The Knight News Challenge Information Blog

Where Innovative Ideas Get Funded at NewsChallenge.org

Posts Tagged ‘Knight News Challenge’

Blog Action Day: Enter The Knight News Challenge and Make a Difference

Posted by Jacqueline on October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day has gotten tons of buzz in the blogosphere, and for very good reason – it’s a great way to get people thinking about a very big issue – the environment.  It’s something that affects every person on the planet, so getting tons of bloggers to write about it results in a global reach.
 Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Now, the Knight News Challenge is not necessarily about the environment (although depending on the ideas you have, it can be), and it is focused on projects that benefit specific communities as opposed to the entire world, but in this increasingly interconnected world, the two can be connected through the net.

Have the many different posts for Blog Action Day (go here to read them all) inspired you to make your city greener?  Does your idea use digital technology to deliver information to members of your community?  Turn your thoughts into a proposal at www.newschallenge.org, and you could be one step to winning funding, realizing your dreams, and making your home a greener place.

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Posted in Citizen Journalism, Entrepreneurship, General, Innovation, Technology | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Make Today Count: Enter the Knight News Challenge

Posted by Jacqueline on October 14, 2007

How do you plan to spend this Sunday afternoon?

For those of you with entrepreneurial tendencies, chances are you’re at least thinking of plans, ideas, and projects that you can execute.  If your ideas have anything to do with digital technology (and what doesn’t these days?), citizen journalism, and involve building community within a specific geographic region, check out the Knight News Challenge.

The Knight Foundation’s news challenge awards funding to people with innovative ideas that relate to the above subjects – you can win up to $500,000 and anyone, of any age and from anywhere in the world, can enter.

What are you waiting for?

Go here to find out more and submit your proposal.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, General, Innovation, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Open Source Innovating

Posted by Jacqueline on October 12, 2007

One of the many things that makes the Knight News Challenge unique is that you can make your entry open to the public, so they can read, comment, and help improve your plan.  Even people who don’t plan to enter the contest can participate this way, so if you have something to say about community journalism, online news, or just want to have a hand in what could be a revolutionary innovation, go here to sign up and begin.

Although in my previous post, I said it is not the critic who counts; however, a some constructive criticism can go a long way towards helping an entrepreneur get started.  Besides, it’s an easy way to do your part and help citizen and community journalism grow into something that truly changes the world. 

Posted in Citizen Journalism, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Let Your Fellow Citizens Make Your Commute Easier

Posted by Jacqueline on October 10, 2007

While most people think of citizen journalism, at least at the current moment, they think of either the courageous bloggers in Burma (and other war-torn nations), or of those people who report on the minutiae of politics, especially local politics.  However, while calling it journalism might be a stretch, there are other kinds of citizen-generated content that are making an immediate impact on people’s lives.

Check out Clever Commute, a website devoted to the travel situation and traffic in the New York City area.  People use their blackberries and smart phones to share information about delays and reroutes, leading to a smoother commute for everyone involved.  No, it’s not really journalism, at least in the traditional sense, but it is breaking news.  And definitely essential knowledge for its users. 

Although public transportation systems have been offering mobile updates for some time, this is the only service that lets people reach their fellow riders (which makes things much more immediate and accurate than the typically slow transit authority updates).  Thus far, commuters using technology to help other commuters has proved to be a superior method of breaking traffic/transportation news, at least in NYC. 

Want to know more?  Check out this NY Times article on Clever Commute.

Do you have an outside-the-box citizen journalism idea?  Take a gamble and enter the Knight News Challenge – you just might win the cash and the resources to make it happen. 

Posted in Citizen Journalism, Digital Media, General, Innovation, Technology, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Popping the Bubble: Join The Fray

Posted by Jacqueline on October 8, 2007

Serial entrepreneur and founder of create-your-own social network site, Ning, Marc Andreessen has something to say to everyone who feels that we’re in the middle of another internet bubble (bubble 2.0?) – basically, that we’re not.  But he’s a lot funnier.

He makes a lot of good points about why you should take the risks and get out there and create something.  There is work to be done, innovations to discover, and of course, money to be made. 

And if your ideas or projects have to do with citizen journalism, building community, and digital technology, check out the Knight News Challenge.  Because if you happen to win, and Marc’s wrong about that whole bubble thing, some nice grant money will soften the blow. 

Posted in Blogging, Digital Media, Entrepreneurship, General, Innovation, Technology, Web | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tis The Week To Change The World

Posted by Jacqueline on October 7, 2007

What are your plans for this week?

Anything interesting?

Just a typical week, you say?

Perhaps it’s time to disrupt your routine and take a look at the Knight News Challenge.  For the unfamiliar, it’s a contest that awards funding to innovators with ideas that involve digital technology and information delivery, and are focused on fostering community in a specific geographic region.  Anyone can enter (all you need is a great idea) and the deadline is October 15th.

There’s up to $5 million reserved for this year’s challenge, so a winning entry could be truly life-changing.  Consider yourself an entrepreneur?  Take the chance and enter. 

Need some inspiration? 

