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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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What is The Common Voice?
Jonathan Pait
September 22, 2003

Recently I was asked the question, “What is The Common Voice and what do you hope to accomplish with the site?”  Funny, but every time that question is asked, I am not sure how to respond.  I even wrote out a mission in hopes of sorting it out.

The Common Voice is a shared community of individuals with various ideologies and views on the issues of the day. It is a Web site that gives these community members an opportunity to respond to the issues of the day through interactive tools and discussion areas. All this is for the purpose of allowing us all to better understand one another - and ourselves
It is the best way I know how to describe it.  However, I’d like to offer a vision of what I would love to see as a typical day at The Common Voice.

First, I want to wake up and never have to touch the site!  Ideally, the editor should never have to put up any headlines.  Thankfully, that goal has been reached.  But what kind of headlines do I want to see there?  I would primarily like to see headlines that are about issues important to the reader who posts the headlines.  A good rule of thumb would be to post a headline that you will turn right around and post a comment about in the forum section of the site.

Next, I would love to see the top national and state headlines coming and going as more readers come on board and read the headlines that interest them.  Of course, if everyone is interested in the same thing, the same headline will win out throughout the day!  It would also be great to see the forum section up and popping.

I want to see the community expand as readers refer articles and columns to their friends.  As the community grows, so will the focus and content of the site.  The ultimate goal is to have a Web site that is controlled by the readers who frequent it.

So, in a way, what The Common Voice is, is a site edited by the readers.  What I want to accomplish is to see those readers succeed in making the site come alive.  I want the site to become their site and that they will share the same feeling of ownership that I do.

I am certain that the concept of The Common Voice can expand.  My hope is that there will be a CommonVoice.com section for every state in the Union.  I am sure that there are contributors out there ready to join the fun.  When people begin to buy into the site and its goal, we’ll be able to proclaim, “It’s alive!”

Don’t just be readers.  Be participants.  This is not my voice – it’s your voice – it’s a common voice for us all.

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"First, I want to wake up and never have to touch the site! Ideally, the editor should never have to put up any headlines." Wouldn't everyone want a website tended totally by someone else. I wonder just how much could be posted on this site since the person the site belongs to really does enjoy have other persons do his "job" for him. . . .

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