The business of news has been in a state of flux for a few years now. As consumption moves online to mobile, a sustainable business model has been the holy grail most news organizations have been chasing.
Entrepreneurs Sanjay Goel and Christian Hapke think they might have found one. Their platform Oximity helps verified users write or aggregate news which is then customised according to user preferences and distributed to readers across various channels.
Recently, serial entrepreneurs Ronnie Screwala and K Ganesh had invested in Oximity.
How Does it Work for Writers?
Users register to write news/read news
Oximity verifies that those who write the news are authentic, and give full details about their work history (Oximity sends invites to be writers after registration)
Once approved, writers can approve others who want to write as well
You can share all article, and write in more than one language
How Does it Work for Readers?
These are the three primary things that users can do with it apart from sharing, writing to authors and finding articles in their language of preference
Create playlists, or a particular category of news you would like to see
Score [Boost] the news you like or find interesting on a scale of 1-10
Users can also add related news to the link to “contextualise” it
How is it Different from Huffington Post, Reddit?
Oximity says that it is different from sites like Huffington Post thanks to its concentration on “fact-based news” as opposed to blogs. It also does not edit or curate content on its own. What the author writes, is exactly what goes online. It is different from Reddit since it depends entirely on the source or writer who is writing it.
Currently, the free for all platform is yet to roll out revenue models, but are instead focusing on building their user base.
Is it Really Sustainable?
There are many concerns that using a platform like Oximity can cause. Sure, the world is disillusioned with media, but the fact remains that if any of the top channel, papers or portals published inaccurate news, they have their reputation at stake.
In the case of Oximity, the writers really have nothing to lose, while the platform itself can easily be written off for the same. This could easily be manipulated to further propaganda as well. It would be easy to float hoax videos like the one of the “This is Indian Ocean” while searching for the MH370. The hoax video was widely shared and liked on social networking platforms. But, that does not ensure its quality or authenticity. That there are no editors only adds to this.
Popular platforms that have proved themselves are Reddit and Medium. But Oximity does not seem to be following in their footsteps. Monetisation will also be a concern, and apart from that, the question of how they will pay their writers.