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Threaded Style for Local News

 

There are certain aspects of the web that regardless of when they occur, will probably continue indefinitely because how easy and powerful the blend with our own psychological needs.  We all love texting but emails probably always going to be there.  Texting didn't completely eliminate email but became a skill or abiliity in addition to email and it will probably continue (for both).  Another "display" of information or internet construct that we seem to love is that of the "threaded" message and it is so obviously well-suited for the Zipper local news and local gossip app.  Let's take a look at this model and why we love it for local news.

I remember the first threaded style online conversation I saw.  It's not the kind of thing you put too much thought into as you're quickly immersed into a new style of displaying information but that's the beauty of it...it fits our way of communicating at a sub-conscious way.  It was a Yahoo IM board from what I remember.  I had a few conversations going back and forth with friends and occasionally I would scan down to see what was said before.  Kaboom.  That's the beauty of threaded messages.  What is a threaded message for those of you just coming out of the cave?  

A threaded message is an online format in which the history of the conversation is retained and shown down the page in chronological order.  For example, I may start a threaded message by posting a message "What's going on this Friday night?".  Other people that see this post can then respond to it and their responses will show immediately under my initial lead post.  The response posts will show the date and time of their post so you can see how recent the response is.  Different sites and apps have different ways of reflecting this information but the general time stamping and chronological order is the same.  Some threaded messages will go from most recent to oldest (the best and usable) while others will show the time order going down from the initial message which reads like a historical chronology of the messages.  Most responses stay to the general question or topic of the lead message but it's not uncommon for response to spiral out into other completely different areas and sometimes take over the initial thread.  One thread can even spawn other threaded messages where a different topic or point of view.  It may even be a change of audience as some annoying people can make a thread equally...annoying.  So in a nutshell, that's the thread.

So why did we choose to use a threaded approach with the Zipper local news and local gossip app?  For the simple way it fit our need so well.  Local news doesn't just occur and that's it.  It evolves.  The Zipper provides local news in real time as opposed to the newspaper or television news which has the luxury (and limitations) of time to circle around the story.  On the Zipper, a local news story will continue be told and from different vantage points as it unfolds which not only makes the story more dynamic and topical in terms of time, but it allows you to comment and add to it as it builds.  You can even diverge on to your own thread for a unique of separate take on a given story which isn't possible with traditional sources of local news.  The thread is the perfect format for a new way of providing local news they way it actually occurs.

 
 

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