Kommons was started by Cody Brown, who, with a co-founder, taught himself how to code and "iterated like mad," states Cohn. He compares Kommons to 10questions.com or Yoosk.com and to be part of the site, the person using it has to be asked a question. Brown is also trying to steer the main idea of the site away from "journalism," Cohn said. "Brown is avoiding 'journalism' baggage while still providing a community with tools that can serve its news and information needs. As I've said before, we may not call it 'journalism' in the future, but if it still meets the news and information needs of a community, more power to it," Cohn adds.
Storyful is another recent journalism startup. Storyful is a site that creates "collaborative storytelling," but Cohn said that the site is similar to sites like GroundReport, NowPublic and GlobalPost, and that it will "re-invent the wheel." "While I encourage participatory storytelling in any form including pro-am, which is how I interpret them, we need to make sure that new ground is forged," Cohn states.
Another site is run by the New York Times called the Local: East Village.
The Local: East Village is a blog that brings news through a "virtual assignment desk." Cohn said the desk should be "clearly articulated, focus on the story, allow for participation that lets people come and go quickly and freely." Plus, the site managers need to find a way to gain communication with readers and streamline this information.
Emphas.is is a site for photojournalists who are "carefully selected by a board of reviewers composed of industry professionals" and creates "crowdfunding" for them as well. Cohn questions the fact that Emphas.is sounds like it might put the content from photographers behind a pay wall and that the only people who contribute photos can have access to the other photographer's content. "The assumption that folks will pony up funds for photographs they haven't seen might be based on a romantic vision of photography hat seems to be expressed throughout the site." However, the site does have backing by Time magazine.
Ebyline is a site, which is trying to "modernize the process of freelancing," according to Cohn. The site helps publishers find new writers and could also help freelance writers find work. Whether or not this site will gain momentum with writers/companies is unknown yet, though.
ThankThis.com is an advertising site whose goal is to "bring some transparency and participation to advertising. For example, Cohn said, "coupons are a perfect example of advertisement that we welcome with open arms." With ThankThis.com, users can be connected with an advertiser and give credits to the so-called "cause" they chose. Also, people do not have to pay, or even join the site, to participate. The site has not fully been launched yet, however.
David Cohn will be speaking at the 17th annual World Editors Forum, which will take place in Hamburg, Germany from October 6-8.