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Knight News Challenge Neighborly Submission -

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Knight News Challenge Neighborly Submission


Revision as of 19:01, 31 January 2010 by Admin (Talk | contribs) (Describe your project:)

Back to Neighborly

This is the drafting zone for our invited Round Two submission.

Project Title: Neighborly Social Media - The Block Captain as Editor Sharing Local News and Civic Information

Requested amount from Knight News Challenge: 575,000

Expected amount of time to complete project: 2

Total cost of project including all sources of funding: 775,000

Describe your project:

Be neighborly online. 1. Enter address. 2. See map, set "friendliness" circle from 5 to 200 nearest neighbors in system. You will connect with neighbors you know and break the ice with those you want to know based on careful recipricol openness not over-exposure online. 3. Share information and links about you as desired securely with neighbors in your "dynamic" circle (be it simply how to best contact you or your page on Twitter or Facebook, etc.). 4. Share and access very local democratic/civic information and news related precisely to your personal neighbors network. 5. Participate via multiple technologies with simple default twice weekly e-mail digest with other options and urgent alert capabilities. 6. Become an e-block leader to access special tools to recruit neighbors, customized local information dashboard, and diseminiation abilities to serve as block e-news editor. 5. Tie this semi-private experience into broader public life opportunities to connect with democratic information and news in your community. 6. Design system for robust "organic" local everywhere scalability that can serve everyone interested without top-down labor or catalyst (never tried before), yet supports intensive outreach and use where promotional and partner resources exist. 7. Leverage trust generated from non-profit status to build system based on the interests of participants (including self-governance and volunteer roles to keep costs down) while syndicating access via local media and other partners to reach the largest number of people possible.

How will your project improve the way news and information are delivered to geographic communities?

We can reach 20% of households in Minneapolis/St. Paul, or ~55,000 people, with the right community partnerships and promotion. The "e-blockclubs" in Neighborly will be private resident-only spaces that complement our newer public neighborhood-wide Issues Forums which reach over 10% of households in our established areas. The more local, the more relevant the content, the more "neighborly" and attractive to everyday people. Right now the police, city council members, government offices, local neighborhood newspapers have a mish mash of online news and alert services. Our block leaders will serve as natural filters passing along the most relevant information. Participants will also share and generate new information.

How is your idea innovative? (new or different from what already exists)

Our "local everywhere" technology will enable bottom-up formation of news and information sharing groups of neighbors anywhere we can connect addresses to longitude and latitude. This will be far more organic and self-help than current models. Instead of a single National Night Out, we will build Neighbors Everyday. We envision a Facebook, Android (open source mobile), iPhone, and other "Apps" (like text to voicemail) that would allow use of the platform across multiple interfaces. As a non-profit and based on preliminary meetings, we will seek to collaborate with local community policing efforts to become the trusted two-way communications tool promoted to block leaders. Two-way is crucial and will also promote government accountability.

What experience do you or your organization have to successfully develop this project?

On Dec. 12 as part of the Great American Civic Hackathon a large group of volunteer open source programmers gathered in Minneapolis: The project they chose to work on was how to build a geo-based electronic block club generator or the Neighborly platform as it is now known. has the ability to connect and inspire a new generation of programmers with our 15+ years experience with the use of technology to provide democratic information and civic engagement. Key to our success will be our ability to leverage thousands of current participants in our volunteer-driven public city-wide forums and new funded neighborhood-wide Issues Forums in low income, high immigrant areas. With the right community outreach interest, we could also pilot a rural e-townships effort connecting nearby farmers/residents on the same platform. We recently attracted modest Ford Foundation funding to start an initiative called Participation 3.0 - - in 2010. Included in this project is an exploration into ideas related to local government transparency and accountability through online information dissemination and public engagement. Neighborly is a candidate to be one of the ten "next generation" ideas we will explore through our open specification process. is led by Steven Clift - - who has extensive experience bridging between the civic engagement and media world as well as his role as the founder and coordinator of the State of Minnesota's first government portal.

What unmet need does your proposal answer?

(750 characters remaining)

What tasks/benchmarks need to be accomplished to develop your project and by when will you complete them?

(2000 characters remaining)

What will you have changed by the end of your project?

(1800 characters remaining)

How will you measure progress and ultimately success?

(1600 characters remaining)

Do you see any risk in the development of your project?

(1800 characters remaining)

What is your marketing plan? How will people learn about what you are doing?

(1800 characters remaining)

You may attach optional supporting material. The first file you upload will be your cover, so if you are uploading an image upload it as the first file.


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