Check out this clip of last year’s winners:

Posted in Entrepreneurship, General, Innovation, Web | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

10 Days To Change the World

Posted by Jacqueline on October 5, 2007

Just a quick notice to all those planning to enter the Knight News Challenge – the deadline is on October 15th, which is only ten days away.  However, that is definitely still enough time to create a short proposal for the contest, so click here and get started.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, General, Innovation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Web 2.0 Petri Dish on Read Write Web

Posted by Jacqueline on October 4, 2007

Today Read Write Web, one of the net’s foremost technology and digital media blogs (and I’ll admit that it’s a personal favorite of mine as well), posted about the current web 2.0 climate, comparing it to a petri dish – lots of experiments are taking place and no one really knows what’s going to happen.  Contributor Bernard Lunn says:

“The Web 2.0 world is looking increasingly like a giant petri dish. There are so many experiments, so much innovation and, as yet, relatively little real revenue. Within this petri dish are a few ideas that will turn into billions of dollars, at which point we will all say “why didn’t I think of that”? There are also lots of “what on earth were we all thinking” ideas out there. Numerically of course, there will be much more of the latter – but in $ terms the few big winners will mean it’ll all make some kind of sense in the end.”

Now, the Knight News Challenge is not about on awarding funds to companies based their earning potential (after all, they want more corporations that think about the double bottom line), but revenues are the lifeblood of any company, and it’s important for any entrepreneur who is thinking about building something web 2.0ish to realize that very few companies are actually making any real cash on the web.  However, the entry bar and general costs of doing business are still set extremely low, so there is not going to be a lack of people who are going to try to make the big bucks.

Lunn’s petri dish metaphor is extremely apt – lots of people experimenting with this and that, hoping to grow into something big and valuable.  He goes on to cover the current state of web 2.0 in a very realistic manner that is best described as cautious optimism, and ends with some advice to startup founders and other entreprenuers:

“1. Raise more money (a lot more) than you think you need. VCs have plenty of money to put to work and you need enough to ride out a cycle and really build something to last. Jason Calacanis said he raised enough for 5 years with Mahalo and he has seen a cycle come and go.

2. Get to cash flow positive quicker than you had planned. (And if you are already there, don’t take this as the time to start a major expansion built on borrowed money).

3. Accept that offer. Not the first one of course. Not the second one if you have good poker nerves. But take the third one. Live to venture another day.”

Perhaps his advice is little obvious, but really, the current financial climate is not the time to engage in major building on borrowed money.  What’s the solution?  Stay small and lean (with all the current technology, there is no need to have a huge office or other costly accoutrements, especially in a company’s early days of existence), or you could look for funding from non-venture capital sources, such as grants or contests like the news challenge (c’mon, you knew I was going to mention that).

Posted in Digital Media, Entrepreneurship, General, Innovation, Technology, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Make A Real Impact: Build A Necessary Evil

Posted by Jacqueline on October 3, 2007

Last week at On Startups Darmesh Shah posted about how entreprenuers can do better creating something that is a necessary evil (he uses the very apt example of tax software – it’s not fun or buy or use, but we all have to pay taxes), instead of something that is fun, cool, or sexy.  A real market of a few is better than a mythical market of millions, he says, and I’m inclined to agree.   

This makes perfect sense – build something that people need and they will come.  But how does this apply to the Knight News Challenge?  Well, most individuals consume a certain amount of local news just because they happen to live in a particular area.  People want to know what is going around them, because generally those are the events that affect them the most. 

Focus on delivering the necessary information – weather, crime, traffic, and less obvious things, such as quick un-biased summaries on the positions of local politicians during election season, for instance (although the lack of bias may be something that is easier said than done).  After all, we all know the views of candidates in the major national races, because the media covers that incessantly.  But local elections can have just as much, if not more, impact as the presidential race for the people who live in that community.  Think grassroots, not global. 

Yes, something like this might be not particularly cool, but it’ll make a difference – and it might even encourage more people to vote, because they’ll be significantly better informed.  Have a better idea for a “necessary evil” type of startup?  You know the drill.

Posted in Digital Media, Entrepreneurship, General, Innovation, Technology, Web | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Using Web 2.0 To Innovate: E-Democracy.Org

Posted by Jacqueline on October 3, 2007

E-Democracy.Org, a Minnesota based organization with a focus on “the use of the Internet to improve citizen participation and real world governance through online discussions and information and knowledge exchange” (check out their About page for a lot more information about them and their mission), has created a wiki for their entry in the Knight News Challenge, and it’s open the public.

Now, companies and other organizations have been using internal wikis to get things done for quite some time now (and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if other Knight News Challenge entrants used wikis to help put together their proposals as well), but E-Democracy.Org’s wiki is open to the public.  Besides being refreshingly transparent, opening up their project to the opinions of others could prove very valuable indeed – after all, sometimes it takes an outsider’s viewpoint to really make your plan and ideas great. 

Best of luck to them!  You can read more about E-Democracy.Org on their website and their blog.

Posted in Blogging, Digital Media, Entrepreneurship, General, Innovation, New Media, Technology, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »