NewsCloud’s free and open source platform is an ideal solution for community foundations that want to meet the information needs in their regions. NewsCloud’s work has been funded by three grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Read more here.
You can use NewsCloud to build social media communities that integrate and synthesize local information sources while providing a virtual town hall for building engagement.
You can see a number of these features in action in prototype city hubs such as Seattle’s The Needle or The Boston Globe’s Your Boston. See also NewsCloud’s Knight-funded research with the University of Minnesota.
NewsCloud’s interactive community building features are ideal for place-based communities. Here are some examples of the kinds of features that bring people together online:
- News front page synthesizes curated content you want to share with popular and emerging user generated content.
- Local news sources – integration with selected hyperlocal and national RSS news feeds and Twitter Lists.
- Story links, blogs, photos and video - NewsCloud let’s your audience contribute, whether sharing news stories, writing their own blog posts or sharing photos and video in multimedia galleries.
- Discussion forums provide a place for residents to talk about a what matters to them organized by categories.
- Classifieds and Lending Library – Go beyond CraigsList. Our lending library lets community members easily add household items and share them with Facebook friends or other community members.
- Questions & Answers – Ask and answer questions amongst friends and neighbors in your community.
- Directories can be used in a myriad of ways to provide curated and crowdsources links to local information and resources, from government services to popular restaurants.
- Ideas – NewsCloud offers special areas for crowdsourcing, commenting, ranking and discussing idea on civic matters.
- Events – NewsCloud makes it easy for you to import events from Facebook and other services. Community members can also add events.
- Facebook, Twitter and Google+ Integration – Using authenticated identity services help foster a civil environment and nearly eliminate spam and abuse. Tight integration with Like & Send ensure viral sharing of your site content.