At T-2hrs, I put in my own little bid for the Knight News Challenge. Have a look, have your say, and if you fancy – vote:
this project will connect existing open-source tools and web2.0 sites to create a platform that will allow users to broadcast and subscribe to news by location, time, and topic. Users will be able to send and receive items by SMS, MMS, email, microblogs, RSS, instant messengers and social networking sites. Users will also be able to tag and rate incoming items. The unique feature of the system is the ability to define a subscription “radius”, which will direct news from the proximity of the selected location / time / topic. For example, if I subscribe to sport news in a radius of 10km of my home, I will receive any item posted to that topic within that range. The proximity variance will create a dynamics of information cross-over, engendering unexpected links between communities of shared, or close, interest. Thus, the “small worlds” property of human networks will be expressed and enhanced, empowering individuals to access the knowledge they want and build communities around common agendas. The core of the system will be the news routing engine, which will collate items from a variety of sources and distribute them to masses of subscribers. The system will provide several straightforward user interfaces, via web, SMS commands, and iPhone and Android apps. More elaborate interfaces will be provided as components for social networking sites and mashups (e.g. with googlemaps). The requested funding is intended to cover the fist year of development and operation. After that, the system should sustain itself through advertising and commissioned channels. Users will have a choice of several subscription options, from free and open ad-supported to corporate rented closed and ad free. The free option will always be available, and will be supported by the paid ones.