If you have an interest in new media, new approaches to traditional media, online publishing, community work, or a basic interest in how to use the web to communicate within a community, you need to stop reading this post and check out the Knight Drupal Initiative.
Okay. Glad to have you back.
This initiative, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, aims to support Drupal-based projects that lower barriers to participation in community development and new media. This program has several distinguishing characteristics, including:
- A transparent community review process -- all projects are publicly reviewed, with monthly reviews/meetings taking place via IRC, and these IRC sessions are logged and made publicly available.
- The program is ongoing, and accepts rolling applications. In other words, if you are a Drupal developer and have an idea that will change the way people interact with/make news, you need to get your thoughts together, and submit a proposal.
Also, take a little time and review the existing proposals -- there are currently three proposals slated for review. As mentioned before, this is an open review process, and anyone with constructive feedback can participate in the review process.
We submitted a proposal in early May. The full writeup goes into more detail, but to summarize, our proposal aims to simplify the process of community building -- and support grassroots media -- in two ways: first, by creating a powerful, flexible platform that can be up and running within 10-15 minutes; and second, by creating a platform that multiple organizations can use to share information about related work on a regional, national, or international level.
At the risk of stating the obvious, these tools will be freely available for any and all to use. In our proposal, we also dedicate time to document how to use and extend these tools. Our goal is to build and document a resource that can be used by anyone.
We are incredibly happy to announce that our proposal has been vetted and approved by the Drupal community, and recommended to the Knight Foundation for consideration. In other words, we have passed the first hurdle. Now, we are working directly with representatives from the Knight Foundation as we complete our official proposal. As things progress, I'll post updates via the blog.