I got into blogging a while ago, my work covers a wide variety of topics and my hobbies expand on that. I have several blogs and maintain quite a few web sites. Somewhere along the line, someome submitted one of my articles to Shoutwire and I started getting a lot of hits refered from there. I found the whole concept interesting and started submitting some articles myself... quite a few made the front page and generated a fair amount of hits. It was nothing extraordinary, but it seemed a good way to get news out that didn't usually reach people.
At one point, I noticed that some of my stories were disappearing off of shoutwire, which seemed strange because nearly ALL of the ones I submitted were getting a huge number of shouts. I chalked this up to stories simply being folded in at the time... soon I realized how wrong I was and that this was all due to censorship.
Looking back, it became quite apparent that the specific stories that were removed by the administrators of Shoutwire were done so for political reasons. Namely... any story critical of Israel, the Bush Regime or questioning the facts surrounding 9/11 were removed out of hand, completely ignoring the fact that these very stories were the ones generating the most 'Shouts'.
This fact was driven home when I submitted this
just before the five year aniversary of the 9/11 Attacks which forever changed our world. This post, once submitted started generating massive hits as well as massive Shouts. In mind boggling fashion, people were both viewing and Shouting this at the rate of hundreds and thousands per hour... for the few hours it lasted. That's right, only hours old and with tons of Shouts under its belt this post was sumarily dismissed by the Shoutwire administrators.
That of course is only one example, all through the Israel-Lebanon conflict I repeatedly submitted posts decrying the attrocities Israel was commiting upon Lebanon and they all were deleted in favor or pro-Israel news items which told nothing but lies.
Shoutwire of course has fought it's criticism, and made excuses for it's censorship, but not a single one of its arguments holds any water at all.
So, why will Shoutwire fail? Stupidity is the short answer. Look at the mainstream media for your example. American Idol out performs ALL NEWS STATIONS COMBINED and newspapers nationwide are scrambling to keep out of the red. Why is this? People KNOW when they are being played, they KNOW when they are being LIED to. It's not that they don't want news, it's that they want REAL NEWS. That's why more and more people are turning to the internet and the blogsphere for their news.
Somehow, Shoutwire started out as a good idea, promoting the free exchange of news and ended up as someone's personal political agenda. Why they thought they could get away with that while huge corporations in the mainstream are failing for just that same reason is beyond me.
With such a small market share, one has to be surprised they would take the censorship route, I mean they're competing with unrestricted services such as Digg, Reddit and now Netscape and Yahoo.
With an opportunity to stand out from the crowd as uncensored, unbiased, and completely user driven, why cave in the corporate elite? Alas, they did, and what it does is leave the gate open for a REAL news service to step in and take their place.
I waive goodbye to you shoutwire, from the moral highground.