History Commons Groups

January 1, 2014

Fundraiser for History Commons 2.0

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 2:56 pm
Tags:

It’s officially on. 🙂 http://www.razoo.com/story/Historycommons

The new application and paradigm for the History Commons is in development right now (currently in alpha, soon to go into private beta). But to make this happen, the History Commons needs your help.

We don’t like to solicit donations, and we have largely refrained from doing so in the past. But the History Commons 2.0 is too important not to happen because of financial shortfalls.

From the fundraising page:

A new version of the History Commons crowdsource journalism app is under development now. The app will make the History Commons an increasingly important tool in empowering the public to keep tabs on the very powerful interests that are destroying our planet and impoverishing most of its inhabitants.

The new app will make it very easy for people to collaborate with each other on investigative efforts to shine a bright light on the people and organizations most responsible for destroying the planet and impoverishing its people. The app will leverage all the advances in social media that we have seen during the last 10 years so its content can be easily embedded in other published pieces, shared across multiple platforms, and then published in a format that can easily go viral.

The new app will offer the public an API so others can leverage the History Commons data and intelligence analysis capabilities to create other activist-oriented apps.

We will develop a mobile version of the app so that people can access History Commons data and source information easily and quickly wherever they are. This is an immensely important feature for people who often find themselves in situations where they have an opportunity to educate people, but lack a means to access the facts they need at that particular moment.

Help us make this happen. We need your donations and we need your participation. Remember, anyone can contribute — some of the best material on the Commons comes from anonymous contributors who write material based on their own interests, knowledge and passions.

The direct fundraising page for the History Commons is here: http://historycommons.org/fundraiser.jsp

The personal fundraiser from executive director Derek Mitchell is here: http://www.razoo.com/story/Turn-Every-One-Into-A-Muckraker/

Thank you!

April 29, 2012

Fundraising Appeal for Spring/Summer 2012

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 8:33 pm

The History Commons is facing a financial emergency. While we have been working to upgrade the Web site and web application, we have been struggling to keep the site up and running. We may not have the money to keep the site hosted for the rest of the summer – which would mean the History Commons could disappear from the Internet. Now we need your financial support like never before. We accept donations through PayPal, credit cards, and personal checks. We sincerely appreciate all you do to make the History Commons a viable resource for information and citizen activism. Please make your tax-deductible donation today and help us remain a viable informational resource for the 21st century.

Donate via PayPal

Donate via check (ignore the error message, there’s a glitch in the code that generates it)

Donate via credit card

Thank you so much for your support!

September 11, 2011

Presentations w/Elevate’s Daniel Erlacher


Just finished a Skype presentation with Daniel Erlacher in Graz, Austria. Daniel runs the annual Elevate Festival in that lovely town, and is a huge HC supporter. I spoke for about 15 minutes on HC in general and our 9/11 coverage in specific. Kevin Fenton also did a presentation a bit earlier. I’ll let him discuss that.

What I’d really like to see is a more “international” presence for HC. We are very US-oriented, with the vast majority of our coverage focusing on events that primarily impact the US in one sense or another. (Two exceptions that come to mind are the Kosovar Albanian and European Football projects.)

We need more international coverage. I’d also like to see a version of HC in, say, German, either using our information in a translated form, and/or a version incorporating German-language original research.

Cross-posted at the History Commons blog.

October 2, 2010

New discussion forum now open for public participation — come in and have your say!

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 10:59 pm

Let’s see if this spiffy Google code will work:

Google Groups
History Commons Discussion Forums
Visit this group

You’ll need a Google account, and that’s all that’s involved. We welcome and invite your participation!

Let us know what you’d like to see in the forums.

September 10, 2010

The Votes are In!

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 8:58 pm
Tags: ,

Okay, the votes are in, and it’s an interesting set of results and comments.

To the question, “Do you feel the History Commons is an inaccessible ‘walled garden’?” the votes are as follows:

Yes: 13
No: 58

That’s over 80% of respondents who don’t feel the History Commons is a “walled garden.” Here are some of the comments, reproduced from the poll results at PollDaddy:

“Tenstring” writes: “I would just say that the website is very raw, that is it’s just basically a collection of data — and that’s probably good. People can come and follow the timelines and come to their own conclusions. It would open a can of worms to provide analysis, although I wouldn’t be against it. It would certainly potentially complicate things, though.” Agreed. We weren’t suggesting analysis, you can get that just about anywhere and in any flavor, from hard-right to hard-left and anywhere in between. That has never been what HC is about. JZ disagrees with the idea that the Commons is “just basically a collection of data,” and has some very nice things to say about HC stacking up well against Wikipedia “in regards to value from the interconnections it reveals due to its format.” I agree with that 100%; it’s one reason why I write for the Commons instead of Wikipedia. HC contributor Erik Larson writes that HC offers “great insight into the big picture and small details are available from MSM and govt reports, but they are often ignored by the majority of pols and pundits, and missed by the general public, as they may be buried deep in the reports, at the ends of articles or on the inner pages, or only reported by a single news outlet, or only make sense in context with other information, which is not provided by MSM journalists; this is what historycommons.org does so well, and the org deserves greater attention.” Rick Mason sums it up well: “I always considered CCR as an information gathering site with verified and accurate contributions from responsible journalists. It’s where I go when I wish to make sure I’m talking about facts, not rumors. It would be great if it were interactive.”

