UWIRE 2.0: Simple Design, Stressing Content Sharing First

UWIRE 2.0 is dressed down.  It seems to be stressing function over form, content to enable sharing of content among its student press affiliates without extra features or grander plans (for now).   As College News Network co-founder Dave Hendricks wrote in a recent preview piece, the logo is different and the site now operates on WordPress instead of its own platform.

As Joe Weasel, CEO of partner site Palestra.net, told me in an exclusive chat late last month: “It will start a little scaled down. Our goal is to get it up and running and get the service going first and allow the schools to have access to that service again and then figure out what the future’s going to be. . . . It’ll run. It’ll run efficiently. And at least for now, it will be what it was originally set up to be. It will be a wire service.”

The content sharing service relaunched on April Fools’ Day, prompting blog and tweet responses ranging from “Welcome back . . . We’ve missed you” to “UWIRE is so yesterday’s news.”

Juana Summers, an investigative multimedia reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and a former University of Missouri student journalist extraordinaire who briefly worked for UWIRE, paints a bleaker picture similar to the later tweet:

Without some type of a massive public relations effort to restore confidence in the site, college journalists have absolutely no reason to trust that UWIRE won’t just disappear again. I’m a political junkie (and reporter), so I talk a lot about damage control. It’s something UWIRE should have thought about months ago. First the site closed without any notification. Then, it shafted a herd of paid student editors— most of whom worked for member papers. And now it expects to come back with the same level of respect in the college media syndication game? I don’t get it.

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