What makes any news site better is original and interesting content. But, the 25 web 2.0 tools and ideas listed below help enhance the news experience through better user engagement and eventually bring in more user traffic on a sustainalble basis:
1. User-Generated Content (UGC) - through comments, ratings, blog posts, forums etc. e.g. Guardian's CommentisFree
2. Mainstream Media Content - Your content along with content from other big name media brands - TV channels etc.
3. RSS Feeds for Each News Section, Search results...
4. Original pictures and video - Encourage users to send mobile pictures and videos
5. Citizen Journalism - Encouraging readers to send in their stories, scoops, tips etc.
6. Localization - Encouraging and Organizing content by location.
7. Liveblog - especially helpful during any major events
8. Ratings - Let users vote on all your stories.
9. Video Comments - Basically, the idea is to have comments for everything
10. Photo Galleries - bring in good traffic. E.g. The Big Picture
11. Multimedia content - slideshows, audio slideshows, interactive animation, interactive panorama, interactive game etc.
12. Tools: map, calculator [e.g. mortgage], timeline, searchable database
13. Reporter blogs - updated frequently with a more informal tone
14. Facebook Page - e.g. The New York Times offers a daily news quiz
15. Twitter Updates - Also use Twitter to get inputs from readers
16. Second Life presence - at present, just for the heck of it. In future, who knows?
17. SEO-Savvy content - Scannable headlines, useful tags...
18. Reputation - Whereby you let users build a background of use on your site through profile pages, that also record their story-submitting, story-rating and commenting activity on your site.
19. Algorithm - How you are going to rank your stories - a. by user rating alone, b. editors' rating c. using software to allot weightage to each user's rating based on their activity, like Digg.
21. API - Allowing users to use your data in unique ways e.g. The New York Times API
22. Bookmarking and Tagging - Allowing users to tag and save favorite stories in their account for research and reference in future. Also allowing users to share their bookmarks with others using other social bookmarking tools.
23. Recommending – Do it in two ways - 1. Using software to recommend content to a user based on their activity in past 2. The now ubiquitous ' E-mail this' feature.
24. Revenue Sharing and Paying - Most web 2.0 sites based on users sharing links, including Digg do not share revenues with users. Will you pay users for their photos and pictures?
25. Making Money - Advertising; Sponsored sections; Customized PDFs on special issues; T-shirts and Caps with logo/slogan