The History Commons has entered a competition for grants from the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge program. According to the About page: “The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding the best breakthrough ideas in news and information.”
We’ve submitted four separate applications; descriptions and links are at the end of this post. The primary application (History Commons 2.0) is to increase the functionality of HistoryCommons.org, and the others are for spin-off applications that make use of HistoryCommons.org data. We’ve wanted to make these upgrades and expansions for a few years now, but the History Commons has not received enough in donations from the general public to make it happen.
HistoryCommons.org (and CooperativeResearch.org before it) has always been funded by small donations from the general public, as this is the best way to remain independent and free of influence. No advertising is accepted, and the History Commons has not previously applied for grants from any corporate, government or foundation entity.
We’re only applying for this particular grant is because it is a one-time grant for upgrades; the Knight Foundation will simply choose to fund these projects or not. The continued operation of HistoryCommons.org is not dependent on receiving this particular grant, or receiving funding in subsequent years, which will keep the History Commons free of influence, and the appearance of it. Also, the Knight Foundation has funded projects that challenge oppression and control by corrupt governments, elites and corporations, such as its recent grant of $320,000 to the Tor Project, which anonymizes Internet-based communications.
As we’re seeking the Knight grant for upgrades, this grant application is separate from our current, ongoing fundraising campaign for operating expenses. We are less than halfway toward our goal; what we’ve received so far is a big help, but we still urgently need to reach this goal. If you value HistoryCommons.org and its independence and integrity, please make a donation today, and help keep it independent. Thank you to everyone that has donated so far.
Below are the one sentence introductions to the grant proposal, with hyperlinks to the four submitted applications, where you can read in greater detail about what we’re seeking the money for, and leave a comment or question.
We welcome your input; we assume that Knight will ask for further details later in the grant process, and any ideas you have on these proposals will be appreciated.
History Commons Mobile Data Platform (History at Your Fingertips)
Develop a mobile application that utilizes the HistoryCommons API to retrieve auto-generated timelines and bibliographies for any given keyword.