
This week, Fwix rolls out an iPhone app that enables users to file news updates, photos and video. Fwix’s geo-filter leverages GPS to check for accuracy of locations and aggregate other postings from the location, as The New York Times’ Claire Cain Miller notes in her write-up. Indeed, the filter could make the site a better and more focused c-journalism site than Twitter, which has a lot of noise in the postings.
Will Fwix’s c-journalism be successful as a standalone app? Probably not, although Miller notes that the site can build up from 400,000 unique viewers that its news aggregation attracts every month. But if it starts to work with major media sites, along the lines of Everyblock, a hyperlocal data gatherer just acquired by MSNBC.com — or even build up a news consortium like an Associated Press — it could be on to something.