To create an open-source version of VillageSoup’s successful community news software, combining professional journalism, blogs, citizen journalism, online advertising and “reverse publishing” from online to print.
Beanstockd is a developing idea to encourage green living through an interactive game. Using social networking tools and real-time news and information, players would be able to track their environmental impact, discover how they stack up against neighbors and team up in a friendly competition to leave the smallest imprint on their community. The game revolves around a virtual stock market, where each player receives an amount of personal stock based on their environmental footprint. Players can increase their stock value by reducing their footprint, or invest in other teams who are predicted to do the same. The project is tailored for a small community, such as a university campus, and aims to unite its members around reducing the area’s demand on natural resources.
Reporting On: Reporters working on similar topics will be able to communicate and share ideas using a social networking tool and a web site created through this project. The site will indicate how many journalists across the country are working on the same issue, such as declining tax bases or water problems. Reporters then could exchange resources and approaches, or use one another’s communities as examples in their own stories. Journalists in small newsrooms often feel isolated. Given the opportunity to communicate with others, a reporter can add context to articles and, perhaps most importantly, know when a seemingly small local story is part of a larger regional, or national, trend.
Student editors at the UCLA Bruin will create online publishing software geared to mobile editing. College journalists then will be able to use the content management system to remotely assign and edit stories, videos and photos for online college sites. Also, readers will use it to submit their own content and communicate with one another.