【明報專訊】A well-run wet market is essential. It facilitates the conglomeration of different goods, making it easy for hawkers and convenient for customers. Even humble items like salted eggs would benefit from the extra attention. Nobody wants salted eggs every day, but everyone has a craving for it once in a while. Placed with similar items, they benefit from the daily crowd that keeps business alive. Sensible market keepers ensure that the quirkiest items complement the staple goods to allow innovative meals.
The same can be said about online writing. In 2012, the internet media outlet House News set a local trend by mirroring The Huffington Post. Unlike traditional media where content is centralised and produced internally, House News called itself a ''news curator''. Like a diligent market keeper, it managed a lot of submissions in a systematic and readable manner. Writers were welcome to run their columns on any topics—rare insects, the latest video games or vintage films, to name a few. This model gave rise to a witty, well-versed, and creative generation of internet writers. It unfolded an experiment of knowledge sharing among the public with great success. Along the cyber hallways, writers and readers stopped, exchanged know-how, and formed a robust citizen community that soon amounted to over half a million in numbers.
House News closed down in July 2014 for some dubious reasons and reopened as Stand News in December of the same year. Amidst questions over its sudden disappearance and reappearance, the editorial team came back stronger. Original news features became the media's backbone while the blogger community continued to grow.
Last week, we bade farewell to the ghost of House News for a second time over charges of conspiracy to distribute ''seditious publications''. With the wet market bulldozed, I wonder what would happen to the hawkers? Would their salted eggs sell? I hope they stick around for a while longer in the dusted corner of the internet. Readers are smart. With the help of some navigation, they will find you.
Mona C. has a strong appetite for stories. Feed her enough. (Email : firstname.lastname@example.org)