Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ground> (Document) Cloud > Printernet Publishing

The journalists are doing their part. The printernet should be ready, when they're ready. I'm thinking Sept. Maybe in time for Print 09?

Knight News Challenge: A grant to DocumentCloud promises a data boost for investigative journalism

By Zachary M. Seward / June 17 / 2:01 p.m.

The Knight News Challenge’s biggest winner, with a two-year grant of $719,500, is DocumentCloud, the primary-source index conceived by journalists and developers at ProPublica and The New York Times. Here’s why you should care: There’s good reason to believe the project will transform how some investigative journalism is conducted — and who conducts it.

Like a lot of software in the cloud, this one is complicated to explain. I wrote a long overview of DocumentCloud in November, and you can read their initial grant application in my first post about the project. Aron Pilhofer, editor of interactive news technologies at the Times and one of the project’s creators, told me on Monday, “DocumentCloud isn’t really conducive to a two-minute elevator pitch.” But later in our conversation, he ventured one: “It will turn documents into data.”

"DocumentCloud will be software, a Web site, and a set of open standards that will make original source documents easy to find, share, read and collaborate on, anywhere on the Web. Users will be able to search for documents by date, topic, person, location, etc. and will be able to do 'document dives,' collaboratively examining large sets of documents. Organizations will be able to do all this while keeping the documents--and readers--on their own sites. Think of it as a card catalog for primary source documents.

We'll be releasing our code each step of the way. And we want you to participate. Sign up for our mailing list below and we'll keep you up-to-date."

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