JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATIONGRANT AGREEMENTGrantee:
October 27, 2008
$249,529 over one year
November 1, 2008 – October 31, 2009
For NewsCloud to create and launch two social media publications onFacebook to test strategies that leverage social media environments to engage youth innews and information.
This project will create two social media publications on Facebook,using NewsCloud’s open-source Facebook platform. Each is designed to assess theeffectiveness of a different kind of “community of interest,” and a different approach tooutreach and marketing. The first is an issue-based publication focused on globalwarming and environmentalism; the project will employ a grassroots strategy to buildcommunity and audience around environmental issues and activism. NewsCloud’s Jeff Reifman has effectively developed strategies to increase the likelihood of success. In particular, he has confirmed a working partnership with Grist, one of the best-known andoldest online magazines devoted to environmental journalism. Grist’s demographic issimilar to Facebook’s, making it a highly effective and appropriate partner; the magazinehas agreed to leverage its readership – more than 700,000 unique visitors a month – to promote the NewsCloud project and drive traffic to the site.The second proposed publication is a geographic publication focused onMinnesota college students; it will use a more traditional advertising/viral marketingapproach. To ensure knowledge capture and replicability, a post-doctoral scholar fromthe University of Minnesota will conduct original research on the project to identifyeffective strategies and map user interest and engagement.Project Development ScheduleMonth 1
Hire development, outreach staff, and design contractor
Work with UMN research team to define application requirements andoutreach strategy
Develop grassroots strategy, including a prize catalog; inventory tracking;leader board; and a point redemption system
Develop interface to announce leaders, prizes, partners, etc.