First we made NewsCloud easy to install, then we made it cheap, now we're making it free to get started building a social media community for your favorite topic, neighborhood, city or school:
The generous folks at Rackspace are offering six months of credited hosting (up to $250 monthly) for anyone hosting NewsCloud in the Rackspace Cloud through their startup program. Now, there's no reason not to try your hand at launching your own social media community.
While most content management systems are optimized around publishing, NewsCloud's features offer ways for your audience to participate and lead the site with user generated content. As activity increases, you can integrate advertising and paid content referral systems to capture new revenue streams. We also offer some innovative ways to populate your site with content from RSS and Twitter Lists.
We were excited about demonstrating NewsCloud's open source capability to power personalized community news sites in the King5 Hacking Seattle News contest. But, yesterday, we saw that they require entrants to sign an 11 page contract.
The contest has been promoted as an open source pro-community contest: "the idea is to do it a in very open-source, for-the-community, by-the-community mode" but it actually disallows the use of copyleft GPL open source code (see permissive open source software license) and requires entrants to license derivative works of their entry back to King5 (see text below). Both of these points go against the very values of open source software and community development. If winning projects are open source, there is no need for King5 to require derivative works - as the code is already accessible to them. Requiring derivative works takes ownership of the entire entry e.g. specific website, creatives, conceptual ideas, data, etc.
So, with disappointment, we won't be participating in the contest.
6. e) The Participant’s Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission and all components of the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission, including all ideas, creative elements, and any other materials and information contained in the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission, must bewholly original with the Participant (whether an individual or as part of a Team), except that software available under a permissive open source software license (e.g., BSD license or MIT license) may be used if Participant complies with the terms of the license upon demonstration and submission to KING 5 and identifies such software and its attribution and licensing requirements to KING 5 in the Winning Submission.
10. a) By entering the Contest, each Participant grants to KING 5 and to KING 5’s affiliates, subsidiaries, partners, licensees, and successors and assigns (collectively, the “KING 5 Parties”) a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute copies of, perform, display, adapt, use, and otherwise exploit the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission and all of their components, including without limitation by posting the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission on the KING 5 website or on such other Internet-related sites chosen by KING 5 in its sole discretion, in any manner, and in all media and formats whether now known or later developed, throughout the universe, in perpetuity, without any notice, permission or compensation (except where prohibited by law). In connection therewith, each Participant hereby forever waives and relinquishes all so-called “moral rights (droit moral)” now or hereafter recognized in connection with the Demonstration Version and the Winning Submission.
We're a free, open source, community engagement platform funded generously by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Our platform offers features that encourage engaged communities filled with user generated content such as sharing news, blog posts, photos & video, crowdsourcing ideas, favorite places and resources, discussion forums, classifieds and lending library for sharing physical goods, peer Q&A, et al. All of NewsCloud's features are tightly integrated to Facebook and Twitter. Learn more.
We agree with Owens: "Jump on in, the water’s fine."
When I was a child, I used to love Sea Monkeys. You'd just add the magic powder to a bowl of water and the next day you'd have tiny little baby sea monkeys swimming around. Starting up a social media news community in Facebook has always been harder, until now.
Beginning today, you can take NewsCloud's free, open source Facebook application platform and create a community site with news content from Twitter.
There are two big challenges to creating a community news startup. 1) Aggregating relevant, timely news content for your site and 2) Promoting and marketing your site. NewsCloud's new Twitter integration address the first challenge.
How It Works
You choose a topic for your NewsCloud Facebook application. e.g. Seattle or Baseball. Then, you create a Twitter List with Twitter users you believe do a good job of focusing on this topic area. When you set up your NewsCloud site, you can tell it to populate content automatically from this Twitter List. NewsCloud will appropriately filter tweets from news related sites (you can white list and black list sites to further control for relevance) and publish these to your site with links back to the Twitter users that posted the content in the first place.
You can see an example of this at The Needle, using our example Twitter list for Seattle. Your NewsCloud site will pull in content from Twitter users you choose and select stories that come from relevant news sites. You can create your own Twitter List, curating your favorite twitterers for your site topic or region. Or, you can use someone else's existing Twitter List. It's about as simple as growing sea monkeys.
We'd love to see you set up your own topical or hyperlocal community using our free, open source Facebook technology and give us feedback on this new feature. To be successful, you'll still need to promote your community actively, but this is a great way to leverage Twitter to seed your community with interesting and relevant stories from day one.
While NewsCloud also can automatically add stories from RSS feeds, we feel that using Twitter lists with members you curate is more effective at finding higher quality content. RSS feeds tend to firehose too many stories and are less personal. Also, the presentation of Twitter content on your community site highlights the personalities and profile pictures of each Twitter user. Whereas, RSS feeds are posted by a single user account.