GOOD and bad

A few years ago I discovered good.is. It was sharply written and had great content, covering a wide range of topic areas in about 700 words or less. It was also successful financially, making money off of online journalism and sustaining a quarterly print magazine. In my mind it served as a model for what can be done with online journalism. Good design, and good content that is regularly updated was a perfect mix, until the people who run GOOD decided that it was time for a change. They wanted a more collaborative GOOD. This means a) more user generated content b) it will become more like Pinterest or 8tracks.

I went on the new GOOD for the first time today and was asked to sign up for an account. Then I received my own private dashboard for my own private GOOD feed. This is not what I go to GOOD for. The old main page of story just waiting to be read was gone. It has been replaced with a system of ratings and likes. Perhaps I will grow to like it — it is not bad for what it is. However, I am currently in mourning for the GOOD of old. The GOOD that was a model for what online journalism can be, and should be. The GOOD that has been gutted for user interaction.

GOOD may soon find that the high quality writing they had can only be produced by actual journalists and freelancers. Users are great at many things, but they do not produce the same level of content or as consistently. They will either move away from lengthy in depth well-researched articles or will shift more towards the old model.

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