Vancouver-based news network NowPublic just rolled out a new Firefox extension called Highlight which combines social bookmarking with news highlighting and clipping: think Newsvine meets Digg meets Firefox. This is an attempt to drain out the user-generated part of mainstream news reporting, and I found it to be a good one too.
Here’s how it works. As a Highlight user, when you come across something you think would classify as news, you simply click on the NP button in the Firefox toolbar. A new frame comes out from the bottom which is prefilled with the title and a few tags it managed to gather automatically from the page. Enter a description, hit publish, and the article is published onto NowPublic (see one I did here) and in your NP page.
It doesn’t end here, however. If you have a blog — and most platforms are supported — you can go ahead and link it to your NP account so all your posts are published on it automatically. What’s more, other NowPublic users can build upon your story by adding photos, videos and comments. Your blog is also updated with these (upon your approval), and NP also links to your blog to drive you traffic.
Concept-wise, I like it. There’s a decent incentive for all parties, and it’s useful tool just as a social bookmarking tool for general news. Where it might have problems is in attracting an audience — everyone pretty much uses Digg or Newsvine to do the same thing, so I’m not sure if it will get as much traction at the start. Nevertheless, I found it to be a decent attempt. Note to IE users: plugin coming soon.
[tags]NowPublic, Social Bookmarking, Firefox[/tags]