Chirag Shah created a great tool for archivists called ContextMiner which helps the archivist set up an automated set of directed web crawls across various media repositories, like YouTube. It’s already working pretty well in the pre-beta phase and has a nice set of users. But we thought that ContextMiner could do more for more people.
Chirag and I showed ContextMiner to John Conway at WRAL.com and Kirk Ross of the Carrboro Citizen and we all agreed that exploring the web globally could make the communty building job of local and regional news sites much more effective. How effective? We asked Dr. Sri Kalyanaraman, whose conceptual and empirical publications have identified a sense of community as one of the critical aspects in online information environments, to give us a hand in measure the effect on community building and ContextMiner.
We want to make sure we do a good job of community building ourselves so we asked Michael Tiemann president of the Open Source Initiative and vice president of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat to help us out with that part and to make sure we have the licensing and IP clear for community use and reuse and modification.
Now we had a great team that could help guide ContextMiner from pre-beta to a robust product for media aggregation and community building for news sites of all kinds but with special attention to local and hyperlocal sites.
Next step is to seek funding. With the help of Jennifer Gallina of the J-School, we put together a proposal for the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge.
We submitted the proposal today and will hear later in the month.
In the meantime, if you’d like to read the proposal, it’s here AND if you create an ID you can help rate the proposal at the same place.
Note: Our proposal does a better job of describing ContextMiner that I did above, but this picture will help some too.