History Commons Groups

June 24, 2012

History Commons Enters Knight Foundation Grant Competition

Filed under: Uncategorized — paxvector @ 11:09 pm

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 2.0 Add new functionality to HistoryCommons.org so the public can unlock the full power of its popular crowd-sourced event database.

History Commons News Collector
Develop a module for HistoryCommons.org that collects items from the Internet and positions them in queue for digestion by HistoryCommons contributors.

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.

History Commons Fourth Estate App
Develop an application for HistoryCommons.org that will empower citizen journalists with tools to collaborate on investigations and distribute their findings.

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Contributing

Filed under: community — Max @ 6:06 pm

Contributing to the History Commons can take other forms than financial donations (which we continue to ask for!). We also need your passion, your expertise, and your writing and research skills. We need you to consider writing for the Commons.

You might take a look at the New Topics Listing for some ideas of where you might consider contributing. The possibilities are nearly endless, and you aren’t constrained to just the many topics on that page. If there’s something you want to see covered, propose it and let’s get it going!

Thank you for supporting the History Commons in all the ways that you contribute. We couldn’t survive without our community.

June 16, 2012

Fundraising Update

Filed under: 'situation report',community — Max @ 12:54 am

Some kind and wonderful people have been generous enough to donate. We have enough in the kitty to stave off imminent disappearance, at least throughout the summer. Thank you!!!

However, we are going to continue asking for donations, for several reasons. One, expenses are ongoing (i.e. paying the host, re-registering the domains, etc). Two, we’re considering upgrading our hosting, which would go a long way towards ending the annoying downtime we’re suffering. Three, we want to resume some other adjunct services we have provided our users and contributors in the past, but have had to suspend due to financial constraints. (Wondering why you haven’t gotten an email update lately? This is why.) And lastly, we want to begin (finally!) working on the long-anticipated and much-needed app and site upgrade.

As always, our community of users and contributors are keeping us alive and kicking. We ask that you continue to donate, for all the above reasons and more. We have big plans for the future, both for new and expanded coverage (LGBTQ rights and Wikileaks are two big subjects that are planned for in-depth coverage) and for upgrading and modernizing the site for easier usage.

Thank you again.

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“Your timeline has been invaluable to me over the years.” — New York Times reporter, and 9/11 researcher and author Philip Shenon

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