“We are moving to a Fifth Estate where everyone is able to pool their knowledge, share experience and expertise, and speak truth to power,” said Chris Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Cheek-sent-me-hi), director of MITâ€™s Computing Culture Research Group.
He will lead a $5 million effort to “to test and investigate civic media in local communities.” Funding will be provided by the Knight Foundation, which recently announced a series of grant winners in its 21st Century News Challenge.
The first set of grants were designed to support efforts to bring journalism to local, geographic communities (as opposed to virtual communities). The foundation begins accepting a new round of grant applications on July 1. (Details).
Holovaty blogged that he’ll use the $1.1 million Knight grant to found “a Web startup, EveryBlock, that focuses on making local news and information useful.” An under construction sign on the site says: “EveryBlock will be a hyperlocal Web site that aggregates an unprecedented depth and breadth of public records, mainstream news sources, photographs, blogs and user-contributed information.
On his bio Holovaty says::
“I enjoy using and contributing open-source software. I’m lead developer of Django, an open-source programming framework that makes Web development fun and fast while maintaining high standards and adhering to best practices. Python is my favorite programming language.”
Overwhelming mind share — Be glad that you’re not trying to draw traffic to an off-brand search engine. A Center for Media Research summary says that Google and Yahoo accounted for 86 percent of searches in April. Forty-seven other search engines amassed 1.86 percent of searches. Such is the power of habit when off-brands challenge incumbents.
Web ads up but not enough: Online Media Daily reports that ad revenues on newspaper websites are up as a percentage of total advertising revenues, but mainly due to the fact that print ad revenues are so down. In a synopsis of Newspaper Association of America data, the publication said:
“Web advertising made up 7.1% of total newspaper ad spending, compared to 5.5% for the same period a year ago . . . still, total advertising expenditures at newspapers and their Web sites were down for the period, totaling $10.6 billion for the first quarter of 2007, a 4.8% decrease from the same period a year earlier. Spending for print ads in newspapers totaled $9.8 billion, down 6.4% from the year-ago period.”