Through April 2011, twelve news organizations will launch Facebook sites with NewsCloud's open source Facebook application technology, thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The goal of the grant is threefold:
- To launch community news sites inside Facebook with twelve media partners showcasing different ways of leveraging the popular social network to reach new audiences.
- To improve and expand the features and capabilities of the existing NewsCloud Facebook application.
- To broaden participation in the open source development community around the NewsCloud Facebook application.
With these goals in mind, we've launched two new sites to make collaboration easier. We're posting most of our design and development documentation for review and discussion at http://support.newscloud.com. Open source developers can follow our progress and download the code from http://opensource.newscloud.com.
While the NewsCloud Facebook application was initially developed in the PHP programming environment, this week we're releasing an alpha test version built for developers on the Ruby on Rails framework.
Media organizations interested in learning more about the grant program can also contact NewsCloud privately through the above support website.
Research results on the engagement of young people in news in Facebook from the Knight Foundation's 2008 grant to NewsCloud can be found at http://www.newscloud.com/research.