I'm going to jump in here and see if I can help answer some of your questions on the New Newsvine (Beta). Now I can't and won't attempt to answer questions as to why they want to do this, but I can (I hope) answer your questions on how to do something. I'll try to respond as quickly as I can, and if I don't know the answer may be there will be someone else that can. Feel free to jump in anytime...
Here is an image of what my front page looks like, there are articles and seeds both showing.
So ask away!
Edit #1: The NV Photographers are having a all day long GoToMeeting session on Feb. 7th. starting at 8am CST and going until 8pm CST. Here is the link to get you started.