February 26, 2007

MSNBC.com has launched FirstPerson, a tool for readers to upload their photos, videos and stories. Editors screen and publish user submissions in a unique gallery format, and users can vote for their favorites and view pictures and video by the most popular and editors' choices.

"Our readers' voices and experiences add depth and context to the stories we tell every day," said Jennifer Sizemore, editor in chief of MSNBC.com. "With FirstPerson, we have a one-of-a-kind way for our users to participate in the news and features that are most interesting to them."

The response to FirstPerson, which launched this month, has been overwhelming. During the "NBC Nightly News" series "Trading Places: Caring for Your Parents," MSNBC.com users submitted more than 6,000 stories, photos and videos of their experiences caring for their aging parents. See those submissions at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17049721/ .

"This release is the first phase in an ongoing investment of surfacing user generated content onto MSNBC.com," said Travis McElfresh, vice president of technology for MSNBC.com. "Rather than creating just another free-for-all posting site, we have equipped the MSNBC.com editorial team with automated tools and filters so that they can easily and quickly identify offensive or non-relevant content before it is published. Automation and integration with relevance technology will further enhance the FirstPerson experience and allow us to scale to some very interesting scenarios."

Other FirstPerson projects on the site include Oscars look-alikes, Unsung Americana, global travel, super sports fans and more. All can be found at www.firstperson.msnbc.com.

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