CNN wants news mojo from the people -- and will soon launch iReport.com for citizen journalists.
News sharing is a natural next step, because people already send far more videos and images than CNN could ever show online or on air. According to MediaWeek, CNN uses only 10 percent of all contributions through its current iReport functionality.
Today when you upload video to the CNN site, your content is thoroughly vetted. With this News “You Tube” service, both terrific and terrible videos will get shared there.
Susan Grant, EVP of CNN News Services, welcomes all the noise. CNN will allow all content to be shared, but remove objectionable items when they feel it's necessary.
Unfortunately, CNN won't get the most mojo! They decided to launch a new iReport destination, and even spent $750k to secure two domain names. There could be many reasons for doing this, but traffic didn't enter into this decision.
From a search marketing perspective, it's baffling that CNN isn't able to leverage their brand, authority, link love and traffic within the mother domain. My sympathies are extended to CNN's online marketers and techies, who are figuring out all possible ways to optimize this new destination. It's a lot more work.
To me, it would be far better if CNN tried to create a nice, big searchable world of professional and user-generated news content. If CNN really wants mojo, then they should open up directly to people -- at least on a branded CNN sub-domain. Take a calculated risk here.