Commentator Kevin Boulton recommends a program like Visual Thesaurus to “visually link” some of the events on the HC projects; we have considered something like this, and while I’m personally not sure VT is itself the solution, there are some very, very good visual information organizers out there that I’d love to see implemented as corollaries to our existing projects. JZ recommends looking at visual organizers such as The Brain, and steers us towards a TED video by David McCandless. The Brain looks terrific at first glance, and the video is very informative. I would welcome further discussion along these lines.

JZ asks about HC having “its own forum that is part of the site but not simply a commenting system for each entry which I think would fragment the feedback,” and recommends something along the lines of the Citizen Investigation Team forum. I would love to see such a forum implemented. If anyone has any ideas about implementing — and hosting and moderating! — such a forum, please let us know.

Overall, I find the responses heartening. We originally conceived of the idea of “History Commons 2.0” as essentially revamping the application and redesigning the site to be more user-friendly, along with adding some more interactive features. We’ve come to see that approach as lacking a fundamental understanding of what the History Commons is. As I wrote in a working draft for the HC staff: “History Commons 2.0 is not a revised app and a redone design, it’s a new community of contributors and participants.” The app will grow out of the needs and participation of the community, not the other way around. Discussions like this one are the first steps in growing a new and vibrant History Commons community. Let’s extend it by talking over some of the points above in the comments.

August 29, 2010

Poll Question: Please Vote

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 10:42 pm

This is the first in a series of polls designed to find out more about how you perceive the History Commons, and how it can do a better job for you.

In Web development speak, a “walled garden” is a site or online tool that is inaccessible — you can’t do much with it besides read the content. It’s tough, sometimes impossible, to interact with others on the site, whether it be other users or the site administrators.

That’s what this poll asks you about. Please vote, and please share this with others who might use, or be interested in using, the History Commons. And please comment on your vote in the comments!

(This poll is replicated on our sister blog.)

July 7, 2009

History Commons Newsletter, July 7, 2009


History Commons Newsletter, July 7, 2009

Raising Funds for History Commons 2.0

Over the next few months, the History Commons will begin working towards making some dramatic upgrades in the website, including revamping the web application, and adding much more content and information. These changes will, we trust, make the History Commons a much more effective resource for you and your fellow users. While you may not see the results of these changes for some time, they will, when finished, completely transform the site to make it far more usable and comprehensive. To help move this process forward, we need your financial support like never before. We accept donations through PayPal, credit cards, and personal checks. We sincerely appreciate all you do to make the History Commons a viable resource for information and citizen activism. Please make your tax-deductible donation today.

(more…)

June 26, 2009

History Commons 2.0 — Your Thoughts and Opinions

Filed under: community,History Commons 2.0 — Max @ 11:13 am
Tags: ,

We’re discussing how to make the History Commons more efficient and usable, both for users and contributors/editors. This is part of the much-discussed “History Commons 2.0” initiative.

What do you like about the way the HC web application works? What do you not like? How could it work better to suit your needs? What could we add? Fix? Drop entirely? We’re talking about navigation, searches, finding information, timeline/project organization, everything.

Your opinions will shape how HC 2.0 progresses, so please, be frank and be detailed. We want to know.

Thanks for your participation!

History Commons Projects, Update for June 25, 2009


Over the next few months, the History Commons will begin working towards making some dramatic upgrades in the website, including revamping the web application, and adding much more content and information. These changes will, we trust, make the History Commons a much more effective resource for you and your fellow users. While you may not see the results of these changes for some time, they will, when finished, completely transform the site to make it far more usable and comprehensive. To help move this process forward, we need your financial support like never before. We accept donations through PayPal, credit cards, and personal checks.

Please make your tax-deductible donation today.

We sincerely appreciate all you do to make the History Commons a viable resource for information and citizen activism.

You can help steer the transformation of the History Commons by making your comments and observations on this blog. Over the next few weeks, we will begin polling our users to determine what they want to see in the new and improved “History Commons 2.0.” You are a valuable part of the History Commons, and we want to know what you think. Look for posts soliciting your thoughts and opinions very soon — hopefully by the time you read this.


About a dozen timelines have been updated in the past week, and one of the most active was the Economic Crisis project. One contributor points out that unemployment is already at 21 million peole in the European Union, whereas globally it could reach 51 million, according to the International Labor Organization. Another highlights the fictitious “light switch tax,” as well as much-needed tax cuts for millionaires.
Read more.

In the US Health Care Timeline, a contributor has started to cover the recent murder of late-term abortion provider George Tiller.
Read more.

In the Neoliberalism and Globalization Timeline, a contributor has started to document the cultural diversity movement, beginning with a group of entries about a UNESCO agreement on cultural diversity.
Read more.

A contributor to the Global Warming Timeline has added entries about recent comments by Republican Congressmen on global warming.
Read more.

Similarly, in the Domestic Propaganda Timeline a contributor has input more material about criticism of President Obama, and more about the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.
Read more.

Finally, in the Loss of Civil Liberties Timeline, a contributor highlights a recent statement by former Defense official Douglas Feith, who said he had nothing to do with the Bush administration’s torture policy.
Read more.

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