Bolstering the video offerings of its News division, Yahoo launched a personality-driven segment called “People of the Web” this week. The show, brought to you by veteran journalist Kevin Sites, focuses on people using the internet to effect social change. The end product is a well-done epistemological examination of web 2.0 sociology.
This might seem like an odd follow-up project for the globe trotting war correspondent who brought us “Hot Zone.” Sites, perhaps the most honored online journalist, is on the front line of redefining journalism in the internet age. A self-titled “solo journalist,” or “sojo,” Sites offers tips for other would-be sojos on how to shoot and distribute their own content through Yahoo News’s “You Witness News.”
People of the Web already has five profiles published, each with multiple video clips exploring different facets of each web personality. Each clip is short and snappy, melding together interviews of the profiled individuals, b-roll from the online video content that made them famous, and Sites’ voice-over pulling the narrative threads together.
Covering everything from digital fundamentalist Christianity to an uncloseter of gay politicos, PotW uses the internet-powered spotlight to illuminate individuals who are using the same light for their own purposes.
People of the Web also integrates Yahoo’s recently acquired MyBlogLog, a social networking community centered around connecting and empowering the blogosphere. Brian Nelson of Yahoo PR, says this is “so you can connect with more ‘People of the Web’ as well as place yourself in the running as a personality we might profile.” Already each profile’s page has a variety of articulate and productive comments from viewers/readers.