Assignment Desk for WordPress

October 5, 2010

Perhaps the most important part of the previously discussed Local East Village project is the vastly understated Virtual Assignment Desk application that made its debut with the project. Made by students at New York University, it is essentially a WordPress plugin that enables the users with a seamless interface to interact in the process for picking, producing and shaping news journalism. Users of the Assignment Desk can point to stories they find particularly interesting or important for someone to cover, or can volunteer to cover the story themselves. Those who don’t want to write stories can vote for suggested stories.

This technology is still in constant development, but they’ve been updating to a new version quite consistently. The feedback forums are full of suggestions and bug fixes, all of which have been addressed in a timely manner. The description on the WordPress Plugin Directory says:

Assignment Desk hopes bring any community member into the story production process in a structured way. But it could also be used to manage a large staff of professional or semi-pro contributors and distribute assignments to them, while permitting them to suggest ideas, as well.

The larger implication of this interface is vastly underwhelmed in this statement, though it still holds that glimmer of possibility. While the LEV project may not last, Assignment Desk has vast potential to redesign how online journalism is currently presented.


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