Kicking this group back into action

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David Cohn

Apr 14, 2010, 11:41:49 PM4/14/10
to Community Funded Reporting
Hello friends

It has been a long time since we've made this Google Group active. To
jog your memory - it is a group to discuss community funded reporting
- in Spot.Us or elsewhere.

I want to kick it back into action and I am going to be inviting more
people to join the google group.

Since the Spot.Us redesign we've been collecting the emails of a lot
of folks around the country that might be interested in experimenting
in this space. So in the next few days - I'm hoping to invite them and
have them introduce themselves. If you are getting this message now -
it means you are an old-school member of the Spot.Us team in some way,
shape or form. Please be kind to the new folks.

Spot.Us launched in Seattle today and I'm hoping to expand to two
more cities soon. But it won't happen without a community of
interested people.

More to come - and thanks in advance for being a part of this growing


Nathan Moore

Apr 15, 2010, 9:50:16 AM4/15/10
Thanks for kick-starting it back to life, David.

I've been struggling to find the time amidst everything else on my plate to get the Spot.Us code running for Free Speech Radio News.  Ran into some tech hurdles with getting a local version running that I can update as needed.

That said, I'm happy to report that FSRN has been approved to recruit an Americorps VISTA through the Digital Arts Service Corps program.  And getting the framework up and running at is the main thrust of this person's job description.

So... if you know anybody who'd like to spend a year in Madison, Wisconsin and doesn't mind living on Americorps income for a year, I've got a good project they can plug into.

Take care!


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Nathan Moore
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Free Speech Radio News
phone: (608) 554-0225
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Joe Banks

Apr 15, 2010, 10:28:57 AM4/15/10

Yes, thank you David. Your help has directly led to Algonquin College hosting a model in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, which will make us the first publically-funded journalism site in this Canada!



David Cohn

Apr 15, 2010, 12:33:30 PM4/15/10
No problem gang!

There is also a group in Australia that is going to use the code and a group in Italy.

The Australian site is up - I just looked at it, but I think they want it to be private until it's ready.

Meanwhile: We are going to be getting new members soon. Many of them won't be using the code, but will be working with Spot.Us as it expands.

As always... onward.

David Cohn
(310) 365-3600

Steven Morrison

Apr 15, 2010, 1:30:28 PM4/15/10
We are very interested in getting it going as well but have not been able to find a reasonably priced Ruby outfit to get it running for us.  Any ideas?

David Cohn

Apr 15, 2010, 6:21:00 PM4/15/10

Excellent question.

Two ideas come to the top of my head.

1. Start really small and cheap.

Spot.Us started as just a wiki using a paypal type option to get started. We archived this here

The full site we've built now is much much better - but the wiki cost us a total of $10!

2. Spot.Us expanding: You are based in Canada, right?
Spot.Us is going to start actively expanding and then we could provide the tools for you to fundraise for free. We are even working on a widget that lets people donate on your site without having to even come to the site. You can see a working example of it at Investigate Wests site:

As we prefect this widget - you won't need to do anything but interface with our site - and then port over the widget and start raising money.



Apr 16, 2010, 12:09:25 AM4/16/10
to Community Funded Reporting
Hey Dave and others,
Hi from Charlotte, N.C. We've finally reached a point of having enough
local independent coders who might help out the many freelancers in
town with something like Spot.Us.
A possible point of funding for us, and perhaps other cities, though
it's a bit farfetched:
Charlotte got about $6 million in federal funding as part of some
federal energy green money:
Likely, much of that will go to big companies spending big money on
big projects. But maybe some of that money needs to go to sustainable
projects that will promote and build information and education in the
community, or document where all that big money is spent.
So a plan to fund coding and site design to seed and enable coverage
of stories about green energy projects or green community education
seems like it could possibly qualify for some of the funding.
Or that's at least one idea. But as y'all know, ideas are cheap,
execution is all.

Andria Krewson,

Joe Banks

Apr 16, 2010, 9:30:43 AM4/16/10

Hi David and Steven:

I think our lines are crossed. Joe Banks (me) is the guy in Canada. We’ve acquired the Ruby coding from and are in the process of customizing it to our own needs. We expect to launch at the end of May.

We actually have an association of Ruby devotees in Ottawa so it hasn’t been difficult for us to carry on with David’s good work.



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