As we wrote on Monday, CNN's citizen journalism pet project iReport was due to get a site of its own. Today the service finally went live as iReport.com, and is already filling up with user content both old and new.
iReport's site has a lot in common with YouTube, showing off a grouping editor-selected videos (and photos) on the top of the page alongside a queue of the latest news content that's been uploaded by users. Each iReport user gets their own page with a listing of their uploaded photos and videos. Similar to Current, content is marked to show if it's been featured on CNN's televised or Web news reporting. adding incentive for others to click on it.
In addition to hosting any news story videos uploaded by users, iReport dishes out assignments to fledgling videographers and photo journalists. On top of the list is the 2008 Presidential elections, alongside weather reports, the ever popular "offbeat images", as well as "stories from Second Life," Linden Lab's MMORPG. Users can upload up to 10 videos and videos at a time, with each one taking up to 100MB in size.
Interestingly enough, the videos on iReport.com cannot be embedded on third party sites, although there are links to share it on five major social bookmarking and news services. Users also have the option of making the file downloadable, letting others grab it to play on their PCs or portable media devices. Syndication (albeit direct) is the name of the game.
In the future the service plans to increase the ties between stories, as well as where users are reporting from by integrating world maps. Already there is a "more on this story" feature that groups together content by assignment. The service also employs tags and a "newsiest" feature which "combines freshness, popularity, activity, and ratings" in an algorithm not unlike the ones found on social news sites like Digg and Reddit.
More screenshots after the break. … Read more